of Fraudulent Emails
Phishing attacks use "spoofed" emails and
fraudulent Web sites designed to fool recipients
into divulging personal financial data such as credit
card numbers, account usernames and passwords, Social
Security Numbers, etc. By hijacking the trusted brands
of well-known financial institutions, online retailers
and credit card companies, phishers are able to convince
many recipients to provide personal and financial
"Identity Theft 911" reports a new phishing
scam that uses the promise of gift cards or merchandise
from major retailers to lure recipients into providing
sensitive personal and financial information.
The phishing email prompts members to fill out an
online "survey" that asks for the name
of their financial institution, passwords, email
addresses, and other personal account information.
In exchange, at least one version of the scam promises
a retail gift card valued up to $500. The member
will never receive the free gift card. The only thing
the member will get is a headache, because his/her
identity will be stolen.
With millions of Americans buying gifts online during
this holiday season, fraud experts are warning consumers
to be wary of scams offering gift cards or merchandise
in exchange for personal or financial information.
- Share this information with your membership
via newsletters or your credit union Web site.
- Financial institutions and members should not
access the link or attached files provided in
the body of the email.
- Financial institutions and members should not,
under any circumstances, provide any personal
information to unknown sources.
- Before submitting financial information through
a Web site, look for the 'lock' icon on the browser's
- Members should review credit card and other
account statements as soon as they receive them
to determine whether there are any unauthorized
- If the statement is late by more than a couple
of days, members should call the credit card
company or credit union to confirm their billing
address and account balances.
- Members should report suspicious activity to
the FTC. Send the actual spam/phish to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If the member believes that they are a victim
of identity theft, they should file a complaint
at www.ftc.gov, and they should visit the FTC's
Identity Theft Web site (www.ftc.gov/idtheft)
to learn how to minimize his/her risk of damage
from the identity theft.
- Victims should place a "fraud alert" on
their credit bureau records.
Remember, Ascension Credit Union will never solicit
e-mails requesting your account number, password,
pin number or other personal information. Please
DO NOT reply to these messages. Contact the credit
union if you receive anything suspicious.