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.

31 Jul

Try Mobile Payments for a Faster, More Secure Way to Pay

Mobile Payments

Everyone these days has a smartphone, so why not use it to take advantage of the ability to make mobile payments for everything from groceries to online shopping? Not only is making a payment with your smartphone quick, but it will actually cut down on your risk of having your credit card information stolen. Your debit/credit card never has to leave your pocket and the merchant never has access to your information.

Easy to Set Up

Most smartphones come with an application to set up mobile payments, whether it be Apply Pay, Android Pay, Visa Checkout, or Samsung Pay. Add one or more of your debit/credit cards by entering the required information (card number, expiration, etc.) and save it your phone. It takes just about as long to set it up as it takes to make a purchase online, but you only have to do it once!

Better Protection Against Fraud

Each time you use a mobile payment instead of swiping your card, you decrease your chance of falling victim to credit card fraud. The merchant will never see your physical card and your unencrypted credit card information will never enter their system.

By not swiping your card, your risk of falling victim to a skimmer is eliminated as well. It is not uncommon for thieves to attach secondary skimmers to credit card readers and save your information to their machine in addition to the merchant’s device you intended to use. By not swiping your card, you will not have to risk your information being skimmed in this way.

Convenience

With mobile payments from your smartphone, your payment process will be cut down to a fraction of the time it typically takes with a chip card. No fishing through your wallet, swiping, waiting, entering your pin, waiting, then waiting some more as the clerk prints out your receipt. With mobile payments you simply place your phone over the cashier’s receiver and viola! You can grab your things and be on your way.

Have you ever been on your way to the store and realized you forgot your credit card? Or worse, gotten all the way to cash register and realized you won’t be able to pay for your items? With mobile payments, as long as you’ve got your smartphone by your side (and come on, who doesn’t) you will always have a way to pay.

Faster and More Secure

Add your credit and debit cards to your smartphone’s mobile payment app and benefit from both heightened security and enhanced convenience. Your financial information will never leave your hands and your time spent waiting on cash registers just got all but eliminated!

06 Apr

EMV and You: What You Need to Know

What does EMV stand for?

The acronym stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa, the three organizations that developed the initial specifications. EMV was set up to be a widely implemented system for smart card payments. The EMV specifications were developed to make sure chip-based payment cards and terminals could interact.

Why was EMV technology developed?

Unlike a magnetic stripe card, it is virtually impossible to create a counterfeit EMV card that can be used to conduct a successful EMV payment transaction.

How does EMV address fraud? Read More

27 Sep

Payment Industry Updates

EMV Chip CardThe news and social media have been highlighting the upcoming change in the payment industry and EMV enabled cards. So we wanted to provide some information to our members about our role in this exciting change.

What is an EMV card?

EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa.

An EMV or “chip” enabled card is the same size as your current debit or credit card but is embedded with a unique data chip.

What are the benefits of an EMV card?

Added security: The chip adds another layer of security to cards when used at a chip card reader. During the transaction the chip produces a single-use code to validate the transaction that cannot be compromised to create other transactions.

Wider acceptance: Europe, Canada, Asia and South America have already embraced chip technology. So your card will be easier to use while traveling outside of the U.S.

When will I receive my new EMV card?

RMLEFCU is currently in the lengthy process to convert our cards to this new technology. We are hopeful that we will be able to finish the completion of this project by the end of 2016. When completed you will receive a new card when your old card is up for renewal or when requested by you.

We will be keeping all of our members posted on any new updates and sending out more user FAQ’s when the conversion is complete.

 

 

16 Apr

IRS Phishing Schemes and How to Protect Yourself

protect yourself from IRS phishing scams‘Twas the day before April 15th and tax bills were nigh and so the good people of the U.S. let out a collective sigh.

But the story doesn’t end there. Scammers are always trying out new methods to scare and intimidate Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer. Phishing is a term that developed in the 1990’s where online thieves used a wide net to fish for potential victims. It was commonplace for computer hackers to deliberately misspell words and hence the term “phishing” was coined to describe their scam.

There are many different types of phishing scams and other schemes using the IRS name. We will explain a common telephone scheme in this article. Click here to see the full list from IRS.gov! Read More