Understanding Phishing Scams
Municipal Credit Union is dedicated to protecting our members from fraudulent activity as much as possible. Part of this commitment, in addition to the work of our Security and Fraud Department, is to keep our members up to date on the various “scams” that may impact our members. One of the more prevalent scams that occurs is “Phishing” scams, and we would like to remind you about what Phishing scams are and how you can prevent yourself from becoming a victim.
A Phishing Scam is an attempt to obtain your personal information (bank account information, usernames, passwords, credit card details, etc.) by disguising as a trustworthy source in an electronic communication. There are various types of Phishing Scams out there, many of which play off the generosity and kind-heartedness of the targets. These scams are typically emails or pop-ups that pretend to come from charity organizations, telling you to click on a link and help aid the poor or under-privileged. A recent example of this is a fake email asking readers to make donations for victims of Ebola. Other popular phishing scams are communications made to look like a reputable financial institution asking individuals to update or verify their personal and account information.
If you receive an email, text, or pop-up that looks like one of the examples above, and you do not know the source or how it appeared,do not click on any links. The links will take you to an personal site that can take your information from your computer. Also, remember that financial institutions, like MCU, will never contact you and ask you for your account and personal information. Do not give personal or account information via email or over the phone unless you are certain the information is being shared securely, or if you contacted MCU directly by calling our contact center (212-693-4900).
Here are some other helpful tips to avoid becoming a victim of a Phishing Scam:
- Do not follow unsolicited web links or attachments in email messages
- Make sure your antivirus software is up-to-date
- Refer to the Using Caution with Email Attachments Cyber Security Tip for information on safely handling email attachments.
- Refer to the Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks Cyber Security Tip for information on social engineering attacks.
- Contact your financial institution immediately if you feel that you have received a fraudulent email, phone, or text communication