Here at Members Exchange Credit Union, we’ve always been dedicated to offering the right tools and resources to help our members make the best financial decisions. As part of this commitment, we have gathered the information below. Whether you need help planning a budget or purchasing a car, there is good financial information for you to choose from.
Visit our Home & Family Finance Resource Center to calculate what your car payment could be with a new loan or just browse through the "Leisure & Travel" section to plan your next trip. Buying a home? Check out "Housing" for a home buying section that walks you through the entire process. You search information on any topic.
Tips to Safely Conduct Financial Transactions Over the Internet
Fraud Awareness Center
Important Notice: Phishing and Spoofing
Important Notice: Vishing:
In essence, vishing is the criminal practice of using social engineering and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony to gain access to private personal information and financial information from the public for the purpose of financial reward. The term vishing is a combination of "voice" and phishing. Vishing exploits the public's trust in landline telephone services, which have traditionally terminated in physical locations, are known to the telephone company, and are associated with a bill-payer. The victim is often unaware that VoIP allows for caller ID spoofing thus providing anonymity for the criminal caller.
An example of a vishing scam is when a consumer receives a recorded message telling them that their credit card and/or financial institution account has been breached and to immediately call a number provided in the recorded message. The phone number provided in the message leads the consumer to a "fraudulent call center" established by the perpetrator of the fraud. The perpetrator then attempts to obtain confidential account information and login credentials in order to access the account. A twist on this scam is when the recorded message provides the address of a fraudulent website for the consumer to access (instead of a telephone number) and to provide certain information to reinstate the supposedly affected account(s).
Vishing is very hard for authorities to trace. To protect themselves, consumers are advised to be highly suspicious when receiving messages (telephone, email, or otherwise) directing them to call and provide personal, confidential, and/or account related information. Rather than provide any information, the consumer should contact their financial institution or credit card company directly to verify the validity of the message using contact information they already have in their possession (i.e. do not use contact information provided in the suspicious message). If you feel as though you have been a victim of a vishing scam, please contact the credit union immediately.
Members Exchange Credit Union assures you that we will never initiate calls or send emails to our members asking for personal member information, such as social security number, address, credit card numbers, etc.
Credit Card Fraud Protection
Credit card fraud generally occurs when cards or card numbers are compromised. By following these simple guidelines your potential for loss can be minimized.
Tips for protecting yourself against credit card fraud
1. Keep a list of all your credit cards including the account number and phone number to the issuing company.
2. Review your credit card statement as soon as possible. Match charges with your receipts to ensure all charges are yours and are for the correct amount.
3. Always sign a new credit card immediately.
4. When making a purchase with a credit card, make sure you get back the card and the receipt. Check the receipt for accuracy.
5. When using a credit card at a restaurant or store, make sure that all blank lines are marked through so that no one can change the final amount.
6. Never sign blank credit card receipts.
7. Only travel with the credit cards you plan on using.
8. Never give the account number of the credit card over the phone unless you initiate the call.
9. When making an order over the telephone, try to avoid using a cordless phone. Cordless phone messages can be easily intercepted by devices as unsophisticated as baby monitors and police scanners.
10. Do not write the PIN for the account on the card.
Identity Theft Protection
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. By following these simple guidelines, your potential for loss due to identity theft can be greatly reduced.
Tips for protecting yourself against identity theft
1. Check your credit report on a regular basis to ensure the information is correct.
2. Immediately tear up (using a shredder is even better!) unsolicited credit card offers.
3. Never give personal information over the phone unless you initiated the phone call.
4. Never give a credit card number over the phone unless you have initiated the phone call.
5. Always be familiar with financial accounts that you currently maintain. Verify statements and other information sent by your financial institution for accuracy.
Automatic Teller Machine Fraud
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.
Tips for protecting yourself against ATM fraud
1. Never write your Personal Identification Number (PIN) on your card or in your wallet. Memorize your PIN as soon as possible. Do not reveal your PIN to anyone not authorized to use the account.
2. Never use your date of birth, social security number, license number or street address as a PIN -- those are the first numbers a crook will try.
3. Don't throw away your ATM receipts at the ATM location. Keep them to reconcile your account, then dispose of them properly when you get home.
4. Always be aware of your surroundings when using the ATM. If it is late at night, try to use a machine that is well lit and avoid dark, remote locations.
5. Always make sure to retrieve your ATM card from the machine when the transaction is complete.
6. Be aware of the person behind you. Make sure no one can see you entering your PIN or how much money you withdraw.
7. Review your statement promptly to ensure all transactions are accurate. Report any discrepancies immediately.
8. Destroy old ATM cards immediately after receiving your replacement cards.
In addition to the types of ATM fraud that most of us are now aware of, there are two new types 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 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.
Fraud Awareness Resources
The Anti-Phishing Working Group
- Learn about phishing and pharming, and how to report suspicious e-mails.
National Check Fraud Center
- A complete source for assistance, information, and alert reports concerning check fraud, counterfeit checks, forgery, bank fraud, white collar crimes, plus more.
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse- ID Theft facts, helpful publications, victim stories, and informational links.
Monitoring and periodically reviewing your credit report is an effective tool in fighting identity theft.
Free Credit Report