Identity theft is on the rise, affecting about 900,000 people per year. Victims have estimated that they've spent an average of 175 hours and $808 in out-of-pocket costs to fix identity theft problems. Schools wants to educate and help you keep your identity safe.
What Is "Phishing?"
Phishing (fish´ing) is the illegal use of email and the Web to fraudulently pose as a legitimate business or entity in order to retrieve personal information from the addressee that can be used for unlawful identity theft activities. A fraudulent email is sent that links the addressees to a seemingly authentic Web site where they are then asked to update or enter confidential information like passwords and PINs or social security, credit card and bank account numbers. This is sometimes referred to as Spoofing, due to the act of tricking the user into providing sensitive information. The information being sought is usually information that the actual business or entity would already have in their records.
Schools Financial Credit Union will never ask you to verify account information via unsecured or unsolicited email.
What Is "Pharming?"1
Pharming (färm´ing), like phishing, is a scam aimed at illegally retrieving a user's confidential information (often financially linked) through domain falsification. In this case, the unlawful party infiltrates a business's Web site server and illicitly redirects the user's confidential information right into his or her hands for use in identity theft activities. Your browser will display the legitimate site, however, which makes this type of online scam harder to recognize. Unfortunately, online pharming allows the criminals to take advantage of a much larger pool of victims than a phishing does.
What is Smishing?
Smishing is the latest form of phishing. In Smishing, recipients are getting unsolicited text messages posing as their financial institution which try to lure you into giving personal information. If you receive an unsolicited text message, do not text or phone any of your personal information that's being requested. If you have a question concerning your account, contact your Credit Union directly at the number(s) given below.
What is Vishing?
Vishing is similar to phishing, yet the fraud is committed over the phone. The criminals send out phone calls to random telephone numbers hoping to "catch" a Schools member. In the event you receive one of these phone calls, do not call the number back as the Credit Union would not try contact you in this manner.
What Schools Is Doing to Help
Schools Financial Credit Union is dedicated to keeping your accounts safe and secure. Most financial institutions protect you — although charging you a $50 out-of-pocket deductible. Schools, however, guarantees you a $0 liability on fraudulent charges.
Schools will do its best to keep you informed regularly about issues that may regard the security of your accounts and personal information. Make sure you do your best to fight fraud by checking your account statements and activity regularly and keeping your PINs, passwords and personal information safe and secure, which includes shredding paperwork that contains this information. If you lose your PIN or password or find any irregularity on your account(s), notify the Credit Union immediately at 916-569-5400 (Sacramento area) or 800-962-0990.
Read about how to protect yourself and learn more about Identity Theft at these informative Web sites:
- Government Resources
- NCUA Toll-Free Fraud Hotline
- Federal Trade Commission's ID Theft Resource Information Center
- 12 Scams Most Likely to Arrive Via Bulk Email (FTC Web site)
- FBI Fraud Alert
Contact Information to Report Fraud
Credit-Reporting Agencies (Fraud Departments):
- Equifax Consumer Fraud Division: 888-766-0008
- Experian National Consumer Assistance: 888-397-3742
- TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance Department: 800-680-7289
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC): 877-438-4338
- U.S. Postal Inspection Service: 800-275-8777
- Social Security Administration: 800-772-1213
To Report Check Fraud:
- Check Rite: 800-766-2748
- Chex Systems: 800-328-5121
- NPC: 800-526-5380
- Tele-Check: 800-366-2425