04 Oct

How to Avoid Phishing Scams

How to Avoid Phishing Scams

In this day and age, most everyone is aware of phishing scams and does their best to avoid falling prey to their tricks. With such a high level of awareness, you might think that the volume of thieves out there creating phishing scams has decreased. The unfortunate truth though, is that innocent consumers still fall victim to scams every day, as criminals get better and better at their job of fooling every-day people. Fortunately for you, RMLEFCU has a policy to educate our members on these internet-related fraudulent schemes and how to avoid them.

Access Sites Directly

RMLEFCU advises that you not access the Credit Union’s webpage from a link on a third-party site, as it may not be authentic. Always access the site by typing the name or URL address into the browser or use a “bookmark” that directs you straight to the site. This will ensure that you are visiting the actual, secure website instead of a copy or lookalike page.

Beware of Emails Asking for Information

Nowadays, people get so many emails each day that it’s hard to keep track of them all. When going through your inbox, trying to decide which are important and which are spam, it’s easy to see the name of a trusted institution and immediately assume that it is a legitimate email. As a rule of thumb, RMLEFCU will never request confidential information such as account numbers, passwords, or personal identification numbers (PINs) via email. If you receive an email request requesting one or more of these examples, report it to the Credit Union and delete the email immediately.

Ensure Webpages are Secure

When visiting any site where you will be putting in sensitive personal information, always make sure to check that it is secure. You can check this by looking at the URL of the website. If it begins with “https” instead of ”http”, the site is secured using the SSL Certificate. This ensures that all of your data and information is secure when it is passed from your browser to the site’s server. RMLEFCU maintains current website security certificates that safeguard confidential transactions and information. Just make sure to authenticate the site pages before entering in any sensitive material.

How to Avoid Phishing Scams

Report Suspicious Activity

If you suspect that you have gotten a phishing scam via email, phone call, or other form of communication, reach out to the institution that the message was supposedly sent from at a phone number or email address that you know to be legitimate. This will not only validate whether or not the message was genuine, but, if it was a scam, will allow the institution to alert others and prevent further damage.

Everyone slips up now and then, but by following these precautions, you will drastically lower your chances of falling victim to a phishing scam. Just by getting into the habit of checking websites you visit for the SSL Certificate verification, the chances of your identity or personal information being stolen is significantly reduced.

If you have any questions about RMLEFCU’s policy regarding phishing scams, please visit our website or give us call at (303) 458-6660.

08 Sep

8 Ways to Protect Your Identity

8 Ways to Protect Your Identity

Having your identity stolen is not only unsettling, but can take years of frustration and red tape to fix. It will likely take a major toll on your credit score, wallet, and even well-being. To help avoid this nightmare from happening to you, we’ve compiled a list of the 8 best ways to protect your identity.

1. Protect your Social Security number.

This simple number can give thieves access to your credit reports, bank accounts, and a number of other pieces of important personal information. Don’t keep your Social Security Card on your person, in your phone, or anywhere it can be easily stolen. Your card should be stored in a secure location and digits kept a secret.

2. Use strong passwords and change them frequently.

Avoid using easy-to-guess passwords including birthdays, common phrases, and names of schools or workplaces. Strong passwords usually consist of a long combination of letters and at least one uppercase letter, number, and symbol. It is best to use different passwords for all accounts and change them frequently to avoid being targeted.

3. Monitor and review financial statements.

Periodically check the vendors and retailers on your credit and debit card statements to ensure you recognize them. Report any suspicious activity or charges to your bank or credit card company as soon as possible.

4. Destroy records and credit card statements.

Make sure you shred documents containing sensitive information and, if you are keeping hard copies for your records, store them somewhere secure. Don’t throw away bank or credit card statements as they may contain private financial information that could be used by identity thieves.

5. Don’t fall for phishing scams.

Don’t give out personal information to unknown callers, in email, or to unfamiliar websites. These scams usually claim to be from a trustworthy company that you know, like a bank or popular company. It is always better to double check that an inquiry is legitimate by calling the company yourself and verifying before giving out any personal information.

6. Secure your mobile device.

Although phones are easy places to store information, avoid keeping passwords or important information in them, like bank account numbers or your social security number. Ensure the highest protection by locking your device with a passcode and don’t leave it unaccompanied in public places.

7. Check your credit report.

There are three major credit reporting bureaus that are required to give you one free credit report a year, each. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Utilize them all and check your credit once every few months to keep up to date and review information. If you notice suspicious activity, contact your credit card company immediately.

8. Get Kasasa Protect™.

Worrying about identity and credit theft can be exhausting; that’s why we offer Kasasa Protect. Kasasa Protect is a comprehensive identity protection and restoration solution available to add to your RMLEFCU checking account. It provides you peace of mind by offering 24/7 credit monitoring, identity theft protection, restoration services, and more. Check out our account services to learn more and register today!

Although there are many more ways to protect your identity, by following these simple steps you can greatly decrease your risk of identity theft and fraud. It is better to be proactive in protecting your information than dealing with the headache of a stolen identity after the fact.

11 Nov

Kasasa Protect is Equal Parts Security Guard, Investigator and Crisis Manager

What is your Identity Theft Prevention Plan?

Do you have a plan in place if someone opened up multiple accounts in your name? If identity theft has happened to you, do you remember how much time and energy you spent trying to clear your name? How many phone calls and forms did you fill out? Do you have time to simultaneously monitor your credit report and online records? Even if you have the time, do you feel confident that you’ve taken all the necessary steps to safeguard your personal information?

These questions are uncomfortable, yes, but so is being unprepared for identity theft. Thankfully, RMLEFCU members with Kasasa accounts, and even those without, are eligible to sign up for Kasasa Protect. Kasasa Protect is a comprehensive identity protection and restoration solution available for a low price of $8 a month for Kasasa accounts and $12 each month for non-Kasasa account holders.

How Kasasa Protect is like a Security Guard

Kasasa dedicates employees to monitor your credit card accounts and credit reports so they can immediately alert you to any suspicious activity. Kasasa Protect uses 24/7 Credit Monitoring to keep you informed of any changes related to:

  • Loan data
  • Inquiries about your credit history
  • New accounts opened in your name
  • Judgments
  • Liens

A unique feature is Kasasa Protect’s Monthly Credit Score & Tracker.

Benefits include:

  • Kasasa employees regularly review your credit score, helping you stay on top of your credit
  • You can avoid the cost of pulling full credit reports
  • Kasasa monitors trends over time to find out what is changing your score
How Kasasa Protect is like an Investigator

Kasasa performs Dark Web monitoring by scanning millions of international sources in real time. They also quickly pinpoint stolen data that could identify you, such as a social security number or medical identification numbers.

How Kasasa Protect acts as a Crisis Manager

Say you lose your wallet. Kasasa Protect steps up with their Lost Wallet Protection features:

  • One convenient point of contact handles cancellation and replacement of all your important documents
  • Restoration through Kasasa includes: your cards, licenses, social security cards, insurance cards, passports, military IDs, and even traveler’s checks

If your personal information is compromised, Kasasa acts as Crisis Manager with Identity Restoration. Their experts work to get you peace of mind, providing helpful advice and resolution services as soon as the fraud has occurred. Certified specialists file, dispute, and resolve issues with your credit card companies and can file fraud alerts, place credit freezes and notify authorities on your behalf.

Finally, Kasasa Protect understands you may be interested in the service and not interested in being locked into a service contract. No problem. You can enroll in Kasasa Protect contract free. Ask your RMLEFCU representative how to enroll or go online to put Kasasa Protect to work for you.

09 Feb

Your Identity Has Been Stolen, Now What?

2.9.16 blog picOur January 13th blog post, “5 Ways to Avoid Having Your Identity Stolen” recommended pro-active steps with an emphasis on organization to stop identity theft from the earliest moment possible. In this blog post, let’s assume the worst has happened: your identity has been stolen.  Perhaps the thief has already used your information to open new credit card account? As soon as you are aware, what do you do to minimize the damage?

  1. Put a Fraud Alert on Your Credit Reports 

A fraud alert notifies lenders and creditors to take extra steps to verify your identity before extending credit. To place a 90-day fraud alert on all three of your credit reports, you only need to contact one of the three credit reporting agencies (ExperianEquifax, or TransUnion).

A fraud alert is great, but we recommend placing a security freeze on your credit reports. A freeze prevents creditors (except those with whom you already do business) from accessing your credit report(s)

  • Experia: https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html
  • Equifax: https://www.freeze.equifax.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp
  • TransUnion:https://freeze.transunion.com/sf/securityFreeze/landingPage.jsp

When you place a fraud alert on your credit reports, you’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three agencies.

  1. Contact Any Institution Directly Affected

For example, if you know your credit card was stolen, report the theft to the credit card issuer. If your checkbook was stolen, contact your bank. Don’t waste your time calling any of the individual retailers where your card was used. That’s like complaining to your neighbors when your mail gets delivered to their house. Your best bet is to take it up with the postal carrier.

This step was also referenced in our prevention focused blog post as #1 “Photocopy the contents of your wallet.” However, your thief may have decided to branch out and open brand new accounts with companies that you’ve never heard of, so be prepared to seek out their phone numbers online.

  1. Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

File an Identity Theft Affidavit and create an Identity Theft Report. You can file your report online, by phone: 1-877-ID THEFT (877-438-4338);

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