Holiday Security & Fraud Alerts

We would like to remind everyone around this time of year to be on heightened alert, more vigilant, and cautious in the ways that we conduct financial transactions. During the holiday season many types of malicious campaigns tend to increase. From malicious websites and phishing campaigns to Point of Sale software, ATM skimmers, and counterfeit checks, all of which are on the rise.  These fraud and security risks are always to be cautioned for, but it is even more important this time of year.

So, what can we do?

  • Use Multifactor Authentication (MFA) anywhere our technologies allow us to. (At work and Personal Lives) Preferably using an authenticator application vs SMS or one-time-pin.
  • Ensure that we are using official websites for shopping and ordering from reputable sources, verify that the website is secure before making any purchases and entering payment information. (Lookout for deals that seem TOO good.)
  • Know who you are communicating with. If in doubt it is okay to use another means of communication to verify the authenticity of who you are communicating with via email or instant messaging. This time of year there comes a flood of phishing campaigns like extortion and malicious files containing malware and ransomware. Sometimes these campaigns can be very compelling and seem to pose legal or financial troubles, increasing the victim’s chance of falling for the campaign under heightened fears and holiday stress.
  • Use Digital Wallet features (Like Apple Wallet) or other Tap-to-Pay Technologies that are available – Point of sales machines become a target this time of year as it is a great source for a malicious actor to gain access to a lot of transactional information in one place. A shopping center payment pad cover/skimmer can be used; Point of Sale Devices can become infected with malware putting information at risk, gas pumps can have skimmers installed and pose a risk to all those who use that gas pump.
  • Using ATMs that support Tap Pay/NFC Contactless or Cardless transactions – ATM Skimmers pose a higher risk this time of year. Something that ACU has experienced recently and in the past. Staff and Members should regularly be inspecting the ATMs for anything out of the ordinary. You may need to shake the card read slots and cash dispensing location for decoy pieces that look like they are part of the ATM. This should be done at all ATMs when used here at ACU or any Financial institution.

We cannot encourage enough the importance of taking the few extra minutes for setting up MFA, Cardless/Tap, Digital wallet payment technologies. These tools are more widely used than many expect – you may be surprised where it is supported. Digital wallets like “Apple Wallet and Google Wallet” can store multiple payment methods, event tickets, and much more. Using these technologies where supported is not only more secure, but they are also faster and provide a more seamless transactions experience.

If you notice suspicious activity on your account, or something doesn’t seem right, make sure to contact America’s Credit Union right away. We are available via call, or text, at 253-964-3113.

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