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Fraud and Scam Alerts
The newest scams and alerts appear at the top of this list. The older descriptions may help you spot a future scam.
REMEMBER: Legitimate institutions never request your personal information by email, telephone or text message. We do not email links and ask you to log on to confirm your personal information. If you ever suspect your account is compromised, call SESLOC immediately so we can protect your account.
November 2013 Disabled Credit Card Scam: Several members have notified us they received a text stating their credit card has been disabled; the text message provides a phone number which goes back to the scammers. If you have texted back your account number as requested, please contact SESLOC immediately by telephone so we can protect your credit card. Always call our main number. Do not call phone numbers provided in text messages.
October 2013 Scams targeting seniors have recently increased. They usually request account information or wired funds. Some examples:
- A member received a phone call notifying her she had "won a prize" for paying her utility bills on time. The caller asked for her account number and institution routing number so the prize could be deposited. Instead, funds in her account were withdrawn.
- A member received a call from her "grandchild" who claimed to be stranded in Canada as the result of a stolen wallet and plane ticket and requested wired funds.
- A member received phone calls from fraudsters claiming to be Canadian law enforcement authorities who claim to have the member's grandchild or child in custody. They request funds be wired to pay fines for the family member's release. A phone number is provide for the victim to call back. Some members report that the call is answered "Canadian Mounted Police," and they offer to put the family member on the phone. A young person comes on the phone and pleads for money to get him out of jail. Instructions are provided on how to wire several thousand dollars through Western Union to pay the fake fines.
January 13, 2010: TEXT MESSAGE SCAM
Several members report receiving text messages claiming to be from "SESLOC Federal Credit Union." The message provides a toll-free number where an automated message prompts the caller to enter "card number and PIN." This is a scam.
January 2010: CRAIGSLIST SCAM
Advertisements posted on Craigslist offer current credit union members $75 or more to help qualify a new member. A sample ad reads:
"If you're an XYZ Credit Union Member, make some extra $$. This is NOT a scam! I am willing to call you and discuss extensively. I need an XYZ Credit Union Member to sponsor me into the credit union. I'm willing to pay $xxx USD for this service."
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Don't fall for it.
2010 ATM/Debit Card Fraud
New wireless technology combined with unattended outdoor gas pumps has created perfect conditions for criminals to steal your money. Skimmers are installed inside the pump to steal debit card information. PREVENTION: If you use a debit or ATM card for gasoline purchases, go inside to pay. Indoor card swipe machines are better protected from after-hours thieves.
November 2009: Text Message Fraud
Members report receiving these fraudulent text messages: "This is a message from your C.U. Your card has been deactivated. To reactivate call [includes a toll-free phone number].
May 14, 2009
"Free" memberships and subscriptions, from FREE CREDIT REPORTS to FREE VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS are causing members problems. When someone advertises something as "free," be sure to read the terms and conditions. Often there is a clause which requires you to cancel within a certain period of time to avoid recurring charges to your credit card. In some cases, the cancellation period may expire before the product reaches you. Several members have reported unexpected, repeated credit card charges they did not realize they authorized.
12/17: Visa Security Code Scam
In a recent telephone scam callers pose as Visa or Mastercard representatives and ask for the three-digit security code printed on the back of VISA and MasterCard credit and debit cards, claiming they need to verify you're in possession of your card. This allows them perform fraudulent Internet, telephone, and mail-order purchases with your account. Never give out private information if you did not initiate the phone call.
11/08: Mystery Shopper Scam
This scam has targeted local residents. It usually involves an official-looking packet with items like a mystery shopping assignment, an evaluation form, a business code of ethics, and a large check for you to deposit, spend, and wire back remaining funds.
IMPORTANT: A request to deposit a check and wire back funds is the hallmark of a scam. Don't fall for it.
We have received reports of members receiving calls from someone who claims to represent SESLOC. The caller claims there is a problem with the account and requests account numbers and other confidential information. SESLOC will never telephone you to request your account information. We already have it.
Fraudulent NCUA email:
A message which appears to be from Credit Union National Association promises $20 direct deposited to your account and the opportunity to win $1200 if you take a survey. This is a fraud. Do not respond. Their goal is to capture your account number.
10/23/06: Fake Purchase Notice
This email is designed to frighten members into providing information reads: "This email confirms that you have paid PALMTREOSTORE $419.95 USD. This credit card transaction will appear on your bill as "Bay Federal Credit Union PALMTREOSTORE." It then lists fictional purchase details. The email concludes: "If you haven't authorized this charge, click the link below to go to BayFedOnline, cancel the payment and get a full refund". The link is to a site outside the U.S. where account information is fraudulently collected if someone tries to log on.
Fake Security Confirmation
A fraudulent email targeting Pearl Harbor Federal CU members read: "Due to some recent fraudulent activity on PHFCU online accounts, we are launching a new security system to make PHFCU accounts more secure and safe. Before we can activate it, we will be checking all accounts to confirm the authenticity of the holder. We will require a confirmation that your account has not been stolen or hacked. To confirm your account status, please log in" (a link was provided.
10/18/06: Fake Member Survey
L.A. Firemens Credit Union members received an email that appeared to be from their credit union, which asked them to provide feedback by using a link provided in the email to log on to their account and take a survey. For their time and effort, members' accounts would be credited with $150. This was a fraudulent attempt to collect member's account information.
7/26/06: Vishing Scams
Fraudsters are sending emails and making phone calls warning people that their accounts may have been compromised and you must call a phone number to verify your account or it will be frozen or closed or some other dire consequence will befall you. When you call the phone number, you are asked to provide personal account information. This is a fraud. This information will be used to fraudulently access your accounts.
7/10/06: Debit Card Fraud - Danger Zone
You are more likely to experience fraudulent use of your debit or credit card during the two months before its expiration date, according to Credit Union National Association. It is suspected that criminals in possession of stolen card data have an incentive to make as much money as they can before the card expires. Cards that do not expire for a long time allow them extra time to test, probe, and ultimately use the card.
6/23/06: A Phishing email claims there have been multiple attempts to log on to your account with multiple password failures. It says "to protect you from fraud, your account will be blocked" unless you immediately log on and change your password. The link provided is to a fraudulent website which steals your log-on information.
6/06/06: This scam email claims your account as been denied insurance, citing the Dept. of Homeland Security, plus state and local government officials. It falsely claims that all insurance on your account has been suspended until your identity can be verified, and threatens that failure to use the link provided in the email will "cause all insurance on your accounts to be terminated and all records of your account history will be sent to the FBI in Washington, D.C. for analysis and verification." The email also threatens that you will be visited by Homeland Security officials if you fail to log on to verify your identity. Threats are often used by fraudsters to induce you to act without thinking.
4/06: This fraudulent email proclaims: CONGRATULATIONS! You have been chosen by the [name of financial institution] to take part in our quick and easy 5-question survey. In return, we will credit $30 to your account - just for your time." A link is provided where the targeted victim is invited to log on with account number and PIN to take the survey. Of course, there is no survey, and the criminals have now collected your vital information.
Ongoing: Fraudulent emails claiming to be from eBay or PayPal regularly circulate asking you to verify your account information. Another email claims to be from an eBay buyer who claims to have purchases something from you and provides a link for you to log on to eBay (assuming you have an account) to read the message.
Cash Transfer Scams - WARNING: Victims May Face Criminal Charges
People are regularly solicited by email or website ad to "work from home" and be an "Account Manager" or "Money Transfer Agent" earning a commission for their efforts. Money is then transferred illegally from an unsuspecting person's account into the account of the "transfer agent," who is asked to wire the money to another account (that of the thieves), keeping a small percentage as a commission. The "transfer agent" or "account manager" has no idea where the money is coming from or going to. It may be used for a variety of purposes, including money laundering or terrorism. The "transfer agent" may face criminal charges, if caught. Don't believe emails or web ads soliciting you to earn money by transferring cash.
Inheritance and Overpayment Scams
Overpayment: This scam usually arises when someone purchases something from you online and then overpays for their purchase. You are asked to return the excess payment after deducting shipping charges. The victim wires the excess money back, only to discover the fraudster's payment cannot be collected, and the victim has been defrauded of the money wired from his or her account.
Inheritance: In the same manner, people are notified of an inheritance from some "long lost relative" they don't remember or didn't know they had, usually overseas somewhere. To get the large monetary inheritance, the victim must first send money for "legal fees" or some other reason. The victim's funds are collected, but the inheritance never materializes.
Grant Money for Educators Scam
A caller informs you that you have been selected for grant funds, and provides an 800 number you can call for verification of the grant. The caller then asks for your account information so grant monies can be electronically direct deposited into your account. The result is actually the reverse: funds are withdrawn from your account. Remember, it's easy to set up a fake phone center to receive your return phone call and "verify" their scam.
Social Engineering Scams
These types of scams rely on the victim's panic, and may go something like this: Someone telephones you claiming to be a police officer. You're informed a warrant has been issued for your arrest because you failed to report for jury duty. You protest, having never received the jury duty notice. The caller says, "Is your Social Security number xxx-xx-xxxx?" giving a random number. The scammer counts on you to respond, "No! My number is ......" Most scams depend on creating a sense of panic and urgency.
LOVE IS BLIND: Online Dating Scam
An Internet dating scheme left one Oklahoma City credit union member broke--and his heart broken, as well. The victim met a potential mate online who told him she lived in Nigeria and wanted to fly to America to be with him. The courtship, however, was quickly ended after she sent him more than $5,000 in purported Wal-Mart money orders, which he deposited at his credit union. He then wired her the funds to finance her flight. Authorities identified the money orders as counterfeit, and now the jilted member owes his credit union $5,100. â€“from The Credit Union Journal, May 2007.
Detect and Prevent
DETECTING FRAUDULENT EMAIL
- Fraudulent emails often contain urgent requests or deadlines;
- They provide links to websites that ask for your personal information;
- They make offers that are "too good to be true."
If you believe you have been a victim of a fraud or your account information has been compromised, contact SESLOC immediately so we can protect your account.
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Savings are insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government: National Credit Union Administration, a U.S. government agency.