Theft and Scam Info
Identity theft, fraud, and other financial scams are on the rise. If you receive a text message, email, or phone call that appears to be from a reputable company – or MCCU itself – and this message warns of a serious problem that needs your immediate attention (usually involving your personal or financial information), be on the alert!
How to Protect Yourself
- NEVER provide personal financial information, including your Social Security number, account numbers or passwords, over the phone or the internet unless you initiated the contact.
- NEVER open a suspicious email. If you’re unsure about an email, do NOT click any links or call any phone numbers listed. Some scams are extremely elaborate and will list fake phone numbers and website addresses for you to use. Instead, contact the credit union directly using information from your records.
- Keep your antivirus software up to date on your computer. Your antivirus software will help protect you if you click on a link that attempts to download malicious code to your computer.
- Educate yourself. The National Credit Union Administration has created a website specifically to address this topic. Click here to visit the NCUA Fraud Prevention Center.
Spotting the Fakes
There are many scams with different pitches, all designed to convince you to reveal personal information. Some scammers contact you by phone, others use email. Either way, here are some facts to help you spot the bad apples:
- How is their English?
Many scams originate from non-English speaking countries, so red flags should go up if an email contains spelling or grammar errors, or if you receive an unsolicited call from someone whose English is poor. Hang up on such a call and delete this type of email without clicking on any embedded links. Then call the credit union using a number from your personal contact list to verify whether this is a legitimate issue.
- Is your heart pounding?
The goal of most scammers is to get you so excited or frightened that you react without thinking. Legitimate financial institutions do NOT want you to feel like you’re on a rollercoaster when you invest with them. If an email makes your pulse race with promises of easy cash or fear of frozen assets, it’s probably a fake.
- Is this “urgent”?
MCCU and its affiliates will NEVER call or email you regarding “an urgent or threatening condition concerning your account.” Our policy is to send all official notices via regular mail.
- Are they asking for proof of identity when THEY contacted YOU?
MCCU will NEVER ask for a PIN number or any sort of password. If anyone ever asks you to “validate” this piece of information, you should call the credit union immediately and report the incident.
If YOU request access to your account (whether by telephone or online), we will ask for private financial information to verify your identity. A simple rule is to never give out this information unless YOU initiated the transaction.
You can report suspicious e-mails or calls to the Federal Trade Commission or call 1-877-IDTHEFT.
Emergency Phone Numbers
If You Fall Victim...
- Alert your financial institution.
- Place fraud alerts on your credit cards using a program such as LifeLock.
- Monitor your credit files and account statements closely.
For more information, the Federal Trade Commission has created an entire website addressing this topic at IdentityTheft.gov.