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Fraud & Security


Your financial wellness is important to us.  Every month, we will keep you updated on fraud schemes and other articles that may help you protect your from the latest identity theft and fraud scams.  Please click on the links below for articles you may have seen posted in our weekly email blasts.  Always be on the lookout for scams and fraud.  And, should you suspect you may be a victim of fraud, please contact us at (603) 224-7731.
 
September 13, 2022 - Protecting your Social Security number from identity theft
 
August 25, 2016 • By  Doug Walker, Deputy Commissioner, Communications. SSA.gov (Last updated August 19, 2021)
Every year, millions of Americans become victims of identity theft. Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personally identifiable information and pretends to be you. They can use this information to open bank and/or credit card accounts, file taxes, or make new purchases in your name.  

It is important that you take steps to protect your Social Security number from theft. If someone obtains your Social Security number, they can use it to get other personal information about you, including your banking and/or credit report information. Someone can steal your Social Security number by:
  • Stealing your wallet or purse. 
  • Raiding your mailbox which may contain paper statements.
  • Obtaining personal information you provide to an unsecured site on the Internet.
  • Rummaging through your trash.
  • Posing by phone or email as someone who needs information about you.
To read the full article from ftc.gov, click here.

 
August 16, 2022 - Multi-Factor Authentication is a good thing
 
Excerpts taken from "Protect your personal information," ftc.gov article/secure your accounts.
So, you have your passwords for your personal computer, mobile phone and tablets set up, and your antivirus software and firewall programs are up-to-date to keep them working properly. You're feeling pretty good about protecting your personal information.
While you're on the right track, you can do more to avoid scammers, hackers, and other bad guys who try to steal your personal information online. It's a good idea to know how to lock down your devices, network, and information. That way, your passwords, Social Security number, or account numbers don’t go speeding along the superhighway to the scammers.
In addition to your passwords and software/firewall protection, you can add another layer of protection from the bad guys. Set up multi-factor authentication (MFA) to safeguard your personal information. MFA is available with some accounts which offer extra security by requiring two or more credentials to log in to your account. These additional credentials fall into two categories:
  • Something you have, like a passcode you get via an authentication app, a security key, email, text, and phone.
  • Something you are, like a scan of your fingerprint, your retina, or your face.
  • MFA makes it harder for scammers to log in to your accounts if they do get your username and password. Yes, it's one more thing to do with technology, but it's crucial.
Be sure you use this authentication process to continue to protect your personal information and keep the bad guys away!
If you think you are a victim of fraud, contact us immediately at (603) 224-7731. And, go to nhfcu.org/fraud&security to read more articles about fraud/security.
If you think someone has gotten into your accounts or has your personal information, visit IdentityTheft.gov. There, you’ll get steps to take to find out if your identity has been misused, and how to report and recover from identity theft.
For detailed information from the FTC on how to keep your personal information safe, click here.
 
 
June 30, 2022 How to avoid fraud and hacks during vacation
Vacation season is here. Planes, trains and automobiles filled with excited vacationers on the move are more susceptible to mobile phone hacks and scams. Read on about two friends of NHFCU, both of whom were enjoying time away, and who became victims of cell phone hacks:
 
"I traveled to Nashville for a long weekend. Instead of renting a vehicle, to save money, I used my phone to order a car service. After I got home, I received a notice my debit card had been compromised. I know the hack was a result of using my mobile phone for vehicle transportation."
 
"I went to a concert Mid-May. The venue scanned my ticket via my mobile phone. A few days later, several friends texted me asking if I'd sent them a 'weird email.' The venue's unsecure Wi-Fi was the root of the hack. After a few days, over 80% of my contacts received the bogus email."
 
So, how do you protect yourself from mobile phone scams & hacks? Natalie Maxfield, Director, McAfee Consumer Marketing, lists 7 tips to protect your smartphone:
 
  • Add extra protection with your face, finger, pattern, or PIN. 
  • Use a VPN. 
  • Stick to the official app stores for your apps.
  • Back up the data on your phone. 
  • Learn how to lock or wipe your phone remotely in case of emergency. 
  • Get rid of old apps—and update the ones you keep. 
  • Protect your phone.
Click here for the full 5-minute read :  
 
 
 
 
 
 
February 22, 2022 - Romance scams in 2021
 
January 19, 2022 - New crypto payment scam alert
 
 
2021
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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December 10, 2020
FTC's 12 Days of Consumer Protection
 
As part of the FTC’s 12 Days of Consumer Protection, a holiday series to help you save money and avoid scams, welcome to day five - where the FTC highlights holiday package emails and texts. Every day there's a new topic from shopping online and bogus shipping notifications to temporary job scams and fake charities. The FTC offers practical information you can use every day and encourages sharing with your family, friends, and community so they can be safe too.  
Fa-la-la-la fake
Submitted by Carol Kando-Pineda, Attorney, FTC, Division of Consumer & Business Education

It's a busy time, and you get an email or text message that’s supposedly from UPS or FedEx, complete with one of their logos — and it seems legit. It says your item is ready to ship but you need to update your shipping preferences. But here’s the lump of coal: the message is bogus and there is no package. Scammers are phishing for your information. And if you click on a link or download the attachment, you’re likely to end up with a virus or malware on your device that steals your identity and your passwords.
Avoid any holiday reindeer-livery confusion and follow these tips:
  • The weakest link. Don’t click. If you get an unexpected email or text message, don’t click on any links — or open any attachments. If you think it could be legit, contact the company using a website or phone number you know is real. Don’t use the information in the email or text message.
 Mal where? Guard against malware. Make sure you keep your software up to date. Set your security software, internet browser, and operating system (like Windows or Mac OS X) to update automatically.
For previous articles on "The 12 Days of Consumer Protection,  click here.
 
November 27, 2020
 
Holiday shopping season 2020
by Shameka Walker, Attorney, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC
 
The holiday season is upon us and retailers are already preparing for what they hope will be a successful shopping season. Because of COVID-19, it’s likely that we’ll be going online to look for those perfect gifts. With so many deals around and what seem like eternal “Black Friday" sales, it’s important to keep some online shopping tips in mind. 
 
So, if you plan to shop from the comfort of your home this year instead of heading out in person for those doorbuster deals, first, make sure your home computer has the latest antivirus software updated. This will help protect you from hackers and identity thieves. Read more computer safety tips here
 
Once you’re ready to shop, make sure you:
 
  • Take time to compare products. To get the best deal, compare products. Do research online, check product comparison sites, and read online reviews.
  • Check out the seller. Confirm that the seller is legit. Look for reviews about their reputation and customer service, and be sure you can contact the seller if you have a dispute.
  • Look for coupon codes. Search the store’s name with terms like “coupons,” “discounts,” or “free shipping.”
  • Pay by credit card. Paying by credit card gives you added protections. Never mail cash or wire money to online sellers. If the seller asks you to pay this way, it could be a scam.
  • Use secure checkout. Before you enter your credit card information online, check that the website address starts with “https.” The “s” stands for secure. If you don’t see the “s,” don’t enter your information.
  • Keep records of online transactions until you get the goods, confirm you got what you ordered, and that you’re satisfied you won’t have to return the item.
 
Check out more ways to ensure hassle-free online shopping here. And if you spot a fraud while shopping online this holiday season, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. 
 
 
August 13, 2020
From the FTC - Scams in between stimulus packages
by Jennifer Leach, Associate Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
 
Here is some information from the FTC about a second stimulus package which has not yet been finalized by Congress. While there’s a lot they don’t know, they DO know a few things about what scammers do when this kind of uncertainty is in the headlines.
 
If there’s another stimulus payment, you won’t have to pay to get it. Just like last time. Nobody will call to ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. Expect any stimulus program to look a lot like the first one: people who qualify would get money direct deposited, or you’d get a debit card or check mailed to the address you use for your taxes. The details will follow, if a bill gets signed into law. In the meantime, don’t pay to get any economic impact payment, and keep your info to yourself.
 
Don’t pay for job “opportunities.” Scammers know that lots of people need to find a job, and they’ll be happy to charge you for what winds up being nothing. Scammers also pay for online ads, promising you ways to earn money online. Budo your research before you sign up — and certainly before you pay.
 
Never pay up front for mortgage help. In fact, it’s illegal for companies to charge you before they help you with your mortgage — but that doesn’t stop scammers from trying. If you find yourself behind on your mortgage, talk with your mortgage servicer right away to see what options you have. And whether you own or rent, it’s worth talking with a legal services organization if you feel like things are taking a hard turn south toward foreclosure or eviction.
 
If you spot one of these scams — or any scam at all, please tell the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
 
July 10, 2020
Consumer Alert from the FTC - Activate your EIP Visa Debit Card now
Submitted by Cristina Miranda, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Did you get an Economic Impact Payment VISA debit card in the mail from the U.S. Department of the Treasury? If you did, you might get a letter from Treasury this week, reminding you to activate your card.

Treasury’s letter gives you instructions on how to activate the card. Once you do that, you can get cash or use it anywhere that accepts VISA debit cards. Or, you can also transfer the money from your EIP debit card to your bank account. This is especially helpful if you can’t or don’t want to visit an ATM. 
Did you throw away the card by mistake, or don’t recall getting one? No worries. Your letter from Treasury will tell you how to request a replacement card, which will include calling a 24-hour customer service line at 1.800.240.8100. It’s free to replace your card.
For the full article, please click here.

 
June 15, 2020
Credit Reports are now free, every week
by Cathlin Tully Attorney, FTC Division of Privacy and Identity Protection
 
If you’re feeling anxious about your financial health during these uncertain times, you’re not alone. That’s why the three national credit reporting agencies are giving people weekly access to monitor their credit report — for free.
 
This is some helpful news, because staying on top of your credit report is one important tool to help manage your financial data. Your credit report has information about your credit history and payment history — information that lenders, creditors, and other businesses use when giving you loans or credit. 
 
Now it’s easier than ever to check your credit more often. That’s because everyone is eligible to get free weekly credit reports from the three national credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. To get your free reports, go to AnnualCreditReport.com. The credit reporting agencies are making these reports free for the next year.
 
If you’re one of the many Americans struggling to pay your bills right now because of the Coronavirus crisis, here’s what you can do:
 
  • Contact the companies you owe money to. Ask if they can postpone your payment, put you on a payment plan, or give you a temporary forbearance.
  • Check your credit report regularly to make sure it’s correct — especially any new payment arrangements or temporary forbearance. The recently passed CARES Act generally requires your creditors to report these accounts as current.
  • Fix any errors or mistakes that you spot on your credit report. Notify the credit reporting agencies directly. You can find out more by reading Disputing Errors on Credit Reports.
 
Find more advice and tips on handling the financial impact of the Coronavirus, and subscribe to the FTC’s Consumer Alerts.
 
June 9
How to transfer money from your EIP debit card to your account
Submitted by Cristina Miranda, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
 
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