If you receive a strange phone call notifying you that your tax refund was deposited to your account 'in error,' you should be on alert.
As the IRS prepares to issue stimulus payments to qualified U.S. households, EFCU wants to ensure you remain vigilant and financially protected against external threats during the process. We have put together some general reminders and precautions for you to observe that will safeguard you against potential scams. Additionally, it is recommended to regularly check irs.gov for current information on scams that are being used.
Consider these suggestions whenever accessing your sensitive data online:
Socially engineered schemes often rely on methods that financial institutions would never employ, to avoid fraud:
Getting infected with a computer virus or Trojan can be frustrating. These programs are known to destroy your computer, slow its performance, and barrage you with annoying pop-up ads. However, the types of viruses and Trojans that infect computers today are more malicious. They are designed to steal your credit card information and passwords, take over your email and use it for spamming, or even record what you type on your computer. Also, many of the new viruses and Trojans aim to be transparent so most people don't even know they have been infected.
Using anti-virus software and keeping it up-to-date is the best protection against these threats. Nowadays, most anti-virus software products will automatically update themselves as new threats are uncovered so you don't have to do a thing. Many Internet service providers now even offer these products free to their customers.
Hackers constantly create new ways to penetrate your computer. Installing a personal firewall is essential to safeguard your computer and valuable personal information. A firewall is a secure barrier that sits between your computer and the Internet that prevents hackers from accessing your information.
A firewall needs to be installed properly or it will not effectively protect you from online threats. In addition, like anti-virus software, your firewall should be kept up-to-date. This is easy to do with software that automatically updates the latest versions onto your computer.
Do you think your password is impossible to guess? The reality is that many people use simple passwords that are easy to remember but make it easy for hackers to gain access to your financial and personal accounts. Making your password more complex will keep you safer online (though much more can still be done).
You should also have more than one password that you use. Just as you wouldn't use the same key for your house, your car, your mailbox and your office, you shouldn't use the same password for all of your online accounts. This exposes you to more risk and increases the likelihood of having your information stolen.
Be aware of deceptive emails, pop-ups, and other online scams.
Online criminals will attempt to acquire your personal information by luring you to a website that looks legitimate, but is actually a fake site. If you receive any emails from an unfamiliar source, or any suspicious pop-ups, do not click on the links or open the attachment.
New online attacks are so advanced that they are capable of redirecting you to a fake website, even if you didn't click on anything. If a web page asks for you to provide sensitive information that it has never asked you to provide before, do not type anything and close the page immediately. Financial institutions and online service providers do not ask you to enter information such as your credit card number, full Social Security number, or PIN number on the login page or any subsequent pages.
As consumers become more educated about fraud and identity theft, online criminals are moving to other places to launch their scams. Phone scams are gaining popularity again. There are two common types of phone scams. The first type of scam involves an email detailing a problem with your account and requests you to call a specific phone number to provide more details. The second type of scam involves a phone call from an automated call center asking you for sensitive information. You should never provide personal information to an unsolicited caller.
Mobile phones are another new target. For example, one scam involves sending a text message to your mobile phone claiming to be your financial institution or a credit card processor. If you receive such a text message and are unsure if it is a legitimate communication, call your financial institution's customer service center to verify that the message is genuine.
Sometimes, just the presence of a security lock alone is not proof enough that a website is genuine. If in doubt, you can verify a website is genuine by double clicking on the lock to display the website's security certificate, and then check if the name on the certificate and the website that appears in the address bar match. If they do not match, then the website might be phony.
Guard your privacy and limit the amount of personal information you share online.
The growth of social networking sites has made it easier for online criminals to obtain information on you. This is a way for them to gather information to answer the challenge questions most online service providers require in order to enable access to your account or retrieve and change your password. Limit the amount of personal information you publicly share online.
Despite adopting all the appropriate security measures, online users still manage to fall victim to scams and have their identity stolen. In order to help ensure that you and your information stay safe, check your online account statements frequently. If you have fallen victim to online fraud, the sooner you know about it, the sooner you can act to block your accounts, and take corrective action. If you detect suspicious activity in your account, you should immediately contact your account provider for help.
To protect your account, we monitor your ATM and debit card transactions for potentially fraudulent activity which may include a sudden change in locale (such as when a U.S. issued card is used unexpectedly overseas), a sudden string of costly purchases, or any pattern associated with new fraud trends around the world.
So that we may notify you as quickly as possible, it is important that EFCU has your cell phone number and accurate email address. Call 850.862.0111 x1402 or update your Contact Information electronically inside of Home Branch. Please be diligent in monitoring transaction activity on your account and contact us immediately if you identify any fraudulent transactions.
Maximize your safety at ATMs with these tips:
Is the mobile app secure?
The mobile app uses SSL encryption to communicate securely throughout the entire process of accessing your accounts.
How long does each login session last?
Each login session lasts 20 minutes from the beginning of the session. The timer is not reset with activity.
How can I further protect my account information?
Protect your account information by taking additional steps: - Use the screen locking feature of your mobile device. - Never save your account number on your mobile device. - Always use the Logout feature of the mobile app. - Request a Home Branch password change if your device is lost or stolen. - Read "Make Your Smartphone Safe" on this page to learn more about securing your mobile device.
As technology evolves, so unfortunately do the ways that criminals can illegally access your personal information. Smartphones give us a lot of freedom and make our lives more efficient, but they also present their own set of challenges when it comes to data security. However, there is no reason why you can't make yourself more secure with a few key habits.
EFCU has partnered with Digital Defense Inc. to provide you Training, Education, and Awareness Module™ (TEAM) that is relevant and easy-to-understand. Using a web browser you can access the security training anytime and anywhere. Click the button below to browse topics for improving your online security.
We are committed to taking reasonable steps to protect the security of our member's financial information in all areas of our operations. Therefore, when providing access to your financial information over the Internet, we practice the following security measures:
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©2020 Eglin Federal Credit Union. Eglin Federal Credit Union is Federally Insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender (NMLS 440642). Equal Opportunity Employer. Information submitted to EFCU via email is not encrypted and may not be secure. Links to other sites are provided as a convenience to our visitors. The Credit Union is not responsible for the availability, content, or privacy practices of any linked site. Images used for representational purposes only; do not imply government endorsement. If you experience any problems accessing our website or using online services, please call 800.367.6159 during our normal business hours (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm CST, excluding federal holidays).