Security Awareness

Safeguarding Your Information

In today’s high tech world, we are able to do things more quickly and conveniently electronically whether it is to send a letter via email, pay bills or even go shopping online. With this increase in speed and convenience also comes increased risk. Every day, unscrupulous individuals are busy developing new scams targeting the unsuspecting public. At American Partners Federal Credit Union, the security of members information is a priority. We are strongly committed to the safety and confidentiality of your records. One of the best ways to avoid fraud is to become an educated consumer and we would like to help you in this endeavor. Please take a moment to read this important information on how to keep yourself safe when conducting business online.
How to Keep Yourself Safe in Cyberspace
An important part of online safety is knowledge. The more you know, the safer you’ll be. Here are some great tips on how to stay safe in cyberspace:
1. Set good passwords. A good password is a combination of upper and lower case letters and numbers and one that is not easily guessed. Change your password frequently. Don't write it down or share it with others.
2. Don't reveal personal information via email. Emails and text messages can be masked to look like they are coming from a trusted sender when they are actually from someone else. Play it safe, do not send your personal information such as account numbers, social security numbers, passwords etc. via email or texting.
3. Don't download that file! Opening files attached to emails can be dangerous especially when they are from someone you don't know as they can allow harmful malware or viruses to be downloaded onto your computer. Make sure you have a good antivirus program on your computer that is up-to-date.
4. Links aren't always what they seem. Never log in from a link that is embedded in an email message. Criminals can use fake email addresses and make fake web pages that mimic the page you would expect. To avoid falling into their trap, type in the URL address directly and then log in.
5. Web sites aren't always what they seem. Be aware that if you navigate to a Web site from a link you don't type, you may end up at a site that looks like the correct one, when in fact it's not. Take time to verify that the Web page you're visiting matches exactly with the URL that you'd expect.
6. Logoff from sites when you are done. When you are ready to leave a site you have logged in to, logoff rather than just closing the page.
7. Monitory account activity. Monitor your account activity regularly either online or by reviewing your monthly statements and report any unauthorized transactions right away.
8. Assess your risk. We recommend periodically assessing your online banking risk and put into place increased security controls where weaknesses are found; particularly for members with business accounts. Some items to consider when assessing your online banking risk are:
  • Who has access to your online business accounts?
  • How and where are user names and passwords stored?
  • How strong are your passwords and how often are they changed? Are they changed before or immediately after terminating an employee who had access to them?
  • Do you have dual controls or other checks and balances with respect to access to online banking transactions?
What to Expect From American Partners FCU
·         APFCU will NEVER call, email or otherwise contact you and ask for your user name, password or other online banking credentials.
·         APFCU will NEVER contact you and ask for your credit or debit card number, PIN or 3-digit security code. Please see below for more information about how our card providers, CO-OP and TNB (Vantiv), approach customer service calls.
Credit Cards
Our card provider, TNB (Vantiv), will identify themselves as Card Member Services. They will never ask for your card number, expiration date or CVC (security) code.
They will:
·         Verify your street address.
·         Verify the last four digits of your Social Security Number.
They may:
·         Ask for the last four digits of your card number.
·         Ask to verify the amount of your last transaction or payment.
If you are uncomfortable with the call, please hang up and immediately call the credit union at 336-349-2729.
Check Card
Our card provider, CO-OP, will ask you to verify your street address. They will never ask for your card number, expiration date or CVC code.
Rights and Responsibilities
With respect to online banking and electronic fund transfers, the Federal government has put in place rights and responsibilities for both you and the credit union. These rights and responsibilities are described in the Account Information Disclosures you received when you opened your account with APFCU. You can also find them online under the disclosures link at www.apfcu.com. Ultimately, if you notice suspicious account activity or experience security-related events, please contact the credit union immediately at 1-800-900-2729.

 

New Scams Courtesy of Scambusters -

The Pizza Menu Scam

You know that menu that was slipped under your hotel room door offering to deliver a pizza to you at any time of night or day?

Sounds like a good idea, right? But where did it come from?

According to police in Orlando, where this travel scam was recently spotted, it could have been from an identity thief.

You're hungry, the pizzas look mouthwatering and the price is just great.

You make the call, order, and give your name and credit card number (they may even ask for the security code on the card).

The pizza never arrives but you're left with an empty feeling in more than your stomach.

The crook has all he needs to drain your bank account or max out your credit card.

Action: If you need to eat urgently, refuse to provide a credit card and pay with cash only, or better yet, get recommendations from the hotel desk or use the phone book.

Of course, you can never totally be sure that these will lead to an honest outcome but the odds are more in your favor.

The Cell Phone Snap

Here's another way to lose your credit card number. This travel scam has been encountered in several parts of Europe but is just as possible here in the US or anywhere else.

You're paying for an item on your credit card and the cashier seems to be conducting a conversation on their cell phone as they complete the purchase.

These young people, eh? Never off their phones.

But what they're really doing is using their phone camera to snap the card -- both sides.

They're adept at this so what they're doing doesn't seem obvious.

Action: In an unfamiliar tourist shop pay with cash.

That makes sense even if the clerk isn't on the phone because of the risk of other travel scams. They may have a skimming device or other means of recording your card details.

Vishing Scam

Vishing calls originating from (410) 768-7599 are being made via automated dialer to random telephone numbers in the MD/DC/VA area. Vishing or Voice phishing is the criminal practice of using social engineering over the telephone system to gain access to private personal and financial information from the public for the purpose of financial reward.