Look Out for Scams
CoastHills is committed to informing you of scams or fraudulent activity as soon as we become aware of them. We regularly update our website with the latest scam information.
Tips to Protect Yourself from Scams
- If you receive an email warning you that your account will be closed unless you confirm your billing information, do not reply or click on the link in the email. Instead, contact the company cited in the email directly using a telephone number or website you know to be genuine. Send the actual spam to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Avoid emailing personal and financial information. Before submitting financial information through a website, look for “https” in the address, an indicator that the information is secure during transmission.
- Review credit card and credit union account statements as soon as you receive them to determine whether there are any unauthorized charges. If the statement is late by more than a few days, call the credit card company or credit union to confirm your billing address and account balances.
Demand Draft Fraud
Demand draft fraud, the unauthorized debiting of a consumers checking account, is a growing problem. Currently, it is the favorite method of fraudulent actors for taking consumers’ money through fraudulent telemarketing and other scams. Many fraudsters persuade consumers, either over the telephone or through the mail, to divulge their checking account numbers by telling them that their bank account numbers are needed to verify prizes or to deposit prize money directly into a consumers’ bank account. In other cases, fraudsters will tell the consumer that only a small amount of money will be withdrawn, but in fact withdraw a huge amount.
Once a consumer provides his or her checking account number, a fraudster can generate a document that looks exactly like the checks in the consumer’s checkbook. This form of fraud is very lucrative. Many consumers fall prey to demand draft fraud by failing to protect their checking account information. Consumers can protect themselves and their checking account by NEVER DISCLOSING their checking account information to anyone they do not know or for any purpose other than to pay for a purchase through direct debiting of their account. Consumers need to know that the only purpose for which anyone ever requests them to disclose their checking account numbers is to deduct funds from their accounts. Legitimate companies that use demand drafts as a payment method fully disclose the terms of the sale and the payment method, including their purpose in asking for checking account information, and that the information will be used to obtain payment for goods or services by debiting funds from the consumers’ checking account.
The Nigerian Scam
The Nigerian Scam is used when an item (generally a vehicle) is placed for sale on the Internet. The seller receives an offer to purchase by a person living outside the United States, usually in the UK or Africa. The “buyer” advises the seller that they will send payment in the form of a cashier's check and, once payment is received, the seller is instructed to Western Union any overpayment to a Third Party Shipper in order to arrange for pickup and shipment of the item. The overpayment is a significant amount of money, usually more than $4,000. Once the seller sends the overpayment by Western Union, the scam is complete. The seller learns of the fraud 10 days later when the cashier’s check is returned unpaid. Most of these checks are marked counterfeit upon return.
Big Brother Isn't Really Watching Phishing Scam
There really is a National Credit Union Administration, but its relationship to individual credit unions and credit cards issued by a credit union is probably not well understood by most credit union members. The email bait received by a credit union member therefore could seem plausibly official, inducing the user to click on the link and bring up the first web page on the phishing site. On this page, the user should see the IP number of 188.8.131.52 in the address bar and take it as a sign that this is not the NCUA. If the user logs in, (any social security number and password will do) they see the full data entry screen where they have the opportunity to give away the store.
The NCUA does not send email to Credit Union members requesting that they update their account or financial information. If you receive such an email, report it at www.IC3.gov.
FSCC Email Scam
FSCC is aware of recent fraudulent emails being sent to members asking them to verify their account information. This is called phishing. These emails are often disguised as official messages from well-known companies that ask you to validate and submit sensitive personal information via email or a fake website. The intent is to steal your identity or account access information. These websites often mimic the logos, colors, and language used by legitimate companies and can be very convincing.
NEVER send sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, social security numbers, secret words, or PINs in an email or click directly on links in an email, even if you recognize the address. These links can redirect you to a fake, though very real looking, website. Instead, always type the web address directly into your browser's address bar.
Please be assured that CU Service Centers has not been compromised in any way and that credit union member transactions remain secure.
FDIC Email Scam
A member received an email that looked like it was from the FDIC. Below is an example of the email our member received. It is not accurate and is only a scam. Do not be alarmed.
From: FDIC [mailto:Benedicta_Poh-Soon@yahoo.co.uk]
Subject: Important News About Your Bank Account
To whom it may concern;
In cooperation with the Department Of Homeland Security, Federal, State and Local Governments your account has been denied insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation due to suspected violations of the Patriot Act. While we have only a limited amount of evidence gathered on your account at this time it is enough to suspect that currency violations may have occurred in your account and due to this activity we have withdrawn Federal Deposit Insurance on your account until we verify that your account has not been used in a violation of the Patriot Act.
As a result Department Of Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge has advised the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to suspend all deposit insurance on your account until such time as we can verify your identity and your account information.
Please verify through our IDVerify below. This information will be checked against a federal government database for identity verification. This only takes up to a minute and when we have verified your identity you will be notified of said verification and all suspensions of insurance on your account will be lifted.
[Original e-mail provides a link here]
Failure to use IDVerify below will cause all insurance for your account to be terminated and all records of your account history will be sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington D.C. for analysis and verification. Failure to provide proper identity may also result in a visit from Local, State or Federal Government or Homeland Security Officials.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
Donald E. Powell
Chairman Emeritus FDIC
John D. Hawke, Jr.
Comptroller of the Currency
Michael E. Bartell
Chief Information Officer
Bona Fide Phone Scam
A member received a phone call from a company called Bona Fide Account Protection Services. They told our member that they have seen their account number on numerous reports and that people could electronically take money from that account. They wanted our member to provide them with their account number and authorize them to take a fee of $288 to protect their account. Our member said the name of the caller was John Warner; however, he had a very heavy foreign accent. The call back number he provided was (866) 244-5890. They also have a website www.bapservice.com.
Please do not give your account number to anyone! Rest assured that unauthorized people or companies are not able to electronically withdraw money from your account at CoastHills, nor do we distribute your account number.
The information provided here is for informational purposes only. These scams have not happened at any CoastHills ATM machine and are not a warning to our members. These are merely trends that have happened elsewhere in the United States for which you should be aware. Please contact us with any questions you may have.
A team of organized criminals is installing equipment on legitimate bank ATMs in at least two regions to steal both the ATM card number and the PIN. The team sits nearby in a car receiving the information transmitted wirelessly from equipment they install on the front of the ATM (see photos). If you see an attachment like this, do not use the ATM and report it immediately to the police.
The equipment used to capture your ATM card number and PIN is cleverly disguised to look like normal ATM equipment. A "skimmer" is mounted to the front of the normal ATM card slot that reads the ATM card number and transmits it to the criminals. At the same time, a wireless camera is disguised to look like a leaflet holder and is mounted in a position to view ATM PIN entries. The thieves copy the cards and use the PIN numbers to withdraw thousands of dollars from many accounts in a very short time directly from the ATM.
Equipment being installed on top of the existing bankcard slot.
The PIN reading camera being installed on the ATM is housed in an innocent looking leaflet enclosure.
ATM Scam 2
Thieves are putting a thin, clear, rigid plastic “sleeve” into the ATM card slot. When you insert your card, the machine can't read the strip, so it keeps asking you to re-enter your PIN number.
Meanwhile, someone behind you watches as you key in your number. Eventually you give up, thinking the machine has swallowed your card and you walk away.
The thieves then remove the plastic sleeve complete with card, and empty your account.
If your card is captured by an ATM machine, contact the financial institution where the card was issued as soon as possible.
A person claiming to be a “VISA/MasterCard Sweepstakes” employee informed our member that he was the winner of a new computer. To prove that he was truly from “VISA/MasterCard Sweepstakes,” he gave the member the last four digits of his card number (most receipts have that printed on them). However, to ship the computer to the member, he would need the complete card number and his address. Do not give your personal information over the phone.