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Security Matters!

With the convenience of email and digital transactions comes increased security concerns.
Understanding what today's thieves are doing and how you can protect yourself will help you lessen the chances of becoming a victim.

Information is provided at the following links to help make you aware of the most current scams and fraud alerts.

www.ncua.gov/Phishing/phishing.htm
www.cuna.org/initiatives/internet_fraud.html

The most common type of crime currently is called "phishing". (It's pronounced "fishing" because thieves are fishing for your personal information.) In a typical instance of phishing, you receive an email that appears to come from a company that you recognize and do business with. In some cases, it may appear to come from a federal government agency. It will generally warn you of a serious issue that requires your immediate attention, often using the phrases "Immediate attention required" or "Please contact us immediately about your account". You will usually be directed to click on a link to a phony web site (that may look exactly like that of the company they are posing as) where they will try to solicit your personal information that may include account numbers, Social Security number, passwords and other confidential information.

Do not get reeled in by these crooks! They can use this information to raid your savings & checking accounts, run up your credit cards, possibly take out loans in your name, and more. In a worst case scenario you will become a victim of identity theft and the damage to your financial history can take years to unravel. Regardless of the exact method that they use (phony web site, pop-up windows, etc.), never respond to an unsolicited request for your personal information. No reputable company will ever request this information by email (or phone for that matter). Phishers can be very sophisticated, creating web pages that look like the real thing right down to the padlock icon that is used to signify a secure site.

If you believe you have received a phishing email, contact the company or institution that the crooks are posing to report this. Also report any suspicious emails or phone calls to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-IDTHEFT or online at www.consumer.gov/idtheft.

If you fall victim, contact your financial institution immediately and alert them to the situation. You should also contact one of the major credit bureaus to discuss placing a fraud alert on your file to help prevent thieves from opening new accounts in your name. Credit bureaus contact information is as follows:

Equifax
800-525-6285

P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374

Experian
888-397-3742

P.O.Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion
800-680-7289

P.O.Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834

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