Protect your money...and your identity!
One of the biggest crimes affecting our world today is Identity Fraud. If your personal information is hacked, you can potentially lose everything—including your identity. Identity Fraud is a serious issue. According to a 2016 identity fraud study conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research, fraudsters have collectively stolen $112 billion in the past six years.
At OE Federal, we do our best to keep our members and their money safe. Our members’ security is our top priority; that’s why we are constantly updating and evaluating the security measures we use to protect you. We also make sure to provide the knowledge and tools that can help our members outwit and outsmart any possible threats on their own.
Unfortunately, the majority of people don’t realize they are a victim of Identity Theft until it’s too late. To keep your identity and money as safe as possible, it is important that you recognize when your identity is at risk, what scammers are looking for, and how to protect yourself.
Signs that you may be a victim of Identity Theft:
- Unsuspected rejection on a loan
- Receiving past due notices on Credit Cards you did not open
- Receiving past due notices on Loans you do not have
- Being contacted by collection agencies for bad checks you never wrote
- Receiving a confirmation letter from the US Postal Service about mail forwarding that you did not request
- Charges on your account you do not recognize
Each of these are tell-tale signs you have become a victim of Identity Theft.
What they want...
Identity theft is possible when someone else has access to confidential information about you. Certain confidential information would be:
- Debit/ATM Card Numbers
- Card Expiration Dates
- Credit Card Numbers
- Card Security Codes
- Personal Identification Numbers (PIN)
- Social Security Numbers
- Driver's License Number, Birth Date, Mother's Maiden Name.
It is also important to report your lost or stolen OE Federal cards as soon as possible using one of these numbers:
- Member Service: 800.877.4444
- Lost/Stolen Visa: 844.665.5275
What they do...
Hackers and scam artists are good at what they do, which means you must stay vigilant. Below are examples of common types of scams/fraud that financial institutions see far too often:
- Contest scams: You have “won” something and the person needs you to cash their fraudulent check and send them back some of the money for taxes, postage, shipping, etc.
- Secret Shopper Scams: You are “hired” to be a secret shopper, and your first job is to evaluate a money transfer service. You’re sent a check to deposit and withdraw against to wire to a third party. And of course, you’re on the hook for the money you withdrew before you knew it was a fraudulent check. Learn more at the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information page.
- Craigslist Scams: One of the most common Craigslist scams is when the buyer purchases your goods from Craigslist, but “accidentally” sends extra money. They’ll offer that you can wire the difference back to them and perhaps take some extra money for your troubles. In this scam, the original check they sent is fraudulent and you’ll end up owing the bank for the money you withdrew. To stay safe on Craigslist, follow the tips they recommend on their site—visit the Craigslist Avoiding Scams page.
- Social Media Scams: Through sites like Facebook and Instagram, the fraudster targets individuals who have an account at a Credit Union or certain financial institution. The member is contacted with an offer to deposit fraudulent checks via mobile deposit, keep half of the funds, and then use a wire transfer service like MoneyGram or Western Union to transfer the other half to someone else.
- “Computer Hacking” Scams: You’ll receive a call telling you that your computer is being hacked. The scam artist will say that they will stop the hack if you allow them to dial into your computer. And for a fee, they will protect your computer for one year or more! Don’t buy into it.
- Email Scams: You receive an email from an unknown party and it contains a link that you’re “supposed” to click. When you do, your computer’s system becomes infected with malware. Learn more here.
Recognize OE Federal
Since these fraudsters use sneaky tactics to try to get your personal information, we want to make sure that you know how to recognize when it is actually OE Federal both online and off.
To verify you’re at OE Federal’s website, look for the following:
- The website address says: https://oefcu.org. Make sure the https is at the beginning of the web address since that means you’re establishing a secure connection.
- An unbroken, solid lock icon verifies the correct security certificates and means it is our website.
If you receive a call from someone saying they’re from OE Federal and they ask personally identifiable information such as your social security number or account number, hang up and don’t give it to them! The only time OE Federal asks for personal information is when the Call Center Member Representative receives your call and needs to verify your identity before proceeding. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up and call us immediately at 800.877.4444.
If you receive what seems to be an email from OE Federal that requests you to click on a link and provide personal information, don’t do it. We will never email you to ask for your personal information. However, be aware of confirmation emails from us (or other institutions) wanting to confirm that you’ve made changes to your accounts--especially if you did not make them (email, phone number, address, etc.). This could be a case of an account take over.
OE Federal will never use text messaging as a way to collect your personal information either. If you receive a text message asking you to click on a link to “verify” your account or identity, don’t do it. We will never ask for this information via text message.
Has someone stolen your identity?
If your ID has been stolen, you need to take action in defending your reputation right away. The Federal Trade Commission has great resources to help you understand what to do next.
Here are important actions you need to make immediately to prevent further damage:
1. Contact the three major credit bureaus and request a fraud alert be placed on your file
- Equifax - (800) 525-6285
- Experian - (888) 397-3742
- Trans Union - (800) 680-7289
2. Order copies of your credit report to find out if any fraudulent accounts have been opened in your name
3. Contact OE Federal and your other financial institutions (by phone and writing) to report the crime and monitor your accounts
4. Request OE Federal and your other financial institutions to flag your accounts and request notification for any unusual activity
For more information, please visit the following links:
- BALANCE: The Basics of Identity Theft
- The Federal Trade Commissions
- The Anti Phishing Group
- On Guard Online
- California Office of Privacy Protection - California Residents
Wells Fargo - October 2016
Wells Fargo has been fined $185 million for illegally opening accounts for existing customers. More than 2 million accounts were opened without customer permission. The financial ramification to consumers is still being sorted through.
OE Federal has teamed up with BALANCE, our financial fitness partner, to provide members with free access to expert financial resources and counseling for those individuals who may have been affected by Wells Fargo’s practices.
To learn more about what happened, click here, or to set up a free one-on-one meeting with a BALANCE counselor, please call (888) 456-2227.
Yahoo Breach - October 2016
On September 22, 2016, Yahoo! announced a breach to their servers which took place in 2014. Hackers stole information associated with at least 500 million Yahoo! user accounts. The details of information taken include names, email addresses, telephone numbers, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers, dates of birth, and encrypted passwords. The data breach is the largest discovered in the history of the Internet. Yahoo! recommends that all users change their passwords if they have not done so since 2014. To learn more, visit the Yahoo! website.
Remember, it is important to have different passwords for all the sites you visit. If you are a Yahoo! user and share the same Yahoo! password with other websites, we encourage you to reset those passwords as well. Some characteristics of a strong password include, but are not limited to: at least 8 characters, at least 1 upper-case letter, at least 1 number, at least 1 special character, no dictionary words or names, and not easily guessed. To learn more about how you can protect yourself from Identity Theft, click here to watch a video from our financial fitness partner, BALANCE.
Wendy’s Card Compromise - August 2016
Wendy’s announced they were involved in a payment card data compromise affecting those who made purchases in some Wendy’s restaurants between Fall 2015 and Spring 2016. This compromise may include OE Federal Visa debit and credit cards.
If you made a purchase at a Wendy’s restaurant during this time period, we encourage you to closely monitor your Visa and/or Checking Account over the next few months and notify us immediately if you find any unauthorized activity. To report unauthorized activity on your account, notify us by calling 800.877.4444.
Wendy’s recently released information regarding this data breach, including a letter from Todd Penegor, President and CEO of The Wendy’s Company, and a listing of potential Wendy’s restaurant locations that were affected by the breach:
Prevent Identity Theft and Fraud this Tax Season - January 2016
With the tax season here, scammers are on the lookout to steal your personal information. To help combat identity theft, the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) has put together online resources to help members of credit unions, like OE Federal.
To learn more about how you can protect yourself from would-be scammers, visit www.MyCreditUnion.gov. You’ll find useful information on how to prevent and report identity theft that may be committed using fake contacts from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that request taxpayer information. Click here to visit the page.
OE Federal Credit Union would like to remind its members that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages, or social media channels to request personal or financial information.
Additionally, you may want to consider having your Tax Return directly deposited in to your OE Federal Account in order to help combat would-be scammers.
Mortgage Lending, Phishing Calls - July 2015
Be alert when receiving phone calls from solicitors identifying themselves from a mortgage lending company. These solicitors use public information to contact you and often times, this is an attempt to coerce you into refinancing your current loan with a new company.
The caller might say: “I’m with XYZ lender and we’ve identified a problem with your mortgage loan documents. We’ll need to correct these documents and have you sign as soon as possible.”
If you receive a similar call, here are a few tips to keep yourself protected:
- Never confirm any information to callers reaching out to you unsolicited
- Never provide personal information over the phone without independently confirming the identity of the caller
- Always attempt to get the name and return phone number of the person calling you
- Always call your financial institution directly, using the phone number on your statement to confirm the identity of the caller