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MEMBER ALERT: 

Fraudulent Texts and Emails

Area financial institutions are reporting an increase in fraudulent texts and emails designed to entice consumers to provide personal/financial information.

River City FCU will never solicit your  account information via e-mail, voice mail,  text messaging or other telephonic or  electronic media.*

Please contact our Member Service Center at (210) 225-6866 or (800) 535-3322 if you have questions.

*FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, it is very important that you contact River City FCU regarding any changes in your address or other personal information on all of your RCFCU accounts. 

If you have recently changed your name, address, phone number, or e-mail address, please remember to update your personal information with your credit union as soon as possible. 

And if you're conducting a wire transfer from one institution to another, this type of transaction will require a password. Simply visit one of our branches to establish your password in person. Again, this security measure is designed to help protect you and your account

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Holiday Fraud Prevention Tips

  • When you make a purchase, ensure that receipts reflect the correct transaction amount.

  • When you perform a transaction with your debit card, make sure that others do not see your PIN.

  • When using a debit card, you may select “credit”, which requires a signature and extends the $0 member liability under the Visa® / MasterCard® association rules.

  • Review all accounts (checking, savings, credit card) activity daily.

  • Lower your credit line limit during the holidays.

  • When paper checks are converted at a merchant to an ACH, store voided checks safely to prevent counterfeit checks or unauthorized ACH transactions.

  • Be suspicious of emails from unknown parties; don’t open the email or click any links within them.

  • Access your credit union’s authorized website by typing the website into the address bar of web browser to avoid “spoofed” websites attempting to steal your information.

  • Shop online with trustworthy merchants who require security information such as address verification and the CVV2/CVC2 number on the back of your card.

  • When shopping in person or using an ATM, be aware of your surroundings and report any unusual activities to your credit union.

  • Never leave your purse, wallet, or cards unattended.

  • And finally, if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is, so be cautious.

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How to Practice Safe Online Banking

  • Avoid opening attachments and/or clicking on links contained in unsolicited email.

  • Use antivirus software and update it at least weekly.

  • Install operating patches when updates become available.

  • Use a firewall.

  • Ensure home wireless networks are secure.

  • Avoid using computers accessible to the public as well as public Wi-Fi.

  • Create strong passwords at least nine characters long using upper and lower case letters along with numbers and special characters.

  • Change passwords frequently (at least every 60 to 90 days).

  • Review account balances and activity at least weekly and notify the credit union immediately in the event unauthorized transactions are identified.

  • Avoid setting the idle time-out feature longer than 15 minutes.

  • Check the last login date and time every time members login.

  • If available, take advantage of system alerts, including balance alerts, transfer alerts and password change alerts.

  • Always use the sign-off or log-off button to end the online banking session.

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FRAUD ADVISORY: Beware of Identity Thieves Seeking to Redirect Your Social Security Benefits

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BBB Offers Top Five Tips for Mobile Banking

Tuesday, April 09, 2013 7:00 AM

-- Texas Credit Union League "LONE STAR LEAGUER"

In our tech-savvy world, everything is readily accessible and convenient. Even banking. Gone are the days of waiting in line at the bank or even waiting for your computer to boot up. Now you can access your checking account from anywhere in the world via your smart phone or tablet.

But consumers need to be more cautious than ever when banking through any device, as hackers can prey on the unsuspecting. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has posted the following tips on its website:

  • Password-protect your phone or tablet so that only you can access the information on your device. This will help protect you if your phone or tablet is ever lost or stolen.
  • Never provide personal information unless you initiate contact with your financial institution. Financial institutions should not request account numbers, Social Security numbers or other sensitive information through email or text messages. If you're not sure about a request, contact your bank by calling the number on the back of your debit or credit card.
  • Don't stay "auto-logged in" to your accounts. Even though it's convenient, it increases the risk that an unauthorized user will access your accounts.
  • Delete old texts from your financial institution to reduce your exposure to fraud.
  • Report lost or stolen devices immediately to your wireless provider and financial institutions.

 

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ID Theft No Laughing Matter

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 9:00 AM
-- Texas Credit Union League "LONE STAR LEAGUER"  

The latest box-office hit is "Identity Thief," earning more than $36 million in its opening weekend to become the No. 1 movie in the country. But when identity theft occurs in real life, it costs American families billions of dollars and is the No. 1 consumer complaint in the U.S.

"This movie offers a humorous portrayal of an identity theft victim who takes matters into his own hands and hunts down the con artist who has stolen his identity. Moviegoers will find this scenario hilarious, but the crime of identity theft itself is no laughing matter," says Patricia Seaman, senior director with the Denver-based National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®). "But this is a teachable moment to understand the consequences of identity theft. Becoming a victim of fraud by having your identity misused can wipe out years of savings and assets and threaten your future security."

During the two hours it takes to sit through the movie, more than 2,000 Americans will be victimized by criminals who steal bits and pieces of their personal data for financial gain estimates Identity Theft 911, an identity-fraud management firm based in Scottsdale, Ariz. And the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that identity theft has been the top consumer complaint for the past 12 years in a row. In 2001, the FTC logged 86,250 complaints from those victimized by identity theft. By 2011, the number of complainants had risen to 279,156-a 224 percent increase in 10 years.

Identity theft can devastate household finances, credit history and reputation-as well as take time, money and patience to resolve. Identity thieves may gain access to your private information by:

  • Claiming to be a representative of your financial institution.
  • Sifting through your trash for discarded papers.
  • Stealing newly issued items such as credit cards, checks, utility bills, insurance statements and benefits documents from your unsecured mailbox.
  • Looking over your shoulder at the ATM to capture your personal identification number (PIN).

Thieves also may use more sophisticated tactics such as:

  • Phishing: Identity thieves send emails pretending to be financial institutions or other legitimate businesses, requesting your personal information to avoid an account closure or suspension.
  • Skimming: Thieves use a special storage device that steals credit or debit card numbers, which they then use to process transactions with your account.
  • Malware use: Scammers use malware-malicious software that affects computers-to obtain your personal information via the Internet.

 "Unfortunately, there is no definitive way to ensure you will not become a victim of identity theft. Yet there are steps you can take to minimize the chances that your information will be stolen and used by a thief," says Seaman.

Pay close attention to your credit report and regularly check for inaccuracies. You are entitled to a free credit report every year from each of the major credit report agencies-Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You can order a detailed summary from each agency at http://nefe.pr-optout.com/Tracking.aspx?Data=HHL%3d8%2b%3c1%403-%3eLCE58361%3d%26SDG%3c90%3a.&RE=IN&RI=1471448&Preview=False&DistributionActionID=13702&Action=Follow+Link. You also should regularly check your children's credit reports, as identity theft among children is on the rise.

You can initiate a fraud alert on your credit report, making it harder for an identity thief to open accounts in your name. When you have an alert on your report, a business must verify your identity before it issues credit.

Never give out your Social Security number, checking account information or other private data to unknown organizations or people. Most people who fall victim to identity theft mistakenly give out their personal information to fraudsters who appear to be representing a legitimate business. Remember, even a financial institution that you work with will not contact you asking for this information.

Additional measures of protection include:

  • Using a different PIN or password for each personal account, and changing them frequently.
  • Being aware of phishing tactics, where an email looks like it is from a real financial institution or store but is meant to trick you into supplying personal data. Instead of clicking links in the email, contact the business by phone or in person.
  • Installing firewalls and anti-spyware on your computer to prevent viruses or downloads designed to steal your personal information.
  • Leaving your Social Security card, bank account numbers, passwords and PINs at home instead of storing them in your wallet.
  • Shredding papers that have account numbers or other personal details on them.
  • Stopping junk mail and credit card offers from being delivered to your home by calling 888-5OPT-OUT, or online at http://nefe.pr-optout.com/Tracking.aspx?Data=HHL%3d8%2b%3c1%403-%3eLCE58361%3d%26SDG%3c90%3a.&RE=IN&RI=1471448&Preview=False&DistributionActionID=13701&Action=Follow+Link.

"People who see the 'Identity Thief' movie should enjoy the cinematic experience, but remember that this is not a realistic depiction of what happens when this crime occurs," says Seaman. "Everyone should take the time to understand how identity theft happens and take the steps necessary to protect themselves. This is an essential part of personal finance."

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Nearly Half of Mobile Apps Contain Pop-up Ad Malware; Saylor Offers Tips on How to Protect Yourself

Tuesday, February 05, 2013 6:40 AM
-- Texas Credit Union League "LONE STAR LEAGUER"
 

As enterprise mobility continues to grow, so too are threats to laptops, tablets and, especially, smartphones. According to a recent report by Business Insider, nearly half of all mobile applications are infected with pop-up ad malware, also known as madware. How can credit unions protect against malware?  Mike Saylor, vice president of technology for the Texas Credit Union League (TCUL), says it's important to understand what malware is.

"Malware is not just the scary password stealing software that could also change the security settings of your computer or cell phone," Saylor says.  "Malware is any software designed to collect data about you or your system and includes activity as simple as your cell phone number or laptop name, or could be as complex as collecting your internet behavior over several months, all your passwords, activating your web camera and correlating all this data into an activity report for bad guys.  Some tablet games take the basic form of malware."

According to Saylor, there has been an increasing level of malware attacks against financial institutions and their customers. 

"The obvious objective is to access to money, but this could also lead to more complex criminal activity with the capability of stealing identities," adds Saylor.

Saylor discusses Malware in the following Q&A:

Question: How does Malware work? 

Saylor: Bad guys write software that performs specific tasks (capture keyboard typing, search for all Word documents, etc), then they embed their Malware into either a legitimate file (e.g. PDF email attachment or photo), or a website's code.  In either case, the malware is activated by interacting with it through opening the attachment or visiting the web site.  Once installed, the malware will begin doing what it was designed to do, typically without you knowing it.

Question: How do I know if I'm infected? 

Saylor: It can be difficult to tell if you have been infected with malware, but there are often some telling signs.  Erratic behavior of your computer or smartphone (e.g. rebooting, freezing, strange error messages, slow performance, slow webpage loading, etc);  If your IT department begins asking about your Internet use;  pop-up windows with prescription drug advertisements; friends asking you why you emailed them a virus or a link to pornography at 2 a.m.; and changes to privacy or security settings (e.g. do not merge my contacts with Linked-in, but the setting keeps changing to allow it) are examples of symptoms of malware infection.  If your device becomes infected, the best solution is factory reset or a complete re-install.

Question: How do I protect myself? 

Saylor: First, do not click on links within email messages, even if the message is from someone you know.  Copy the link text by highlighting it with your mouse, or better yet.retype it in your Internet browser by hand. 

Second, do not open attachments received in email; if you must open attachments, copy them to your desktop and run your anti-virus software on it before opening it (if possible).

Thirdly, be diligent with what websites you visit - take your time to recognize it a third party has reviewed the security of the site (e.g. Norton, Symantec or other secure site logo to the right of a Google search). 

Lastly, update your IT department with suspicious emails, phone calls, text messages, etc. so that they are informed of potential threats.

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IRS Offers Tips to Avoid Being ID Theft Victim during Tax Season

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 8:35 AM
-- Texas Credit Union League "LONE STAR LEAGUER"

Each year consumers spend countless hours preparing their tax returns hoping they don't owe the government money. But what they may not realize is that the government isn't the only one who may collect their hard earned cash -- so might identity thieves.

The 2013 filing season is upon us, and the IRS says it is taking additional steps during the 2013 tax season to protect taxpayers and help victims of identity theft and refund fraud. The IRS is focused on preventing, detecting and resolving identity theft cases as soon as possible. It reportedly has more than 3,000 employees working on identity theft cases - more than twice the level of a year ago. The IRS says it has also trained more than 35,000 employees who work with taxpayers to recognize and provide assistance when identity theft occurs.

Taxpayers can encounter identity theft involving their tax returns in several ways. One instance is where identity thieves try filing fraudulent refund claims using another person's identifying information, which has been stolen. Innocent taxpayers are victimized because their refunds are delayed.

The IRS offers the following tips to taxpayers to help them avoid becoming a victim:

  • Don't carry your Social Security card or any documents with your SSN or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) on it.
  • Don't give a business your SSN or ITIN just because they ask. Give it only when required.
  • Protect your financial information.
  • Check your credit report every 12 months.
  • Secure personal information in your home.
  • Protect your personal computers by using firewalls, anti-spam/virus software, update security patches and change passwords for Internet accounts.
  • Don't give personal information over the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or you are sure you know who you are dealing with.

If your tax records are not currently affected by identity theft, but you believe you may be at risk due to a lost or stolen purse or wallet, questionable credit card activity or credit report, the IRS is urging consumers to contact its Identity Protection Specialized Unit at (800) 908-4490, extension 245 (Mon. - Fri., 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. local time)

The IRS says it's important for taxpayers to be alert to possible identity theft if they receive a notice from the IRS or learn from their tax professional that:

  • More than one tax return for you was filed;
  • You have a balance due, refund offset or have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return;
  • IRS records indicate you received more wages than you actually earned or
  • Your state or federal benefits were reduced or cancelled because the agency received information reporting an income change.

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ID Theft Scam Injects Fake Chat Boxes

Monday, November 05, 2012 6:55 AM
-- Texas Credit Union League "INFOSITE COMPLIANCE"

When it comes to gaining access to your personal information, scammers will stop at nothing.  One of the latest schemes is the "fake chat box scam"  According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the scam targets unsuspecting Internet users.

Here's how it works. the unsuspecting Internet user is on his financial institution's web site when a message flashes up that says, "We are running a security check."  Then, a live chat box pops up with a message that says something to the effect of "a representative will be with you shortly."  As promised, the "representative" begins a live online chat session with the user - who unwittingly discloses confidential account information.

The scammers reportedly target those whose computers previously have been infected with malware, which the victims have downloaded unknowingly via fake web links or attachments.  After the malware is downloaded, it lies dormant until the victim opens up his or her online banking site.

To avoid becoming a victim of this scam, consumers must be proactive - use updated security software to try to prevent malware from being embedded in their computer. Consumers should also know that their financial institution would never ask for their personal identifiable information because they already have it.

If you encounter this scam, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners suggests that you turn off your computer and call your financial institution.  Consumers should also run a security check for other viruses and malware.

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rcityonline email phishing scam 10.17.12

We have received reports of phishing emails that appear to be from NetTeller, the system that drives rcityonline (RCFCU online banking).  The subject line of the emails says NetTeller Watch Notice, and the email address is customer_service@cm.netteller.com.

These are bogus emails sent by an unknown party to attempt to gain your personal information.  PLEASE DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK EMBEDDED IN THE EMAIL.  These emails do not come from River City Federal Credit Union, or from the NetTeller system.  We recommend that you permanently delete any suspicious emails. 

For questions or concerns, please call River City FCU’s Member Service Center at (210) 225-6866, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.


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Today's scammers don't have to go dumpster-diving to get your personal information, as they have found a more sophisticated way to lure unsuspecting victims - they go 'phishing.' Phishing is a high-tech scam that uses spam or pop-up messages to deceive unsuspecting consumers into disclosing their credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords, and other sensitive information. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), phishers send an email or pop-up message that claims to be from a legitimate business or organization, and the message usually asks that the recipient "update" or "validate" his/her account information.

The FTC, the nation's consumer protection agency, suggests these tips to help consumers avoid being hooked by a phishing scam:

  • Don't respond to email or pop-up messages that asks for personal or financial information, as legitimate companies don't ask for this information via email.
  • Never e-mail personal or financial information because e-mail is not a secure method of transmitting personal information. If you initiate a transaction and want to provide your personal or financial information through an organization's Web site, look for indicators that the site is secure.
  • Be sure to review credit card and account statements as soon as you receive them to determine whether there are any unauthorized charges.
  • Use anti-virus software and keep it up to date.
  • Be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any files from emails you receive, regardless of who sent them.

Consumers should immediately report suspicious activity to the FTC. If a consumer receives a spam that is phishing for information, they should forward it to spam@uce.gov. Consumers who suspect they've been scammed, should file a complaint at www.ftc.gov, and then visit the FTC's Identity Theft Website to learn how to minimize the risk of damage from ID theft.

In addition, you can help us and your fellow River City Federal Credit Union members by forwarding suspicious and fraudulent emails to abuse@rivercityfcu.org.

More information on how to prevent Identity Theft...

  • Order a copy of your credit report from each of three major credit reporting agencies every year.
  • Use a shredder to dispose of all important financial paperwork.
  • Do not carry unneeded identification cards in your wallet such as Social Security card.
  • Examine your checkbook periodically to make sure no one has stolen any checks.
  • Put all important identification papers, including Social Security cards, passbooks, old bank statements, mortgage papers, and copies of old tax returns, in a safe box.
  • Guard your Social Security number, driver's license number and other personal information carefully and find out how it will be used before revealing it to anyone.

What to do if you're a victim...

  • Contact the fraud departments of each one of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax (800-525-6285), Experian (888-397-3742), and TransUnion (800-680-7289). Ask that a 'fraud alert' be placed on your file and that no new credit be granted without your approval.
  • Contact the creditors for any accounts that have been accessed or opened fraudulently. Close these accounts.
  • File a report with your local police or the police where the identify theft took place. Get a copy of the report in case the credit union, credit card company or others need proof of the crime.

ID Theft Hot Lines...

  • Federal Trade Commission: (877) 438-4338
  • Social Security Administration: (800) 269-0271
  • Reduce the number credit card offers you receive: (888) 5OPT OUT (they will ask for your Social Security number)

Source: 'ID Theft: When Bad Things Happen to Your Good Name,' Federal Trade Commission, San Antonio Police Department and Texas Credit Union League


Important Information About Card Compromise

River City FCU has been notified of a recent plastic card compromise which is the result of a widespread global cyber fraud operation.  The compromise took place in a company which provides payment processing.

If your card was affected, it may be due to your conducting business at one of the payment processor clients.

To date, we are not aware of any member accounts which have had fraudulent activity.  However, you are encouraged to monitor your account for suspicious activity.

RCFCU is deeply committed to maintaining the security of our members' data, and we will continue doing everything reasonably possible to achieve this objective.  You will be kept informed as we receive additional information.

More Info on the Internet...

 
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