Financial Education Seminars
From time to time, NNMECU will host member seminars on a variety of financial topics. Depending on the subject, the information will be provided by NNMECU staff or by one of our trusted partners. Information on any upcoming sessions can be found here.
NADA Used Car Guides – click here
Identity theft is the fraudulent use of a person’s personal identifying information.
Often, identity thieves will use another person’s personal information, such as a Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, date of birth, or account number to open fraudulent new credit card accounts, charge existing credit card accounts, write share drafts, open share accounts, or obtain new loans.
They may obtain this information by:
- Stealing wallets that contain personal identification information and credit cards.
- Stealing credit union statements from the mail.
- Diverting mail from its intended recipients by submitting a change of address form.
- Rummaging through trash for personal data.
- Stealing personal identification information from workplace records.
- Intercepting or otherwise obtaining information transmitted electronically.
Steps to Protect Your Privacy
- Do not share personal information, such as account numbers or social security numbers, over the telephone, through the mail, or over the Internet, unless you initiated the contact or know with whom you are dealing.
- Store personal information in a safe place and tear up old credit card receipts, ATM receipts, old account statements, and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.
- Protect your PINs and other passwords. Avoid using easily available information such as your mother’s maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your Social Security number, your phone number, as identity thieves can use this information to access your accounts.
- Carry only the minimum amount of identifying information and number of credit cards that you need.
- Pay attention to billing cycles and statements. Contact the credit union if you do not receive a monthly bill. It may mean that the bill has been diverted by an identity thief.
- Check account statements carefully to ensure all charges, share drafts, or withdrawals you authorized.
- Guard your mail from theft. If you have the type of mailbox with a flag to signal that the box contains mail, do not leave bill payment envelopes in your mailbox with the flag up. Instead, deposit them in a post office collection box or at the local post office. Promptly remove incoming mail. You eliminate the risk of stolen NNMECU statements by signing up for eStatements through our Online Banking. Our Bill Pay Service in Online Banking allows you to pay bills directly from your checking account, even while traveling.
If you suspect identity theft, you may need to place a fraud alert on your credit report, close compromised accounts, file a complaint with the FTC, or file a police report. Start by visiting the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) identity theft website or by calling their Identity Theft Hotline toll-free at 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338).
The FTC places the reported information into a secure consumer fraud database and shares it with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
Phishing and SMishing
Beware of Phishing! Don’t click on links in e-mails that ask for personal information. Never open unexpected attachments. Delete suspicious messages, even if you know the source.
Phishing is when internet fraudsters impersonate a business in an attempt to trick you into giving out your personal information, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details. Legitimate businesses don’t ask you to send sensitive information through insecure channels.
For example, a fraudulent email may state that NCUA will add money to the member’s account for taking part in a survey. The link embedded in the message directs members to a counterfeit version of NCUA’s website with an illicit survey that solicits credit card account numbers and confidential personal information. NCUA will never ask credit union members or the general public for personal account or personally identifiable information as part of a survey.
The term SMishing is a combination of “SMS” and phishing. SMishing uses cell phone text messages or SMS (Short Message Service) to deliver a message in order to get you to divulge your personal and financial information. The method used to obtain information in the text message may be a web site URL, however it has become more common to see a phone number that connects to an automated voice response system.
Unsolicited text messages sent to cell phones urge the recipient to call a number provided for information about account discrepancies and then solicits individual account information and pin numbers. Cell phone users should be wary of unsolicited text messages. Such messages should be deleted and all deleted text messages should be removed, if possible, as the perpetrators have been known to use Spyware1 in conjunction with their text message solicitation.
Online Shopping Tips
Here are five tips for shopping safely online:
- Choose to use credit. You probably don’t often hear advice to use a credit card instead of a debit card or cash, but if you can do it responsibly, you absolutely should. Credit cards offer protection from identity theft that debit cards don’t. For example, with a credit card, your liability for fraudulent charges caps at $50 as long as you report the fraud within 30 or 60 days (depending on the company). However, if you’re using your debit card online and someone gains access to it, they can clean out your checking account before you even learn there’s a problem. It’s likely you’ll get part of that money back, but possible that it can take a while, and that you won’t get it all. So, use a credit card instead and pay the bill off monthly.
- Disposable Is Better: Even better than using a credit card is to use a disposable gift card or travel money card. You add a specified dollar amount to the card, and it’s good until that is gone. Once it’s gone, you can add more if it’s a travel money card, or purchase a new one. And NNMECU offers both Visa gift cards and travel money cards! The bonus is that if the number from a disposable credit card is stolen, it’s anonymous, and criminals can’t gain access to anything more than the dollar amount that’s still available on the card.
- Verify Website Security: The variety that’s available when shopping online can be dizzying, but it doesn’t stop at just the products and prices that are available online. There are also different levels of security that are available online, and you want to be aware of them. Some online web sites don’t offer secure shopping. That means that savvy criminals can capture everything that you enter onto a form on those sites, including your personal and credit information. If you’re going to shop online, limit yourself to secure sites. You can tell if a site is secure by the URL.
A secure web site starts with HTTPS:// instead of HTTP://. Secure sites will also have a small lock icon in the lower right corner of the screen.
- Don’t Shop Publicly: If you plan to do any shopping online, do it at home. At home, you can shop in your pajamas and you can do it any time of the day or night. You also know who accesses your computer at home. If you’re using a public computer—at the library, at a cyber café, or at work—to do your shopping, you have no control over who might be using that computer as well. You also don’t have any control over what kind of spyware or malware might be infecting that computer. So, just don’t do it. Shop at home. It’s much safer.
- Don’t Store Information Elsewhere: Many shopping sites, even the major ones, offer you the ability to save your credit card information on their servers to speed the shopping process. Think Amazon.com’s OneClick shopping. It’s definitely faster, but there are some risks to maintaining your personal information elsewhere. If a company that you’re shopping with has a data breach, your personal information could be put at risk. It takes a little longer, but instead of storing your information on some server that you have no control over, just enter it yourself each time you shop.
Price and selection are two of the best benefits to shopping online. But don’t let the benefits lull you into complacency. Take the time to shop securely, and use caution with the sites that you choose to shop on. Then, not only can you find great deals, but you can do it without the worry that your identity will be stolen in the process.
Fraud Monitoring & Travel
NNMECU constantly monitors your accounts to give you peace of mind. Our Card Services Fraud Monitoring Center may contact you to verify transactions. If we are unable to reach you, your card and account may be blocked so it’s VERY IMPORTANT that we have your best contact information!
When traveling in the US, you’ll always have access to your account by utilizing one of our credit union partners through the Shared Branching Network. There are thousands of these locations across the country to serve you. To search for a shared branch location near you, click here.
Please notify us of your travel plans so that we may notate your account accordingly to help prevent your card from being declined for suspicious activity. For your convenience, you may print and complete this travel form and fax to 757-249-1202 ATTN: Katrina.