During this time when the Coronavirus is on everyone’s mind, criminals are also using this as an opportunity to prey on the fears of consumers. Please be on alert for the following:
- Fake Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), or even financial institution emails asking for your personal information. LBS Financial Credit Union will never email or text you asking for your personal financial information. Please contact us right away if you do receive such a request that appears to be from the Credit Union.
- Health advice emails with a link that may download malicious software on your device.
- Workplace policy emails that look legitimate about a company’s Coronavirus policy but have links that may download malicious software on your device.
- Online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores.
- Be wary of charities asking for money. Make sure to do your homework on the charity and ensure they are legitimate.
- Non-Delivery Scams where criminals are “selling” in-demand medical supplies online that you will never receive.
- Deed Transfer to Third Party. Scammers have told homeowners that by transferring the deed to their home to a third party, they will no longer be responsible for their mortgage payments. This is NOT true.
- Intentional Default. Scam artists urge homeowners to not pay their mortgage in order to get a loan modification. While there is no right to a loan modification, the terms and standards for a loan modification are always determined by the mortgage loan servicer – no one else.
- Advance Fee Scams. Do NOT pay anyone asking for upfront/advance fees for loan modification services or mortgage forbearance services.
Please visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website for updated information.
Consumers can pull their credit report for free once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus. We’d recommend that you obtain one report at a time, spread out over the course of the year. This allows you to gain information on your credit throughout the year rather than all at once, so you are informed if anything new is reported. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to get started.
You may also obtain a free credit report if it was used to deny you a product or service. Consumers may also obtain credit reports at any time by paying a small fee to the credit reporting agencies.
LBS Financial, like almost all major financial institutions, reports loan-related information to Equifax and the other two major credit reporting bureaus. In 2017, Equifax announced a breach of security that impacted over 143 million people. Sensitive consumer data, including names, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and addresses could’ve been accessed. You can see Equifax’s report of the breach at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.
The impact of this breach may take years to realize as criminals sell information and may be holding it for a period of time before they start to use it.
You can add a code word to use when calling the Credit Union as an additional verification step. Continue to review your account statements regularly and discuss anything unusual with the Credit Union immediately. You may even opt to reach out to each of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Transunion, and Experian) and place a freeze on your credit. This can ensure no one else opens new credit in your name (and you can remove the freeze when you need to apply for new credit).
Thwart Identity Theft
Thwart Identity Theft
Don’t let a thief steal your identity! Here are a few simple tips to keep them away:
- A lost or stolen wallet is a goldmine of information. Don’t carry extra credit cards, checks, Social Security card and even health insurance cards. Be sure to photocopy everything that’s left, being careful to record emergency phone numbers. Keep these copies in a very safe place.
- Use LBS Financial Direct Deposit for any checks that are mailed to you on a regular basis.
- Before revealing personal identifying information, find out how it will be used and if it will be shared with others. Does your local video store really need to know your social security number? How about your gym?
- Pay attention to your billing cycles. Follow up with creditors if bills do not arrive on time. Review them each month to identify any unusual charges. Thieves sometimes test you prior to making a large hit.
- Order a free copy of your credit report from the three credit reporting agencies every year. Make sure it’s accurate and includes only those activities you’ve authorized. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to download your free annual reports.
- Use a cross-cut shredder to destroy charge receipts, credit applications and offers, insurance forms, bank checks and statements.
LBS Financial Credit Union does everything in its power to keep your personal information just that, personal. Be sure to use the tips above to help thwart this growing concern. Also, visit www.identitytheft.gov
In the Event of Theft
In the Event of Theft
If you notice transactions on your LBS Financial Credit Union account(s) that do not belong to you, please contact us immediately to investigate. Additional steps are below if you find yourself a victim of fraud or identity theft.
- Report any actual theft to your local police department and deliver us a copy of the police report.
- Report the breach to the three major credit bureaus.
- Alert the Social Security Administration’s Fraud Hotline and the DMV of the data breach.
- File a complaint with the Internet Fraud Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov/.
Protecting yourself at the ATM is critical. Some ATMs may have skimming devices or cameras placed by criminals trying to capture your card information and personal identification number (PIN). Follow these steps and check out our short video.
- Make sure the ATM is secure
- Cover your hand when you enter your PIN
- Check statements for unusual purchases