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Fraud Prevention & Alerts

Important Fraud Alert:

iTHINK Financial Members Receiving Spoofed Phone Calls to Acquire Sensitive Information

iTHINK Financial has become aware of members receiving fraudulent phone calls from individuals claiming to be from the Credit Union Fraud Department. These fraudsters are using spoofing technology to make the phone calls appear to be coming from a legitimate iTHINK Financial phone number.

The fraudster claims that a fraudulent charge has been made on the member’s account and the member is asked to confirm his or her identity.

While iTHINK Financial actively monitors your accounts for potential fraud, please remember that we will NEVER initiate a call or email asking you to give us your card PIN, Online Banking username and password, or full card number. If you have any doubt about the validity of a phone call you receive from us, please hang up and call our direct number at 800.873.5100 to speak with us immediately.

Please also be aware that you can use our free Card Control service through Online Banking to lock your card until you are able to reach us. This will ensure that your card is protected until you are able to contact us.
 

Fraud News Feed

COVID-19 clinical trial: real or fake? Learn how to tell the difference.

Fri, Oct 23, 2020

There are thousands of trials underway as companies race to find effective vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. Many of these research studies are legitimate, but some are not. So, if you’re thinking about volunteering for a COVID-19 trial, it’s important to know how to spot the real trials advancing medicine for everyone, versus the fake ones trying to steal your money and personal information.

Read More

Overpaid your utility bill? That’s probably a scam

Fri, Oct 23, 2020

You get a robocall saying you paid too much on a utility bill. To make up for this mistake, they say, you’ll get a cash refund and a discount on your future bills. All you have to do is press a number to get your money and discount. You say to yourself: “What luck!” You might think this strange surprise will help you save some much-needed money.

Sorry but…not so fast. This is probably just another utility scam — or, at best, a marketing trick — to get your money.

Read More

Reporting fraud helps everyone – and now it’s easier to do

Thu, Oct 22, 2020

You can help the FTC and its partners fight fraud in your community — and you don’t even need to wear a superhero cape (unless you want to). Your story is your superpower. When you tell the FTC about frauds, scams, and other kinds of bad business practices, you’re helping the FTC and our law enforcement partners spot and stop scams. To make it easier, the FTC just launched ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

Read More

Scams that start on social media

Wed, Oct 21, 2020

Scammers are hiding out on social media, using ads and offers to market their scams, according to people’s reports to the FTC and a new Data Spotlight. In the first six months of 2020, people reported losing a record high of almost $117 million to scams that started on social media.

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How to spot, avoid, and report imposter scams

Wed, Oct 21, 2020

Imposter scams often begin with a call, text message, or email. The scams may vary, but work the same way – a scammer pretends to be someone you trust to convince you to send them money or share personal information.

Scammers may ask you to transfer money from you bank, wire money using a company like Western Union or MoneyGram, put money on a gift card, or send cryptocurrency, because they know these types of payments can be hard to reverse.

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Threatening phone scams are targeting parents and immigrants

Mon, Oct 19, 2020

Two disturbing phone scams have popped up on the FTC’s radar. Both scams have one thing in common: they want to trick (and scare) you out of money. If you live on Staten Island, pay close attention, since these two scams seem to be targeting people in your area. But we know that scammers don’t often stick with one area, so they could expand their target area any time now.

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Fake calling plans cheat prisoners and their loved ones

Fri, Oct 16, 2020

When people who are in jail or prison want to call family and friends, they can only use official service providers for either collect or pre-paid calls. The per-minute charges for these calls can be costly. And that’s how scammers have found a way to take people’s money.

Read More

Did you get an offer for student loan debt relief?

Tue, Oct 13, 2020

Having trouble paying your student loan debt? You might get an offer that says you can reduce your monthly payment, or even reduce your overall debt. The offer might look like it comes from the government…and they might tell you that, first, you have to pay a fee. But it’s illegal for a company to ask you to pay a fee up front before they get you the promised relief. And it’s illegal for them to pretend to be from the government.

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Non-filers: Expect a letter about your stimulus check

Wed, Oct 7, 2020

If you don’t usually file a tax return, or didn’t file a return for 2018 or 2019, you might not know you could qualify for an economic impact payment. You might be one of the nine million people getting a letter from the IRS letting you know how to register on their website to claim your payment. The new deadline for filing is November 21, 2020..

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The FTC Chairman is not writing to you

Thu, Oct 1, 2020

If you saw an email from FTC Chairman Joseph Simons, it wasn’t. From him, that is. Scammers pretending to be him are emailing, though. They’re trying to trick you into turning over personal information, like your birth date and home address, which could help them scam you. So: if you get an email from the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission about getting money because of an inheritance or relief funds related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic — or anything else — do not respond. Do not give out your personal information. But do hit “delete.”

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Fraud Alerts

March 20, 2019 – iTHINK Financial Members Receiving Spoofed Phone Calls to Acquire Sensitive Information

iTHINK Financial has become aware of members receiving fraudulent phone calls from individuals claiming to be from the Credit Union Fraud Department. These fraudsters are using spoofing technology to make the phone calls appear to be coming from a legitimate iTHINk Financial phone number.

The fraudster claims that a fraudulent charge has been made on the member’s account and the member is asked to confirm his or her identity.

While iTHINK Financial actively monitors your accounts for potential fraud, please remember that we will never initiate a call or email asking you to give us your card PIN #, Online Banking username and password, or full card number. If you have any doubt about the validity of a phone call you receive from us, please hang up and call our direct number at 800.873.5100 to speak with us immediately.

Please also be aware that you can use our free Card Control service through Online Banking to lock your card until you are able to reach us. This will ensure that your card is protected until you are able to contact us.

September 8, 2017 – What you need to know about the Equifax Data Breach

In a data breach lasting from mid-May through July, 143 million American consumers had their sensitive personal information exposed at Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies.

During this breach, hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and some driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, and dispute documents that included personal information.

What should you do now?

First, find out if you were one of the people whose information was exposed. Equifax has set up a website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to check your status. Once on this site, click on the "Potential Impact" link and enter the information requested. Please make sure you are on an secure computer when entering your sensitive information.

Equifax is offering one year of credit monitoring, Social Security number monitoring, identity theft insurance, credit report lock, and copies of your credit report for free. You can enroll through their site through November 21, 2017.

Equifax also provides answers to frequently asked questions on their site.

Here are some other steps to take to help protect yourself after a data breach:
 

  • If you have an iTHINK Financial myChoice Checking, myDefense Checking,  or Grand Checking account, Identity Theft Protection Services and Credit Monitoring of the three major consumer credit bureaus are included at no charge. Make sure you are enrolled in the Credit Monitoring service to take full advantage of this great benefit!
     
  • Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and Transunion for free by visiting annualcreditreport.com.
     
  • Consider placing a credit freeze on your files. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.
     
  • Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for charges you don’t recognize.
     
  • If you decide against a credit freeze, consider placing a fraud alert on your files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you.
     
  • File your taxes early — as soon as you have the tax information you need, before a scammer can. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS.

 
Visit Identitytheft.gov/databreach to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach.

Source: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do

March 28, 2017 – Employment scam using iTHINK Financial accounts

Please be aware of a new employment scam going around. An "employer" offers a job to an applicant through an online job listing site. As part of the job acceptance, the "employer" tells the applicant to open an account at iTHINK Financial, and even lists the nearest branches to visit. 

Once the account is open, the "employer" transfers money into the account and has the "employee" wire transfer money back to them on the same day.

When accepting a job, please know that a legitimate employer would never require you to send funds back for any reason. Please be careful.

June 09, 2015 – Important information regarding the U.S. Government data breach incident

It was recently announced that the U.S. Government has suffered a data breach affecting multiple Federal agencies and approximately 4 million individuals. The Federal Government has confirmed that the information hacked could be used to facilitate identity theft and fraud. The individuals affected are government employees and political appointees.

Below are recommended steps to remain vigilant against possible identity fraud:

  1. Be wary of emails or telephone calls that request information. Neither the U.S. Government nor our financial institution will ask you to provide any information in relation to this possible data breach incident.
  2. Check your Account Statements. Review your statements carefully and repeatedly. Any purchases, large or small, should be verified as a purchase you made.
  3. Check Your Mail and Your Email. Look for mail and emails addressed to you that you do not recognize. This may include credit card accounts, medical bills, or notices from companies with which you do not have a relationship.
  4. Get Help. You are not responsible for fraudulent transactions on your account, but you need to notify us as soon as possible if you see any suspicious activity. In addition, if you are concerned about fraud beyond the transactions on your current account, you may have access to an Identity Fraud Protection program that includes Fully Managed Identity Fraud Research, Remediation, and Recovery Services. We will submit your name to our Recovery Care Center and, within 24 business hours, you will be contacted by an Identity Recovery Advocate who will investigate the situation and work on your behalf to remediate any fraud. Contact us with any questions.
  5. Take Action. If you suspect that your identity has been compromised, you can place a fraud alert on your credit file by calling any one of the three major credit reporting agencies shown below. A fraud alert is a notation on your credit file to warn credit issuers that there may be a problem. The credit issuer is asked to contact you at the telephone number that you supply to validate that you are the person applying for the credit. This is not the same as credit monitoring.

TransUnion: 1.800.916.8800
Experian: 1.888.397.3742
Equifax: 1.800.685.1111

In accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, it is permissible for consumers to request a free copy of their credit report once every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax).

To order a free credit report:
Online: www.annualcreditreport.com or by Telephone: 1.877.322.8228

If your iTHINK Financial account includes identity theft protection, or if you have purchased an identity theft protection package from our website, and you suspect identity fraud of any kind, let us know. Whether it is financial or non-financial fraud, even if it is not connected to this incident or your account, we can help. You will be assigned to a certified, professional Identity Recovery Advocate at no cost to you. These professionals are standing by to answer questions, place fraud alerts, research potential fraud, dispute fraudulent transactions on your behalf, and perform the legwork to return you to pre-theft status, no matter how long it takes—all at no cost to you as a valued accountholder with iTHINK Financial.

We appreciate your trust in our financial institution. It is important to us to provide professional identity theft protection services for our iTHINK Financial accountholders for any identity theft incident that affects you and/or your family.

Fraud Education

Combat check fraud and identity theft

If you can answer Yes to any of the following questions regarding a Cashier’s or Official Check you intend to deposit, please notify your Teller or Member Service Representative immediately.

  • Do you have any reason to suspect that this check is not valid?
  • Have you recently advertised something for sale or purchased something over the Internet? If so, is this check payment for that item?
  • Have you been asked to wire, or otherwise return, a portion of the funds back to the sender or some other third party?
  • Have you recently received an email or letter stating you have won a sweepstakes or lottery? Are they claiming that all you need to do to collect your prize is provide them with your account number and other personal information so they can wire the funds into your account?
  • Have you recently accepted a job offer over the internet and received a payroll advance by check, or were asked for your personal information in order to process a wire into your account? Were you asked to return a portion of the payment for tax purposes?

Please be advised: If a Cashier’s or Official Check is returned as a counterfeit or forgery, the Credit Union will have no choice but to hold you liable for the loss. Your assistance in the prevention of Check Fraud and Identity Theft is greatly appreciated. Please let us know if you have any questions or need more information.

Keyloggers – what are they and how can you protect yourself?

A keylogger is a hidden computer program that records the keystrokes you make, online and offline. After keystrokes are logged, they are secretly stored on your computer for later retrieval, or sent, via the Internet, to a thief. The crook then examines the keylog with the hope of finding passwords, or other useful information that could be used to compromise the system or steal your identity.

Any information entered into the computer can be retrieved. For example, a keylogger can reveal the contents of your personal email, or the passwords you use to access online banking. Once they gain access to your financial information, crooks can transfer funds, change billing addresses, and make purchases, often without raising any suspicion. When someone steals your wallet or purse, you know there has been a breach of your personal information. The danger of keyloggers is that you often don’t know until it is too late.

Hackers and identity thieves will place keylogger programs on your system by embedding them in “free” software you download from the Internet or through automatic installations initiated by pop-up ads or email. Once installed, the software works invisibly to monitor and record your every move.

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Adjust your internet settings to prevent your computer from installing programs automatically from the Internet or launching them automatically from email. Once you’ve disabled the automatic installation, you should see a prompt anytime an application attempts to install itself. Do not click OK, Yes, or Run This Program if prompted unless you trust the program and are fully aware of its purpose.
  • Update your operating system frequently. Make sure to perform all the suggested updates as soon as possible.
  • Configure your browser to use a higher security setting. In Internet Explorer, choose “Tools” >> “Internet Options,” and select the “Security” tab. Make sure that the Internet Zone is configured to Medium Security or above.
  • Avoid downloading software from non-trusted web sites, such as “warez” (illegal software) sites.
  • Install a firewall. Firewalls keep programs from contacting the Internet without your permission. Adware and Spyware cannot function without sending information from your computer to the Internet.
  • Scan your computer for Spyware. Free and paid services are available,

Don't get caught by a phishing scam

Phishing is an Internet scam that uses fraudulent emails to deceive consumers into disclosing their credit card numbers, bank account information, and other sensitive information.

Internet scammers send deceptive emails pretending to be from a company the victim has a relationship with. The email requests that the recipient update or validate his billing information in order to keep his account active. The email directs the victim to a look-alike Web site of the business, tricking him into responding to what looks like a legitimate request. The victim unknowingly submits his financial information to the scammers, who use it to make purchases and obtain credit.

If you get an email warning you that an account of yours will be shut down unless you confirm your billing information, do not reply or click on the link in the email. Instead, contact the company named in the email using a telephone number or website address you know to be genuine. iTHINK Financial would never initiate an email asking for your personal information. However, for identification purposes we may request information in response to an inquiry from you. Please call us at 800.873.5100 if you feel uncertain about the validity of an email you have received from us.

If you receive a fraudulent email, report the suspicious activity to the FTC by forwarding the email to spam@uce.gov. If you believe you’ve been scammed, file your complaint at www.ftc.gov, and then visit the FTC’s Identity Theft Web site (www.ftc.gov/idtheft) to learn how to minimize your risk of damage from identity theft.

Visit www.ftc.gov/spam to learn other ways to avoid email scams and deal with deceptive spam.

What should I do if I receive a scam letter or email?

First, it is important that you do not correspond AT ALL with the persons named in the scam letters. Any contact with the perpetrators puts you at risk of being scammed. Do not reply to their letters, emails, or call them by telephone. You can report cases of fraud to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). If you have been victimized and lost money due to such scams, you should contact your local Secret Service office. Contact information can be found under the U.S. Government section of your local white pages or on the Secret Service’s website

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