Article | January

Protecting against Internet-Based Fraud and Identity Theft

Older lady walking down a hallway in a office building while carrying a laptop bag
January 15, 2019
Internet-based fraud and identity theft is becoming more frequent as computers and internet connected technology becomes an increasing part of everyday life. Scammers try everything from phishing emails to malware intrusions in order to obtain your personal information, account details, or anything else they can get their hands on. Wings Financial Credit Union is here to provide you with information on common scams, tips to prevent becoming a victim of phishing, and more.
 
Known Scam and Identity Theft Attempts
Credit Check Pop-Up Scam
 
If you get a pop-up message about a free credit check or stating you have a message about suspicious activity online, do not click on the link. Wings Financial does not offer free credit reports and would not alert you via a pop-up message about activity on your account.
 
Malware is one of the greatest threats to your PC's security. There are numerous types of malware, and they are constantly changing. Be sure to keep your virus protection software updated, your operating system and browsers updated with the latest patches and run regular virus scans on your home computer.
 
Email Phishing Scams
 
A new series of email phishing attempts will tempt you to visit a Web site to either input sensitive data (card numbers) or download attachments containing malware. DO NOT click the links or open any attachments associated with these emails. If you encounter emails with suspicious subjects, such as those below, just delete them:
 
What is Phishing?
Phishing is the act of trying to obtain personal information for fraud purposes via email. Often, the email will lead to a look-alike website or log-in screen of a legitimate company to try and trick people into providing their personal information. At the website, they will often ask for sensitive information like credit card, bank account, or Social Security numbers. The scammers then use the information to order goods and services or to obtain credit. Many times, thieves send e-mails pretending to be from businesses that potential victims actually deal with, making it even more difficult to tell whether or not the email is legitimate.
 
Wings Financial does not ask for personal information via email. If you receive a suspect email, do not click the links or submit any personal information. Report the email to a member services representative immediately. The representative may then ask you to forward a copy of the email to the credit union.
 
One of the most common phishing emails warns you that your account will be shut down unless you update or validate billing information, and another warns you of unauthorized access to your account. If you receive one of these, you may have received a "phishing" email. These are just a couple of examples; scammers are constantly trying new ways to trick people into giving up their personal information.
 
What is Malware?
Malware is one of the greatest threats to your PC's security. There are numerous types of malware, and they are constantly changing. Be sure to keep your virus protection software updated, your operating system and browsers updated with the latest patches and run regular virus scans on your home computer.
 
How Can I Avoid Getting Phished?
  • Contact any company that requests personal or financial information to verify authenticity. If you did not initiate the request, politely tell the company that you do not submit personal information in this manner.
  • Refrain from e-mailing sensitive information such as account numbers or your SSN.
  • Review credit card and account statements as soon as you receive them for any fraudulent activity, or monitor accounts regularly online.
  • Don't be fooled by authentic-looking graphics or Web addresses. Some thieves are very careful to make the scam look legitimate.
  • Be aware that Wings Financial (and most other financial institutions) will never send e-mails asking members to log in or provide personal information such as Social Security Numbers.
Tagged Under
Fraud Identity Theft Internet

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