Help Stop the Data Breaches!
As you are well aware, merchant data breach is a chronic issue that
costs credit unions millions of dollars each year. Large scale
breaches like Target, Michaels, Home Depot, Neiman Marcus and Jimmy
Johns get national attention, but small breaches at local stores also
increase costs for credit unions. CUNA has been actively
advocating changes to federal law to address this issue; they have
engaged industry stakeholders in the financial services sector and the
retail industry; they have helped credit unions identify law firms to
help litigate class action suits; and they have pressed this issue in
national and local media. But Congress has not moved and the
situation has not improved for credit unions, which is why CUNA, along
with State Leagues are taking steps to ratchet up our efforts even
With two major breaches in recent weeks and with Congress at home
preparing for the upcoming elections, we believe it’s the right time to
remind elected officials who pays the price for merchant data breaches.
Let’s face it – the window of opportunity to capture Congress’ attention
on these breaches is relatively short, and in the weeks prior to an
election, elected officials are acutely aware of the concerns of their
constituents. We have a rather unique opportunity to shape this
debate going into the latter part of this year.
Even though the likelihood that Congress will enact data security
legislation in the lame duck is very remote, it is important that they
hear about the impact these breaches have on credit unions and their
ability to serve their members. We know credit union executives and
members are frustrated about these breaches. The fact is that
Congress may never deal with this issue unless they hear the frustration
of credit union members and the best way for us to do that is through
Let's Take Action
Contact your Member of Congress by visiting StoptheDataBreaches.com and
clicking on the “Take
Stay engaged with the campaign by following our Twitter handle @CUNAadvocacy and #StoptheBreaches,
as well as the CUNA
Advocacy Facebook page.
Continue to stay abreast of new developments by checking the latest
news at StoptheDataBreaches.com following
the social media platforms above, and keeping in touch with your
It’s time to tell Congress we need to stop the data breaches and raise
the impact they have on credit unions and our members.
Phishing for Member Information
Automated Call and Text Message Scam
There has been an increase in reports from banks
and credit unions around the U.S. whose customers are receiving
automated calls and text messages asking them to enter personal
information over the phone. Known as "phishing," these calls are a
fraudulent attempt to steal members debit and credit card information.
Members should hang up and immediately disregard these calls and text
Pleas be advised that Northeast Community Credit
Union will never ask for your personal information - including debit and
credit card numbers - during an automated or unsolicited phone call or
text message. If you think your account has been compromised or you are
a victim of fraud, please call us at 423-547-1200.
the Target Database Breach
On December 19, 2013, the retail merchant, Target,
publicly announced that unauthorized access to its network had occurred,
which may have compromised customer debit or credit card information.
NECU has been advised that Visa is actively investigating this event.
There has been no fraud reported as a result of this breach thus
NECU is very proactive about safeguarding our
members from card fraud. NECU has a Risk Office Team that actively
monitors our members’ debit card activity 24 hrs daily. If there
are NECU cards on Visa’s Compromised Card Alert, those cards will be
assigned a Card Severity Level 1 (Highest Level). The Risk Office
Team will be diligently monitoring those cards and their activity.
The Risk Office Team may call NECU debit card users
to verify whether or not card transactions are fraudulent. Please
make sure that we have your current phone numbers on file.
Any of the following phone numbers will show on
your caller-id if you receive a call from the Risk Office:
Please monitor your account activity. If you
haven’t already done so, we encourage you to enroll in HomeBanking.
It is a free service to our members that gives you ready access to
review your account activity online. If you notice any unusual or
suspicious activity on your account, please contact us as soon as
If you have additional questions or concerns, please call Tess at
If you read the newspaper or watch TV, then you’re
already familiar with the terms ‘FRAUD’ and ‘SCAM’.
Every day, we learn of more cases where intelligent
and even cautious people are getting caught up in
schemes aimed at stealing their identity or taking
their money. If YOU can answer “YES” to any of the
following questions, YOU could be involved in a
FRAUD or about to be SCAMMED:
Have you been informed that you were
the winner of a LOTTERY, such as Canadian,
Australian, El Gordo, or El Mundo, that you did not
Have you been instructed to WIRE,
SEND, or SHIP MONEY, as soon as possible, to a
U.S. city or to another
country, such as
Have you been asked to PAY
money to receive a deposit from another country
such as Canada,
England, or Nigeria?
Are you receiving PAY or a
COMMISSION for ‘facilitating money transfers
through your account?
Did you respond to an email
requesting you to CONFIRM, UPDATE, or PROVIDE
your account information?
If you received a CHECK from
an item you sold on the Internet, such as a car,
boat, jewelry, etc.
Is the amount of the CHECK more
than the item’s selling price?Did you receive the CHECK via an
over-night delivery service?
Is the CHECK connected to
communicating with someone by email?
Is the CHECK drawn on a business
or individual account that is different from the
person buying your item or product?
SO, REPORT IT TO THE FBI.
Also, call us if your credit union account
could be involved.
ask that you please be patient when depositing or
cashing checks – due to the increase in fraud,
we must often place holds on checks to allow enough
time for check fraud to be detected. In addition to
our responsibility to protect the financial
interests of all our members, our insurance carrier
demands certain precautionary steps be taken as a
requirement for our fraud coverage.
What it all
comes down to is quite simple: if you have to
pay money to get money, something is
wrong. If something sounds too good to be true, it
COULD be a SCAM!
If you own your home, beware of "rescue scams". The
Department of Treasury has alerted the public to schemes
involving mortgages. Most common is fraudulent
companies contacting homeowners (by phone or mail), offering
to help them 'work out' different payment arrangements so
that they can 'afford their mortgage'. Many times,
these companies will ask for up-front fees for this service,
and claim to be associated with the government, or
will instruct the homeowner not to contact a financial
counselor or lawyer (giving supposedly good reasons for not
doing so, of course).
The individuals perpetrating these
schemes occasionally refer to themselves as
"foreclosure specialists", claiming they help
'honest hardworking people avoid foreclosure by
working out better payment terms'. Sometimes they
pursue homeowners quite aggressively - trying to
rush things through before anyone wises up.
Consumers are advised to AVOID this kind of contact
Text Messages -
DISMISS any text messages you receive that refer to a credit
card or debit card 'problem'. Consumers have been getting
messages on their cell phones saying their account is
'frozen', and telling them they need to call a
certain number immediately to 'release their account'.
Your credit union will NEVER send you a text message
regarding your card or your accounts.
For your own safety, DO NOT open these fraudulent
text messages, and PLEASE do not call the number
they provide! These are simply attempts to cause
you to call them back -- if they know they've
broadcast to a
cell phone number, they can see who it belongs to
and possibly even steal your identity.