Many people have been tricked into divulging their personal information by thieves posing as legitimate companies or government agencies. This new brand of criminal sends emails or letters that appear to be from your Credit Union or other trusted sources, such as the National Credit Union Administration. The emails often stress the urgency of "updating" your personal information such as credit card numbers, checking account information, Social Security numbers, passwords, PINs, mother's maiden name and other sensitive information. The emails often link to fraudulent websites for collecting the information. The messages and web sites are often disguised with authentic looking logos or familiar graphics. Because the technology is so sophisticated, many consumers have no idea they've been victimized until it's too late. The thieves then create entirely new identities using your personal information—leaving you to pay the price.
BrightStar Credit Union will never send you an email (or a letter, or call you) asking you for your personal account information. The only place online where we ask for this information is on our web site, www.bscu.org—where you can login safely to your accounts. So if you get a message "phishing" for your Credit Union account information—don't bite. Instead, call the Credit Union to help protect yourself.
While phishing scams are becoming more prevalent all the time, there are steps you can take to avoid being victimized:
If you have shared your personal information with a thief, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage.
• If you have shared your credit card, debit/ATM card, or checking account information, contact the Credit Union immediately. Even if there has been no activity yet, you may need to cancel the account and open a new one.
• If thieves have accessed your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card numbers etc., report the theft to the 3 major credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on your file. In addition, notify your Credit Union, the local police and the Social Security Administration.
For more information about protecting yourself from phishing and other forms of internet fraud or identity theft, visit the following web sites:
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