How to Protect Yourself
Utilizing technology when conducting banking business provides members with convenient tools to help them manage their finances 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With this new technology come new forms of fraud. At ABE Federal Credit Union, we take every precaution to safeguard your personal and financial information, but we also urge our members to do their part in safeguarding their information.
Scams and Identity Theft
Knowing What Types of Fraud Can Occur Can Help You
At ABE Federal Credit union we take every precaution we can to safeguard and protect your personal and confidential information. We also urge our members to educate themselves on the different types of fraudulent activity that could occur. We believe the more you know the better prepared you will be at stopping fraud.
ABE Federal Credit Union will NEVER ask for confidential information through regular email. Further, ABE Federal Credit Union will NEVER ask you for your password or PIN through email, text or via the telephone. Anyone who receives an email, text or phone call that claims to be from ABE Federal Credit Union and asks for confidential information should contact us.
How to Recognize Fraud Through Phishing Emails and Text Messages
Beware of phishing emails. Phishing is a form of fraud that occurs when someone tries to send an email or text message pretending to be from a legitimate retailer, financial institution, organization or government agency. The sender is trying to get your personal information or asking you to confirm, update or validate your personal information through a web site or phone number. Stay alert even if the phone number or email address is one you are familiar with or identifies as ABE Federal Credit Union(phone number, links and email addresses can be faked), The message usually contains a consequence or threat like if you do not follow the instructions (i.e. your account will be frozen, your account will close) or it may state that you have been a victim of identity theft and ask for your information in order to protect you. Don’t take the bait! Do not provide your personal or financial information if you receive one of these messages. Inquire about the message you received and notify the company that you have received it. There is never any harm in questioning a message even if it is a legitimate one. And remember – no one should be asking you for your personal or financial information unless you initiated the contact/request in the first place.
Do not click on pop-ups or downloads from sites that are not familiar, the same goes for emails. Do not click on links, downloads or other attachments from emails or sites that you do not trust. The links, downloads or attachments could contain malicious software or viruses that could damage your computer or extract personal information from your computer. It is always a good idea to run some type of a virus protect software on your computer.
Make sure your online shopping sites are secure. All shopping sites should be SSL secure before you make any purchases. All SSL sites will have a “s” in there URL and look like this “https:”. They will also have a small padlock on the browser screen, usually found at the top or bottom of the screen.
Always officially log off any secure site and close the browser when you are done, especially if you are on a public computer. Never click the “Remember Me” feature on the websites login page or Remember phishing activity can take place anywhere. Phishing activity can take place by phone or mobile device or even by filling out surveys. The same rules apply so please be careful.
How to Recognize Fraud Through Vishing Attempts
Scammers can spoof phone numbers; this is known as Vishing. The phone number may come up as a number you recognize as your financial institution or other business. These scammers will look to trick you as posing as a representative of that business to get personal information. They may also as you to verify fake transactions or say there has been fraud on your account. ABE will never call you and ask you for this information. Do not give this information over the phone. Hang up and call your local branch or contact member services at 516-763-7502 or email us email@example.com
How to Recognize Fraud Through Fake Check Scams
The National Consumers League reports that fake check scams now rank as one of the top most common internet fraud scams. Fake check scams are clever ploys designed to steal your money. You can avoid becoming a victim by recognizing how the scam works and understanding your responsibility for the check you deposit in your account. If someone you don’t know wants to pay you by check but wants you to wire some of the money back BEWARE! It is a scam.
How do fake check scams work? There are many variations of these scams, but they usually start with someone offering to 1) buy something you advertised, 2) pay you to work at home, 3) give you an “advance” on a sweep stake you’ve won, or 4) give you the first payment on the millions you’ll receive for agreeing to transfer money in a foreign country to your bank account for safekeeping.
How do scammers get my money? The amount of the check or money order you receive may be more than you’re owed, so you’re instructed to deposit it and wire the rest to the scammer or someone else. Or you’re told to wire some of the money back to pay a fee to claim your “winnings”. Beware – whatever the setup, the result is the same – after you’ve wired the money, you find out that the check or money order was fraudulent.
Can ABE Federal Credit Union tell if the check or money order is good or not when I deposit it? These fakes look so real it is difficult to distinguish them from the real thing. Often times they look like they are from legitimate business accounts. The companies whose names appear may be real, but someone has altered the checks without their knowledge. Note: Under federal law, we must make the funds you deposit available usually within one to five days. But just because you can withdraw the funds does not mean the check is good. Forgeries can take weeks to be discovered. If you have withdrawn the funds and the check or money order is returned, you are responsible for those funds.
If you can answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you could be involved in a fraud or about to be scammed!
Is the check from an item you sold on the internet?
Is the amount of the check more than the item’s selling price?
Did you receive the check via an overnight delivery service?
Is the check drawn on a business or individual account that is different from the person buying your item or product?
Have you been informed that you were the winner of a lottery that you did not enter?
Have you been instructed to wire, send or ship money, as soon as possible, to a large U.S. city or to another country, such as Canada, England or Nigeria?
Are you receiving pay or a commission for facilitating money transfers through your account?
Did you respond to an email requesting you to confirm, update or provide your account information?
If you think someone is trying to pull a fake check scam, don’t deposit it – report it! Contact the National Fraud Information Center at fraud.org
Identity theft is a federal crime. It occurs when one person’s identification (which can include name, social security number or any account number) is used or transferred by another person for unlawful activities.
Prevention is the first step in minimizing your risk. Below are some guidelines for you to consider.
Identity Theft Prevention Guidelines:
Shred any papers with confidential information before you throw them out, including junk mail. Anything with an account number can be used in identity theft. This includes pre-screened credit card offers, receipts, canceled checks, bank statements, expired charge cards, doctors’ bills, and insurance documents.
Protect your Social Security number. Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write your Social Security number on a check. Give it out only if absolutely necessary or ask to use another identifier. Few institutions – businesses granting you credit, employers filling out tax forms for you, or government agencies – have any reasonable cause to know your Social Security number.
Carry as few cards with identification and personal information as possible. Many identity thefts are traced to having a purse or wallet stolen.
Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through email, or over the Internet unless you know who you are dealing with. Unless you initiated the call with the business, don’t give out any confidential information – such as your credit card number, Social Security number, bank account numbers, PIN, birth date, or even your mother’s maiden name.
Check your statement from ABE Federal Credit Union and other places as soon as you receive them and make sure there is no unexplained activity.
Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails; instead, type in a web address you know. Use firewalls, anti-spyware, and antivirus software to protect your home computer; keep them up-to-date.
Don’t use an obvious password like your birth date, your mother’s maiden name, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
Request a credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies every year. Many people don’t realize they are victims of identity theft until long after the initial crime occurred. Identity thieves often try to hide the crimes for as long as possible, so that they can access more money. To stop the crimes as soon as possible, make sure you carefully check your credit reports regularly. Your credit reports are important tools for limiting the amount of damage a thief can cause. To request your free credit report, visit our website at www.abefcu.org then click on Free Annual Credit Report under the Resources tab.
Steps for Victims of Identity Theft
If you believe you have been a victim of identity theft, please follow these important steps.
Report the fraud immediately to your creditors including your credit union, credit card companies, and mortgage company.
Be sure to keep records and document all communications with the creditors and government agencies you contact, include the date and the name of the person you were in contact with. Follow up all telephone contacts with a letter and keep a copy.
Carefully monitor the account activity on your statements. Report fraudulent activity to the issuing company immediately.
Place a fraud alert on your credit report. To do so, contact major credit bureaus:
Equifax – 800.525.6285
TransUnion – 800.680.7289
Notify Social Security Fraud Hotline – 800.269.0271
File a police report. Provide them with as much documentation as possible. Make sure that the accounts are listed on the police report and request a copy of the police report.
Notify the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – 877.438.4338
Protecting Your Information
Credit & Debit Card Fraud Safety Information
We have a 3rd party fraud monitoring service that monitors both our VISA and MasterCard cardholder transactions
If suspicious or unusual activity is identified (for example an unusually large purchase, or multiple transactions within a small period of time, etc.) members can be contacted via phone to verify the validity of a transaction.
Cardholders may be asked to verify specific identifiable information or asked an “out of wallet” question such as ‘where do you typically shop, get gas’ etc.
It is imperative we have updated/current phone numbers on file so that cardholders can receive accurate and prompt service and resolution.
If it is determined that a transaction is legitimate no action will be taken. If a transaction is confirmed to be fraudulent the call will be directed to a fraud specialist.
If we cannot verify the transaction or we are unable to reach the member the card could be blocked from future transactions until we are able to verify the validity of the transaction.
Notification of travel is essential to prevent declines or blocks.
Keep Your Information Secure Online
It is important to remember that managing your finances also includes protecting your information and developing smart, safe habits when handling your financial and personal information.
Do not share your information with anyone unless you initiated the contact. This means that you should never provide your personal and financial information over the phone, via email, or through the Internet unless you originally initiated the contact.
Store your Social Security Card, account numbers, PINs (Personal Identification Numbers), user IDs, and passwords in a secure place where people cannot access them.
Choose passwords and PINs that are difficult to guess and change them on a regular basis. Also, do not share your passwords and PINs with anyone.
Check your account statements on a regular basis. An excellent way to monitor your accounts is through ABEFCU Online or Mobile Banking where you can access your accounts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Know your billing cycles to make sure you receive your bills. If there is any interruption in receiving your bills, contact the billing company immediately.
Consider going paperless with electronic statements. Electronic statements allow you to stop receiving paper statements and receive them electronically. We suggest you check with each company, though, to verify that its statements are sent to you through a secure system. Learn more and sign up for eStatements through your account online.
Consider paying your bills electronically and skip sending your payments through the mail. As with electronic statements, we suggest that you check with your billing companies to make sure that their bill payment sites and systems are safe and secure. Set up your payments through ABEFCU Bill Pay.
Shred your mail and any papers that have personal information and/or financial information on them; this includes credit card statements, credit union statements, offers for pre-approved credit, etc.
Store new checks in a secure place. In addition, if you are expecting new checks, always make sure you receive them in a timely manner.
Do not include your driver’s license number, Social Security number, or phone number on pre-printed checks. Always check your mailbox for new mail. If you notice that you have stopped receiving mail, contact your post office immediately. It is also a good practice to send outgoing mail through the post office directly or a secure post office box.
Request a hold on your mail and/or newspaper if you are planning to be away from your home for an extended period of time. Contact your post office to do so. In addition, you can also contact us to setup a seasonal address for your accounts.
Request a credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies every year. Review your credit reports to make sure they are accurate and include only activities you’ve authorized. To request your free credit report, visit our website at www.abefcu.org then click on Free Annual Credit Report under the Resources tab.
ATM & Debit Card Safety
Always protect your debit card and keep it in a safe place, just like you would cash, credit cards or checks.
Sign the back of your card immediately upon receipt.
Destroy your old card when it expires or when your new card becomes effective.
Memorize your PIN (Personal Identification Number) and do not write it on the back of your card or keep it in your wallet or purse. You should keep a written record of it in a secure location entirely separate from your card.
Do not share your debit card or PIN information with anyone.
Always save your receipts, so you can compare them with your monthly statement.
Prevent others from seeing you enter your PIN by using your body to shield their view.
Beware of your surroundings at the ATM at all times. If you notice anything suspicious at the ATM, cancel your transaction, pocket your card and leave the ATM immediately. If you are at a drive-up ATM, make sure all of the car doors are locked and all of the windows are rolled up, except the driver’s window. Keep the engine running and remain alert to your surroundings.
Don’t display your cash upon receipt; pocket it or put it in your purse immediately.
Report any problems with the ATM to the operator of the facility. Report any suspicious activity to the operator and the local law enforcement officials immediately.
Remember, do not leave your card, cash or receipt at the ATM.
Never enter your PIN in any ATM that does not look genuine, has been modified, has a suspicious device attached, or is operating in a suspicious manner.
Don’t accept assistance from anyone you do not know or who is not an employee of the financial institution.
Online Banking Safety
Make sure the Online Banking site is secure with SSL security before you conduct any transactions. Two signs will confirm this SSL security: 1) when you are in our site or any secure site the URL will look like this “https://” and include an “s” and 2) a small padlock will appear in your browser’s screen, typically at the bottom or top of your screen.
Always log out of the web site and close the browser when you are finished.
Never access your Online Banking on a public computer at Internet cafés, public libraries, etc. You do not know if malicious software has been downloaded onto the computers.
Recognize the site that you are entering, if site looks unexpectedly different do not enter site. If something looks strange or our website does not have the https or secure lock, do not log in to your account, and contact us.
Never leave a computer unattended while using your online banking, or any secure website.
Change your password when instructed and make sure the new password differs from the old one. Your password should be difficult to guess and include a combination of letters, numbers and symbolds. ABEFCU users have access to change their passwords as often as they would like for extra security and protection.
Verify that electronic statements are sent using a secure system. A member will only receive an email from ABE Federal Credit Union stating that their eStatement is available for viewing.
Safeguarding Your Computer and Mobile Device
Set your computer’s operating system, if possible, to receive automatic updates. If you are unable to do this automatically, you can download and install updates on a regular basis. It is also a good idea to make sure you are using the most current version of your Internet browser.
Use up-to-date antivirus and personal firewall software on your computer.
Back up important computer files on a regular basis.
Store your user IDs, and passwords in a secure place. Do not store them on your computer or mobile device.
Clear your cookies and cache on your computer or mobile device on a regular basis.
Don’t use public chargers or wifi at places like airports.
Do not click on pop-ups or other downloads from sites you are not familiar with or do not trust. The same goes for emails – do not click on links, downloads, and/or attachments in emails from users you do not know or trust.
Make sure any online shopping sites are secure with SSL security before you make any online purchases. Two signs will confirm that SSL security is in use: 1) the URL will have a “s” in it and look like this “https://” and 2) a small padlock will appear in your browser’s screen, typically at the bottom or top of your screen.
Do not interrupt your online session by clicking on another site when you are completing a transaction online. Always complete the transaction and then log out of the site before you move on to another web site.
Always officially log out of any e-commerce or financial site when you are done with the site and then close the browser window. Do not click the “remember me” check box on a web site’s login page.
Never access bank, brokerage, or other financial services information on a public computer at Internet cafés, public libraries, etc. You do not know if malicious software has been downloaded onto the computers.
How We Protect You
At ABE Federal Credit Union protecting your personal and financial information is one of our top priorities. We have safe-guard procedures implemented in all of our systems. We monitor these procedures regularly to make sure they maintain their integrity and effectiveness.
Utilizing technology when conducting banking business provides members with convenient tools to help them manage their finances 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With this new technology come new forms of fraud. At ABE Federal Credit Union, here is how we are taking every precaution to safeguard your personal and financial information.
Our Mobile Secure Message option or Online Banking Secure Support are other great way to send personal and account information to the credit union that is also safe and secure. (Utilizes SSL technology) We will respond to your message using the Secure Message option, so all of our response will be safe and secure as well.
Our eStatements are never sent out, only an email stating that your eStatement is available to be viewed.
ABE Federal Credit Union uses firewalls to help limit entry by anyone without proper authorization. A firewall is a security mechanism that regulates the data going in and out of a network. It acts as a shield against data going in or out of a network. It checks to make sure that the communications only occur between approved individuals and that the communication is in proper protocol.
Third Party Sites
ABE Federal Credit Union does not guarantee the products or services offered on third party sites. You should review the privacy statement of each web site before you provide personal or confidential information. No representation is made, however, regarding the unconditional security of such submissions.
To Report Your Card Lost or Stolen:
ATM or Debit Card: (516) 763-7580
Credit Card: (844) 210-0494