Information you can use for your financial future
Ways to prevent "Phishing" from Hooking You
"Phishing" describes a variety of ways that criminals attempt to trick people into giving up confidential information. It can take the form of e-mail requests or fake web pages that include the logo and look of the real institution. They frequently include a link to the phishers website, that may even appear to have the same web address. Here are some tips on how to avoid this form of fraud.
Fighting ID Theft
If you read the Credit Union newsletter, the newspapers, or watch TV you are aware of the threat of ID theft. If someone steals your identity it can damage your credit rating and cost you thousands of dollars. Here are the facts to help fight this crime.
The first step in fighting any type of crime is PREVENTION. These are just a few of the ways you can help prevent this from happening to you.
If you discover you are a victim of ID theft call the police. This is a real crime, just like burglary or assault. The sooner that you report, the more likely that they can help you.
Contact your credit card issuers. You are not liable for fraudulent transactions if you report them in the proper amount of time. Check everywhere you have accounts such as checking, savings, or brokerage accounts to see if anyone has made withdrawals or changed your address.
The credit bureaus will post a notice on your file that you have been a victim of ID theft. You will need to complete an affidavit prepared by the Federal Trade Commission that is accepted by the credit bureaus. To find that affidavit go to www.consumer.gov/idtheft/affidavit.htm.
The Federal Trade Commission has set up a hotline for victims of ID theft. Call them at 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338).
You can also take a quiz to see if you are at risk of identity theft at www.privacyrights.com.
Credit Union Plus is committed to providing members information on how to fight this problem. Watch this web site and our newsletter for more information.
Electronic Check Transfers
Electronic check transfers are a new way for merchants to cash your check. Instead of depositing the check at his bank, a merchant may now present the check electronically. This saves the merchant money, and it will clear your account sooner.
When funds are withdrawn electronically from your account it is called a debit. An electronic check transfer may debit an account from a point of purchase such as when someone buys something at a store. If a merchant has received a check back for insufficient funds (a bounced check), the merchant can also try to debit the members account. A third way an account may be debited for an electronic check transfer is when someone authorizes an electronic payment for a bill. In this case the merchant will request a check number, and that must appear on your statement.
All of these types of transactions are considered an electronic funds transfer and are covered under the Electronic Funds Transfer Disclosure given by the credit union to all members. Keep in mind that when you authorize these types of transaction they may clear your account faster than a paper check. For more information from the Federal Reserve on this topic, go to www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/checkconv/