Unity One CU Informs: The 12 Scams of Christmas

shutterstock_147621878-web.jpgBlack Friday and Cyber Monday mark the official beginning to the holiday season. These days are popular with both consumers and cybercriminals alike. To help protect your information, here are some of the most common holiday season scams as written in the Credit Union Times:

1. Black Friday/Cyber Monday Specials. Scammers often send fake emails with deep discounts on big ticket items, to lure consumers into clicking on the links. They then steal sensitive information like your credit card number to commit fraud. 

2. Free vouchers or gift cards. A common scam involves big discounts on gift cards. Social media site posts also offer phony vouchers. Users who clicked through to those shared links are often brought to phony websites with online surveys designed to steal personal information.

3. Postal delivery failures. In this scam, consumers receive bogus emails with subject lines such as, "USPS Delivery Failure Notification." These emails then trick consumers into clicking the link to find out when they can expect a delivery. Clicking on the link activates a virus, which can steal personal information such as user names and passwords. 

4. Ransomware, DDoS and site overload. In a typical extortion campaign, targeted businesses receive an email threatening a DDoS attack on the company's website unless they pay a ransom. DDoS attacks result in damaging consequences, including lowered customer confidence and lost revenue.

5. Fake coupons and refunds. A fake coupon and refund scam often circulates through emails that appear to come from a hotel or retailer. It claims a "wrong transaction" occurred and asks victims to click for a refund, triggering a malware infection on the victim's device.

6. Phishing on the Dark Side. A new email has begun circulating that tricks people into thinking they could win movie tickets for the highly-anticipated film, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." However, the email is a phishing attack in disguise.

7. Charity tricksters. Making a donation on the wrong site can mean inadvertently funding cybercrime or terrorism. Consumers should be skeptical of communications that ask for contributions and make sure they are legitimate.

8. Extra holiday money. The most innocent versions of these scams collect confidential information such as Social Security numbers from victims on required forms, and then later on used by cybercriminals to commit identity theft. 

9. The search trap. Bad guys do their research to find out what consumers want, then they build websites that promise the item to their victims. To get more traffic to the sites, they ensure that they pop up on search engines. These sites contain malware, and experts recommend that consumers update their web browsers to alert them of unsafe sites.

10. Open Wi-Fi. Scammers trick shoppers by emitting what appears to be a free Wi-Fi signal. If the shopper hops on it, the scammer can gain access to his or her credit card information. Experts advise consumers to never complete a credit card transaction while using a public Wi-Fi connection.

11. Grinch e-card greetings. These malicious email attachments look like an e-greeting card from a friend or co-worker, but they contain malware that could infect the recipient's device.

12. Not so secure EMV cards. The Federal Trade Commission reported scammers are trying to take advantage of the millions of consumers who haven't received chip cards by emailing them and posing as card issuers. These fraudsters coerce victims to share personal information or install malware on their devices. 

Learn more about CHIP CARDs.

About Unity One Credit Union

Established in 1927, Unity One Credit Union is the oldest credit union in Texas. A member-driven and not-for-profit cooperative, Unity One CU served the employees and families of the BNSF Railway for 70 years. However, after transferring its corporate headquarters to Fort Worth in 1998, the credit union expanded its field of membership to include other non-railroad companies, organizations and individuals. 

Today, anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Fort Worth, Blue Mound, Saginaw, Haslet, Keller, Colleyville, Bedford, North Richland Hills, Southlake, St. Paul, MN and Kansas City, KS may apply for membership. Unity One CU has eight branches to serve over 30,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™

Credit union informs: Five tips for safe online shopping

Safe online shoppingWorried about shopping online - safely?

You're not alone. In the wake of cybersecurity breaches at major retailers, such as Target and Home Depot, many people are fearful of debit/credit card fraud or identity theft. 

Here are some tips to keep your personal information private while shopping online:

1. Be careful what you click. Think that ridiculously low-priced gift is too good to be true? It probably is. Phishing scams - the attempt to steal sensitive information - run rampant during the holiday season. If you are not familiar with the sender of the email, do not open or click the links. Doing so may jeopardize your personal information.  

2. Read the fine print. While not the most enjoyable way to spend your time, reading the fine print can help you avoid unnecessary fees. If you don't, you could end up in an automatic subscription without realizing it. With some club fees charging upwards of $40/month, reading the fine print could net you big savings.

3. Update your social media profile. Posting too much information on social media can make you an easy target for identity theft. Avoid sharing information such as your birthday and maiden name. Thieves can use this information to piece together a partial Social Security number or credit card number. 

4. Check for the 'S' in the web address. As long as the 's' is present, the site is secure. 

5. Don't save card information on e-commerce websites. Make sure criminals won't have easy access to your information by choosing not to save your card information. Also make sure to log out and close your browser each time you leave a shopping site or payment account. 

 

ABOUT UNITY ONE CREDIT UNION

Established in 1927, Unity One Credit Union is the oldest credit union in Texas. A member-driven and not-for-profit cooperative, Unity One CU served the employees and families of the BNSF Railway for 70 years. However, after transferring its corporate headquarters to Fort Worth in 1998, the credit union expanded its field of membership to include other non-railroad companies, organizations and individuals.

Today, anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Fort Worth, Blue Mound, Saginaw, Haslet, Keller, Colleyville, Bedford, North Richland Hills, Southlake, St. Paul, MN and Kansas City, KS may apply for membership. Unity One CU has seven branches to serve over 30,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™ www.unityone.org


Credit union informs: Prevent holiday-related identity theft

Holiday fraud preventionUnity One Credit Union informs its members and friends of simple steps for holiday-related identity theft prevention. According to CNBC, here are four tips for more safe holiday shopping:

1. Bogus websites with screaming deals: It's a holiday tradition—identity thieves create bogus sites with beautiful graphics and amazingly low prices on popular, but nonexistent digital devices. Take the bait and you won't get your merchandise and the crooks will have your credit card number and other personal information.

Protect yourself: Do your homework. If this is your first interaction with a new merchant, check them out before you provide any personal information. How long have they been around? Are they rated by the Better Business Bureau? Beware of prices that are significantly cheaper than everywhere else. It could be a trap.

2. Digital greeting cards loaded with merry malware: You expect to get holiday e-cards from friends and family. Identity thieves send out seasonal greetings, too. But theirs are loaded with viruses and other malware. Their spambots use social media sites to send booby-trapped greeting cards that look like they're from someone you know.

Protect yourself: Don't click the links in the body of an email alerting you to an e-card and don't open any attachment. You can always check to see if that person really did send you a card. The safest way to get an e-card is to go to the greeting card company's site and put in the card number listed in the email.

3. Bogus shipping notices: If you shop online and are expecting a package, a shipping notice doesn't seem that unusual. That's why the bad guys send out bogus shipping alerts designed to look like they're from FedEx, UPS or the U.S. Postal Service. They're hoping you'll click on the link which loads malware on to your machine or takes you to a phishing website they've created.

Protect yourself: Only use tracking numbers provided to you in the initial email you get right after you make the purchase. Go to the store's website to track any packages you're expecting.

4. Fake Black Friday or Cyber Monday ads: It's always fun to see the leaked ads for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That's why scammers create fake leaked ads. They contain links that direct you to a fraudulent website that installs malware.

Protect yourself: Stick with reputable sites that specialize in Black Friday ads.

Report Fraud

Credit union informs: Cybersecurity & Millenials

The Cybersecurity Lives of Millennials resized 600

About Unity One Credit Union

Established in 1927, Unity One Credit Union is the oldest credit union in Texas. A member-driven and not-for-profit cooperative, Unity One CU served the employees and families of the BNSF Railway for 70 years. However, after transferring its corporate headquarters to Fort Worth in 1998, the credit union expanded its field of membership to include other non-railroad companies, organizations and individuals.

Today, anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Fort Worth, Blue Mound, Saginaw, Haslet, Keller, Colleyville, Bedford, North Richland Hills, Southlake, St. Paul, MN and Kansas City, KS may apply for membership. Unity One CU has seven branches to serve over 29,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™

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