Be sure to check out an identity theft website at IDTheftInfo.org. This site has the latest news on identity theft and gives general tips and additional resources for protecting your personal information.
Alert 7- November 5, 2013
IOWA FRAUD FIGHTERS: SHIELD YOUR SAVINGS
Con artists target people age 60 and older, swindling more than 5 million Americans out of almost $3 billion each year. Double check before you invest. Shield your savings from scammers and fraudulent investment schemes.
Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart invites you to attend an upcoming Iowa Fraud Fighters Forum presented by your state regulator, the Iowa Insurance Division. Arm yourself with knowledge of common scams and learn how to avoid and report fraud.
RSVP now to reserve your space for the presentation, complimentary luncheon and bus transportation from 10 Iowa counties.
Alert 6 - February 3, 2011
Multiple reports have been from cardholders receiving automated and live telephone calls demanding account information. In at least one case, a message was left on a cardholder's telephone, asking the cardholder to call back a toll-free telephone number to enter account information.
Unlike previous vishing attacks that follow a single source point or method of operation, these reports have varied widely. Some calls have referenced "Visa® debit" or MasterCard® debit"; some have referenced "your SHAZAM debit card"; and others have made no reference to an organization. Again, some have included recorded messages while others have had a live operator or callback option. One trend has the caller listing a "spoofed" caller identification number of 1402.
These calls are fraudulent and should be ignored. If you feel you have been a victim of a phone or email scam, please contact immediately at 1-800-343-1028.
Alert 5 - December 14, 2010
Members have reported receiving automated phone calls stating "their bank" has been frozen and to wait on the line to speak to a representative to get the matter cleared up. These phone calls are fraudulent and you should hang up the phone immediately.
Affinity Credit Union or its affiliates will not ask for personal identifying information via phone or email solicitation. If you feel you have been a victim of a phone or email scam please contact us immediately at 1-800-343-1028.
Fraudulent emails claiming to be from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) are circulating in an attempt to obtain credit union members' credit card numbers, expiration dates, and electronic signatures. In the cases reported, the perpetrator(s) sent fraudulent e-mails to credit union members stating the NCUA will deposit 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 other personal information.
Fraudulent emails claiming to be from the IRS electronic filing EFTPS system are circulating. These emails warn you that your electronic filing has been rejected due to company identification field error.
The fraudulent e-mail contains a false Web site address of "http://www.eftps.gov/..." and tells you to click the link to get more information. This address is very similar to the real EFTPS Web site but is missing the 's' at the end of 'http' which would indicate it is a secure Web site address. Do not click on the link provided in the e-mail or provide any personal identifying information.
Although the IRS does send out email press releases and general information the IRS does not initiate emails about specific transactions and the EFTPS division does not initiate any emails.
A new string of vishing attacks is targeting credit union members in which the caller claims to be from Iowa Corporate Central and asks for your card number. Do not provide any information to the caller as these calls are fraudulent.
Alert 1 - Beware of Mystery/Secret Shopping
Victims have reported to the IC3 they were contacted via e-mail and U.S. mail to apply to be a mystery shopper. Applicants are asked to send a resume and are purportedly subject to an extensive background check before being accepted as a mystery shopper. The employees are sent a check with instructions to shop at a specified retailer for a specific length of time and spend a specific amount on merchandise from the store. The employees receive instructions to take note of the store's environment, color, payment procedures, gift items, and shopping/carrier bags and report back to the employer. The second evaluation is the ease and accuracy of wiring money from the retail location. The money to be wired is also included in the check sent to the employee. The remaining balance is the employee's payment for the completion of the assignment. After merchandise is purchased and money is wired, the employees are advised by the bank the check cashed was counterfeit, and they are responsible for the money lost in addition to bank fees incurred.
In other versions of the scheme, applicants are requested to provide bank account information to have money directly deposited into their accounts. The fraudster then has acquired access to these victims' accounts and can withdraw money, which makes the applicant a victim of identity theft.
Tips to avoid becoming a victim:
- Do not respond to unsolicited (spam) e-mail.
- Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.
- Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Virus scan all attachments, if possible.
- Avoid filling out forms contained in e-mail messages that ask for personal information.
- Always compare the link in the e-mail to the link you are actually directed to and determine if they match and will lead you to a legitimate site.
- There are legitimate mystery/secret shopper programs available. Research the legitimacy on companies hiring mystery shoppers. Legitimate companies will not charge an application fee and will accept applications on-line.
- No legitimate mystery/secret shopper program will send payment in advance and ask the employee to send a portion of it back.