Monday, October 27, 2008

Superintendent's Bulletin Warns of Phishing Scheme

The Superintendent's Bi-Weekly bulletin had a warning for people that are receiving emails that claim to be from the City of Boston Credit Union. These emails are NOT from the City of Boston Credit Union. These emails are an example of phishing, which are emails sent to try and get the user to provide their personal information such as account numbers, passwords and social security numbers. According to the bulletin, these emails have been in several forms including the following:
  • Surveys with a cash reward if you enter your personal information
  • Implications that your account is in jeopardy of being closed unless you enter your information
  • A notice that we are updating our security enhancements, so please enter your personal information
  • Plus, many other schemes to entice people to enter their personal and confidential information.
All of these emails are fraudulent. This is a classic example of a phishing scheme. Once you input your personal information it is sent to a criminal who may use that information to commit identity fraud. They may also sell your information to a third party who may use it to open up credit cards or obtain loans in your name. Banks, credit unions, brokerage firms and other types of financial institutions will not send an email to ask you to input personal information! If you ever have any questions about whether or not your financial institution is looking for something from you, give them a call using the phone number from one of your financial statements.

Remember, it is always a good idea to periodically check your credit report with one of the three major credit agencies just to make sure you have not fallen victim to identity theft. By law, you are entitled to a free credit report once every twelve months from these agencies. The Federal Trade Commission website about identity theft is full of helpful information about strategies to avoid a problem and what to do if someone does steal your identity.

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