SMS PHISHING SCAMS ON THE RISE
There are reports of fraudulent text messages sent to mobile devices that ask for your account information. These SMS were not authorized by SESLOC. Do not respond. SESLOC will never call, text or email you and ask for account numbers or other personal information. Please call us direct (805) 543-1816 if you have any questions regarding your account.
Help Us Protect You
4 ways to protect yourself from SMiShing (SMS Text Phishing) attacks:
1. Ask if the text message plays on fear. Fear of someone stealing your money, of your account being overdrawn, of deposits being disabled, or of your account being closed are common tactics used by scammers. If you have this fear while reading a text message, do not reply.
2. Don’t be rushed. These scams attempt to create a false sense of urgency by implying that an immediate response is required or that there is a limited time to respond.
3. Never reply with personal information. Personal or financial information, like usernames, passwords, PINs, or credit or debit card numbers will never be requested via text message from SESLOC or any other credit union, bank or government institution.
4. Enable the "Block Texts From The Internet" feature on your smartphone if available. Most spammers and smishers send texts via an internet text relay service which helps hide their identity. Many cell providers will let you turn on a feature that will block texts that come in from the internet. Visit your carrier's website for details about blocking.
5. Verify the source. If you have not set up Online Banking to deliver Alerts via text message, then the text is not from SESLOC. If you have opted-in, then note the Alerts are a one-way communication. We will never send a link or ask you to reply to the text message.
TAX IDENTITY THEFT AWARENESS
Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. If the IRS if sends you a notice saying their records show:
- You were paid by an employer you don’t know, or
- More than one tax return was filed using your Social Security number,
contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490.
How to Prevent Tax Identity Theft
Here are a few resources that provide important information about identity theft and how to protect yourself.
If you think someone used your SSN for a tax refund or a job — or the IRS sends you a notice or letter indicating a problem — contact the IRS immediately.
WATCH FOR CARD SKIMMING
Watch and Learn - This short video explains how card skimming works, and how to protect yourself. Watch Now »
Law enforcement says that tampering with card readers at ATMs and gas stations is on the rise locally. Please be diligent when using these types of machines, especially during holiday weekends. Before inserting your card, examine the machine and make sure it looks in order. An easy test is to grab the plastic slot where you insert your card, if it feels loose, there may be a skimmer attached.
Tips to Protect Yourself From Skimmers:
Use your free hand to cover your other hand as you punch in your code. There may be a hidden camera or someone watching.
Check your bank statements regularly. If your account is compromised, you may be able to catch it quickly and avoid more damage.
Pay for gas with cash. If you have to use a debit card, go inside to pay.
Never type in your PIN. Instead, have your debit card purchase processed as a credit card transaction. The purchase is still debited from your checking account, but you won’t need to enter your PIN, and credit card transactions have better fraud protection.
- Avoid unfamiliar ATMs. The majority of skimming incidents occur at non-bank ATMs, so try to avoid independent ATMs that aren't associated with a particular bank or credit union.
contact SESLOC or your credit card company as soon as possible.
How Skimming Works
A skimmer is an electronic device attached to an ATM or other card reader. It's used by criminals to illegally capture your card information, and sometimes, it's implemented in conjunction with a surveillance camera that captures you punching in your code.
Within minutes, the crooks can have your account information, and typically start stealing money before you even have a chance to realize what happened. Data reveals that there is a serious threat to consumers through the growing prevalence of ATM skimmers, but the ATM isn't the only place where your cards are vulnerable.
Card skimmers at gas station pay-at-the-pump machines have been a popular way for scammers to steal people's information for a long time, and they continue to pop up everywhere. If you suspect that a gas pump has been tampered with, you should contact the gas station manager or local law enforcement.