Security is a Top Priority
Member Fraud Alert: Phishing Attempt
Mail Theft Increase Leads to Check Fraud*August 16, 2022
Mail theft and armed robberies against U.S. Postal Service carriers have increased substantially throughout the country. The criminal's focus is to gain access to the master keys of the blue USPS mailboxes –ultimately in search for checks that can be altered, counterfeited, or sold online.
According to the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, mail theft complaints more than doubled from March 2020 to February 2021. The criminals rob mailboxes and mail carriers of the master keys to the blue mailbox drops to gain access to the mail. The criminals then sift through to locate checks that can be altered, counterfeited, or sold online. The checks can also be used to open fraudulent new accounts and loans using the name and address information for stolen identities.
What can you do?
- Sign up for estatements so you can electronically receive your account statements and notices
- Pay bills online or use our online banking Bill Pay service
- If your only option is to mail a check, do so inside the Post Office lobby rather than using blue mailboxes
- Log into your accounts frequently to review transaction history – looking for unfamiliar transactions
- Report unfamiliar and unauthorized transactions immediately to the credit union
Zelle® Fraud Alert
May 20, 2022
- Fraudsters pose as the credit union and send a text to the member about a suspicious debit card transaction.
- Once someone responds to the text, they will follow up with a call claiming to be the fraud department. They spoof the credit union’s phone number to make it appear legitimate. Spoofing is when criminals masquerade as a trusted entity to get you to do something beneficial to the fraudster. For example, they will copy a trusted business’ phone number or email address.
- The fraudster asks for the members username for online banking claiming that it is a form of authentication.
- Next, they tell the member that they will receive a passcode via text or email. They state that this code must be given to them to verify the member’s identity. In reality, they have initiated a forgot password feature and used that passcode to pass two-factor authentication.
- The fraudster logs in the member’s online banking and changes the password.
- Then, they begin to use Zelle to initiate fraudulent transfers to others.
- They inform the member that they will be receiving a text containing details of a Zelle transfer.
- They instruct the member to authorize the transfer claiming that this is how the refund of the previously mentioned “suspicious” transactions will occur.
- The member authorizes the transfer, and the funds go to another account/person.
- Be wary of calls or texts that appear to come from the credit union. If you are unsure or suspicious, hang up and call the credit union using a reliable number (520-887-5010).
- Never provide personal information in response to a text or phone call.
- No credit union employee will ask for personal information such as usernames, passwords, and passcodes.
Protecting Yourself at an ATM
- Remain aware of your surroundings, particularly at night. If you observe or sense suspicious person or circumstances, do not use the machine at that time.
- Prepare your transaction before you approach to minimize time spent at the ATM. Get down to business at the ATM. Fumbling for your card in front of the machine makes you vulnerable and takes your attention away from what is happening in the vicinity.
- If an ATM is hidden from public view (including overgrown shrubbery or landscaping), poorly lit, or ATM lights are not working; don’t use it and go to another ATM.
- Avoid using ATMs at night or take a companion with you if necessary. Park as close as possible to the ATM walk-up. When you have completed your transaction, leave the ATM as quickly as possible.
- If anyone or anything seems suspicious, cancel the transaction and leave immediately. Do not accept assistance from strangers when using an ATM.
- Do not count or visually display cash; instead, pocket it immediately when you complete the transaction, and take your card and receipt. Verify the cash when safe to do so.
- If anyone follows you after making an ATM transaction, go immediately to a crowded, well-lit area and call the police.
- If you are involved in a robbery situation while using the ATM, do not resist. Give the money to the suspect immediately. Contact the police when safe to do so.
- Protect your PIN and the privacy of your transaction by shielding the keypad while standing close to the ATM to prevent others behind you from observing your transaction detail.
- Always check your ATM receipt against your statements to identify any unauthorized transactions.
- Immediately report a lost or stolen ATM, debit, or credit card.
- Keep all doors locked on your vehicle, windows rolled up, and your engine running while using a drive-up ATM.
- Leave enough room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you to exit, should the need arise.
- Keep a close eye on your rear and side view vehicle mirrors during the transaction.
Member Communication – COVID-19
- The government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. No fees. No charges. No nothing.
- The government will not call to ask for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.
- These reports of checks aren’t yet a reality. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.
Fraudulent Activity Notice
- Regularly monitor your account statements and immediately report any suspected fraud.
- Before inserting your card, check any merchant or gas pump terminal carefully for skimming devices. If the card reader appears to have been tampered with, immediately report it to that organization’s management.
- Sign up for Debit Alerts, such as the service offered by Pima Federal.
- Be wary of utilizing ATMs not owned or affiliated with a financial institution.
- Utilize available tools and technology such as the Pima Federal mobile banking app or online banking site to have instant access to account activity and information.
It is suspected that these criminals may have obtained consumer information from one of the recent data breaches that had the potential to affect consumers nationwide, such as the Equifax breach. It is important to note that there is no evidence of a security breach at Pima Federal nor was our database compromised in any way.
This was an isolated incident for our credit union, however there have been reports of other financial institutions being affected. In our case, employees of the credit union were able to detect the suspected fraud early, thwarting any further efforts by this group. Immediately after the fraud was discovered, Pima Federal notified the affected member and quickly reconciled their account to prevent our member from experiencing a financial loss.
As always, please review your account activity on a regular basis, including revolving credit accounts such as home equity lines of credit, credit cards, and personal lines of credit, in order to detect potential misuse early.
Pima Federal’s top priority is our member’s safety and security.
Let's Protect Each Other!
Member Guide to Fraud and ID Theft
At Pima Federal, part of our mission is to “Protect Our Member-Owned Assets”. If you have experienced identity theft or fraud, here are some resources to help you protect your identity and credit history.
Contact the appropriate law enforcement agency for your residence. (Non-emergency phone numbers listed)
- Tucson Police Department – 520-791-4444 (8am–6pm)
- Pima County Sheriff – 520-351-4900
- Marana Police Department – 520-682-4032
- Oro Valley Police Department – 520-229-4900
- Springerville Police Department – 928-333-4240
- Eagar Police Department – 928-333-4127
- Apache County Sheriff – 928-337-4321
Replace any lost identification
- Arizona Identification
- 520-629-9808 (Tucson)
- Social Security
- Print forms and mail
- Resident Alien or Green Cards
- Military ID
- Report to your base Physical Security Officer or go through your chain of command
Credit History/Identity Theft
Contact the three credit bureaus to place Fraud “alerts” on your credit report
- Submit identity theft security alert
Remember to visit www.annualcreditreport.com to get copies of all three credit reports in 30-60 days to review for free.
Change any compromised passwords. For example: computer, home banking, Pima 24/7, personal identification number (PIN) for cards, etc.
If you close your checking account and/or VISA Debit card and open new ones due to fraud or theft, remember to update your new account information with the following entities as necessary:
- Employer’s Payroll/HR department to change your direct deposit information.
- All companies that take recurring automatic debits by electronic check, ACH, or debit cards to update your new account information or card number.
- For example: gym membership, Netflix service, TEP bill, bill pay service, etc.
- Password protect your mobile device and set your device to auto lock.
- When not in use, store your mobile device in a secure location.
- Be cautious when using unsecured, public Wi-Fi.
- Keep your mobile operating system and mobile software up-to-date to ensure the highest level of security.
- Install a security app on your mobile device.
- Avoid storing passwords and other sensitive information on your mobile device where it could be discovered if lost or stolen.
- If you lose your mobile device, immediately contact your carrier to block or suspend your device.
If ever you are a victim to a fraudulent scheme, you can report it to BBB Scam Tracker us to help warn others. Report online related fraud to the FBI Complaint Department. Additional resources for scams and identity theft can be found at the Federal Trade Commission site.