Recent Scams and Fraud Alerts
What are the risks associated with mobile device apps?
Applications (apps) on your smartphone or other mobile devices can be convenient tools to access the news, get directions, pick up a ride share, or play games. But these tools can also put your privacy at risk. Click here for a helpful article from the CISA and learn more about how you can avoid malicious apps and limit the information apps collect about.
Pandemic Related Scams are on the Rise
From malware-laden emails to fake donations, to scammers looking to take advantage of people waiting for stimulus checks, you need to be aware of scammers taking advantage during the current public health crisis.
Read more about coronavirus scams here.
There has also been a surge in criminal activity on mobile channels - from misinformation spread through chat groups, to malicious fake coronavirus tracking apps that can take control of your phone, and phony government relief scam texts. The following PDF infographic outlines some some of the types of scams you should be on the lookout for: Coronavirus Mobile Scam Alert
- Just remember, be cautious and...
- Never click on links from texts or emails you weren’t expecting.
- Be wary of anything that triggers your emotions, good or bad.
- Avoid clicking on links in WhatsApp or other channels.
- Only trust reputable sources and if in doubt, verify.
- The more educated we all are, the more aware you'll be if you happen to come across a scam or attempt of someone trying to steal your identity, finances, or other personal information.
Stay on top of all the recent scams reported to the FTC here.
Articles are available for you to read in greater detail and perform a search to find out any specific information you may be looking for. Click the article links below to learn more.
Fraud and Scams
- Watch Out for Covid-19 Scams
- Online Dating Scams
- Microsoft 365 Users Targeted with Fake Voicemails
- How to Avoid a Scam
- Scam of the Week: Beware of Copyright Scammers
- KnowBe4 Security Tips - Holiday and Seasonal Scams
- How to Be Prepared for Future Security Threats
- What Does a Fraudster Look Like?
- What Is Identity Theft
- How to File a Report with the FTC
- Top 10 Financial Scams Targeting Seniors
- Tech Support Scams
- Get Rich Scams
- 6 Steps to Avoid Pet Scams and Getting Your Heart Broken
- Your Complete Guide to Identity Theft Protection
Prevent Your Personal Information from Being Lost or Stolen
Identity theft occurs when someone else obtains your name, Social Security Number, and other personal information to gain access to your accounts or set up fake accounts. It can result in loss of funds and a significant amount of time and effort to get things cleared up. MIT Federal Credit Union takes the responsibility of protecting your personal information seriously, and we encourage you to protect your personal information by following these steps.
- Shred all mail or documents with personal information. We hear about data breaches regularly, much of it relating to online data breaches. But human error is also a significant contributor to breaches and the related exposure of your personal information. Services like e-Statements and online bill pay drastically reduce the amount of actual paper traveling around with your personal data, which in turn reduces your risk.
- Be suspicious of e-mails, text messages, and other communications that ask for sensitive personal and account information. If you question the validity of mail, texts, or any communication you receive, whether from MIT FCU or another company, make a quick call to them (not using the number provided since that could also be fake). You can then validify the message directly with the company before giving the requested information. Remember: MIT FCU will NEVER call or e-mail you asking you for your account information. Suspicious about something you received from us? Call our Member Services department at 781.423.202 or e-mail us at email@example.com.
- Be cautious when you conduct business. Only reveal personal information that is necessary for your transaction. Our employees at MIT FCU receive ongoing training to use established procedures that monitor activity and help prevent security breaches.
- Don't carry your Social Security card, passport, or birth certificate. Keep them in a safe place at home or in a safe/security box. When you're traveling, or just out shopping, only carry the cards you expect to use, or use a wallet pay system and leave your credit cards at home. Also, make a list of your credit cards and emergency phone numbers. This way, if your credit cards are stolen, you'll have immediate access to important phone numbers for reporting purposes. Keep that list in a place separate from your credit cards! When relying on a wallet pay system, remember that not all retailers or countries recognize that system, so have a backup plan or an emergency card with you.
- Monitor your credit report annually for fraudulent activity. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) allows you to receive a free copy of your credit report from each reporting agency (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) every 12 months. You can do this by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com and clicking the "Request your free credit reports" button. Starting in 2020 and running through 2026, everyone in the U.S. can receive an additional six free credit reports per year by visiting the Equifax website or calling 866.349.5191. That's in addition to the three free reports which are available through www.annualcreditreport.com. From Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. To read more visit The Fair Credit Reporting Act page. Protect your mobile device. To ensure that data accessed through your mobile device is secure, especially if the device is misplaced, stolen, or compromised, we recommend the following:
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- Use a PIN with a combination of letters, numbers and special characters
- The timeout option for the PIN should be selected
- Passwords should be changed periodically, such as every three months
- If possible, enable encryption on the device
- Install anti-virus software