Coronavirus Update for Members
Protecting your accounts is a top priority for Equitable Federal Credit Union. Whether you bank in person, online or on your mobile device, your personal data could be vulnerable to identity theft and other attacks. Using state-of-the-art fraud prevention systems, our dedicated staff constantly monitors your accounts for suspicious activity.
Report Fraud to Equitable Federal Credit Union Immediately. If you think you may have been a victim of fraud contact us immediately at 330-633-7307
Protect yourself. Review the following information which has been prepared to protect you from the many types of financial fraud and identity theft.
Protecting Your Identity, Your Privacy, and Your Money
The rate of identity theft-related fraud continues to rise. A recent study* revealed that identity theft affected more than 12 million adults in 2012, which equates to 1 victim every 3 seconds.
Identity theft can occur when an individual obtains personal information, such as your social security number, date of birth, address, and financial account numbers. Once this information is obtained, the thieves will assume or take on your identity, allowing them to illegally purchase items or obtain credit.
There are simple precautions that will keep your identity safe. We've provided the following information as a courtesy to help protect you from identity fraud and other criminal activities. Review the information on these pages to learn how to protect your personal and financial information.
Learn more about protection yourself against identity theft. Identity Theft Website
Credit bureaus must provide free copies of credit reports to victims of identity theft.
*Javelin Strategy & Research
ATM fraud can occur when individuals lose their card, give their card to someone else to use, or when their Personal Identification Number's confidentiality is compromised. By following these simple guidelines you can greatly reduce your exposure to ATM fraud.
In addition to the types of ATM fraud that most of us are now aware of, there are two new types of fraud that can clean out your account quickly -- card withholding and skimming.
Card withholding occurs when your card gets stuck in the ATM, you can't get it out, and you leave the card in the ATM planning to contact the financial institution the next morning. When you call you find that the card was not stuck in the ATM. What happens is that thieves put a substance into the ATM card slot which will cause your card to stick inside the ATM. They leave the ATM and wait for someone to attempt to use it. They then get in line behind you and try to watch you enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN). This is very common at drive-up ATMs where the user may not be paying attention to other people or cars nearby.
The thieves even go so far as to put up a sign on the ATM stating: "If your card gets stuck, enter your PIN three separate times to retrieve it." This gives them three tries to watch you enter your PIN. After you leave frustrated, and you're planning to contact the ATM owner the next morning, they remove your card with a pair of pliers. They can then use your card at other ATMs and Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals.
Skimming is done at businesses that offer Point-of-Sale (POS) devices for you to pay with your ATM card, such as gas stations. The thieves convince an employee to allow them to connect a lap top computer to the POS machine. The lap top is usually stored under the counter where the POS device is located. When you swipe your card in the POS device to make a payment the information on the magnetic strip on your ATM card is copied and loaded onto a disk. Thieves may also install a hidden video camera that records you entering your PIN. They then match the magnetic information to the PIN and access your accounts.
If you suspect fraud, it is important to act quickly to minimize potential damage and your own liability. It is important to keep a detailed account of conversations you have with authorities and financial institutions.
Credit Bureaus. Immediately call the fraud units of the three credit reporting companies --Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. Ask that your account include a statement referencing the possibility of fraud.
Creditors. Contact all creditors immediately with whom your name has been used fraudulently -- by phone and in writing. Monitor your accounts closely for any further fraudulent activity.
Law Enforcement. Report the crime to police with jurisdiction in your case. Provide any documentation that you have collected. Get a copy of your police report. Keep the phone number of your fraud investigator handy and give it to creditors and others who require verification of your case.
Financial Institutions. If you have checks stolen or bank accounts set up fraudulently, contact the institution to report the crime. Put stop payments on appropriate outstanding checks. Close your checking and savings accounts and open new accounts. If your ATM card is stolen or compromised, get a new card and PIN. When choosing a PIN, don't use common numbers like the last four digits of your Social Security number, your date of birth, license number or street address.
U.S. Postal Service. Notify the local Postal Inspector if you suspect an identity thief has filed a change of your address with the post office or has used the mail to commit credit or bank fraud.
Social Security Administration. Call to report fraudulent use of your Social Security number.
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Call to see if another license was issued in your name. Go to your local DMV to request a new number. Also, fill out the DMV's complaint form to begin the fraud investigation process. Send supporting documents with the completed form to the nearest DMV investigation office. Request a driver's license number different than your Social Security number if available in your state.
Civil Courts. If a civil judgment has been entered in your name for actions taken by your impostor, contact the court where the judgment was entered and report that you are a victim of identity theft. If you are wrongfully prosecuted for criminal charges, contact the state Department of Justice and the FBI.
This guide provides tips for protecting yourself against check cashing fraud. Check cashing fraud occurs when individuals use information taken from your checks, or the checks themselves, to access your accounts and commit fraudulent acts. By following these simple guidelines you can greatly reduce your risk of becoming a victim.
Credit card fraud generally occurs when cards or card numbers are compromised. By following these simple guidelines your potential for loss can be minimized.
Phishing is an internet scam in which e-mail spam or pop-up messages are used to deceive you into divulging personal or financial information over the internet. Phishers will send you an email or a pop-up message that appears to be from a company that you deal with – your credit card company, credit union or a government agency. The message usually requests that you update or validate account information and it will direct you to a website that looks just like the legitimate organization's website, but it isn't. The purpose of the bogus website is to deceive you into entering your personal information so the scammer's can steal your identity and commit crimes in your name.
Vishing is a scam similar to Phishing, the scam involves sending a spam email or pop-up message telling you that your account has been compromised and will instruct you to call a phone number to verify your account information. An official sounding automated message will ask you to enter your personal financial information such as your 16-digit credit card number. Some of these scams involve a telephone call to the victim directly in which the caller already has your credit card number but asks you to verify the valuable three digit security code.
Phishing is an attempt to obtain your personal information by email by a person or a group of people. "Phishers" will send out fake emails which are disguised to appear as if they are coming from a financial institution or another authority. These emails create a false sense of urgency and commonly dupe recipients to click on a link taking them to a fake, look-alike website where they are asked to provide personal information such as social security numbers, bank account details, online user names/passwords, and credit card information. Should the recipient click to the fake link and act as requested, they may have just become a victim of identity theft. Equitable FCU and other viable financial service providers will never ask for personal information in this manner.
Another type of phishing scam, spoofing involves cloning an institution's website to further convince recipients that they will be responding to the "real" entity. Spoofed sites look identical to the authentic site but the links go elsewhere – likely to a fraudster. To identify a fraudulent site, check out the IP Address at the top of our browser.
This scam may initial in two ways. 1) By email where recipients are asked to call a bogus phone number, or 2) By a phone call which increases the perception of legitimacy. (The caller may already have your credit card # and will typically ask for the important three-digit security code on the back of the card.) Vishing is a growing scam with the help of Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP. It enables cheap and anonymous Internet calling, as well as the ease with which caller ID boxes can be tricked into displaying erroneous information. Should you get a call from someone asking for personal information, just hang up and call your financial institution. If it was a real issue, they can address the issue.
Pharming is a new name for domain spoofing. Where "phishers" will send bogus emails, "pharmers" instead will infiltrate your local server and redirect your web requests to a fake, but authentic looking website (your browser, however, believes it has connected you to the right site).
One example of a scam attempting to get the recipient to call the fraudster is an e-mail that claims to be from a financial institution stating there is a new security system to make accounts more secure and safe. The e-mail then states your card or account has been deactivated because of this new security system and asks you to call a phone number to activate the card or account. The phone number is not the financial institution's number, but rather a phone number operated by the fraudster.
Another example is where the fraudster calls you directly and already knows some information about you like your name or address. They state they are calling from a financial institution and ask if you have a Visa or other credit card in an attempt to solicit more information from you. They then state they need to verify your account number and claim there may be fraudulent charges on your account. Finally, in this example, the fraudster will ask you to read the account number and expiration date on the front and the last three digits on the back.