Those messages look legit. But they're totally bogus. Don't get hooked.


At University Credit Union, our experience is that most people are good and honest. But there are some rotten apples in every bunch. Today's criminals are more likely to use a fake email to steal your credit union account number than they are to pick a lock and take your TV and jewelry. The good news is that there are a lot of effective ways to fight back against scam artists and data phishers.

Phishing Comes in Many Forms:
 

  • E-Mail “Phishing”: Phishing is a scam to steal valuable information such as credit card and Social Security numbers, user IDs, and passwords. In phishing, an official-looking e-mail is sent pretending to be from a bank, credit union or retail establishment.
  • Telephone “Vishing”: Vishing (Voice phishing) is the voice counterpart to phishing. Instead of being directed by e-mail to a website, an e-mail message asks the user to make a telephone call. The call triggers a voice response system which asks for the user’s personal or financial information.
  • Text Message “Smishing”: Smishing (SMS Phishing) is the mobile phone counterpart to phishing. A text message is sent to the user’s cell phone with some ploy to click on a link and send personal information through text messages.
  • Mail “Letter Phishing": This scam is where a letter is sent through the mail to individuals asking them to respond by calling a phone number. The letter advises the individual that they must respond for their own protection.

 

  • Never provide personal information if you did not initiate the contact.
  • Never click on the link provided in an e-mail you believe may be fraudulent. It may also contain a virus that can contaminate your computer. Go the company’s website directly, instead.
  • Review account statements regularly to ensure all charges and transactions are correct.
  • If you never entered the lottery, you can’t win. You can’t win a prize in a lottery if you didn’t buy a lottery ticket.
  • Look at the sender’s e-mail address. Most scammers use e-mail accounts such as Yahoo, Hotmail, MSN, etc.
  • People fall victim to these scams primarily because they are unaware or the offer seems so real. Only your non-response to this activity will help make it disappear. Spread the word and tell everyone you know about these clever scams and how not to fall victim to them.
  • If you have any questions about phishing, please call University Credit Union at 310.477.6628, ext. 1.
     

 

  • Never enter personal information, Social Security Numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers or PINs in response to an unsolicited e-mail.
  • Do not click on the link. It’s tempting — but don’t! You'll be transferred to the phisher’s website, which might try to infect your computer with a variety of harmful computer viruses. Keep up-to-date virus software, to help guard against any e-mail or Internet intrusions.
  • Report the incident. If you receive an e-mail phishing attempt with University Credit Union’s name, send it to us at abuse@ucu.org. Also report it to the Federal Trade Commission. A link to the FTC website is on the University Credit Union site at www.ucu.org.
  • Don’t feel pressure to divulge information: Scare tactics such as threatening to close an account or suspend services are often used to try to get action on a phishing e-mail. If you feel pressure, contact the merchant (using the phone number you look up) to confirm anything before you act.
  • Delete the e-mails from your computer. Immediately erase the phishing e-mails so they can never be accessed by accident.
  • Let everyone know what's happening: If you think you have entered personal information of any kind in response to an e-mail, notify the business that appeared to send the email immediately.The sooner the business is notified, the sooner they can reduce the possibility of a theft

Even if you're really careful, you can fall into a trap. If you think you responded to any e-mail phishing scam and entered University Credit Union account, credit card or PIN information in the site, call us immediately at 310.477.6628.

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