Online Awareness & Keeping Your Personal Banking Information Safe
In this rapidly changing world we live in, new technologies are popping up each day. And with new technology comes new opportunity for criminals. Online scams and crimes are ever increasing and innocent web surfers are falling victim to these scammers every day.
One example of this activity: Online criminals have created a ‘virus’ that is downloaded into your computer, unbeknownst to you. With this virus on your computer, the scammer can record your keystrokes. So, when you go to login to your online banking or any other site, the virus will record your keystrokes, effectively getting your pass-codes. Then, in the example of online banking, police reports have shown that the scammer will add a new payee on the victims banking program, usually a Pre-paid credit card, and load the victim’s money onto the card. Now, the cards are usually untraceable and this makes the job of hunting down the criminals very difficult.
What to do if you suspect this has happened to you: Call your Credit Union immediately. We will report the activity to the police.
At Beautiful Plains Credit Union we are alerted as new scams are discovered and have programs in place to detect suspicious transactions in our member’s accounts. But as these criminals are rather clever, some transactions may slip by us, and this is where we ask that you alert us to any unauthorized transactions on your accounts.
Online Awareness Tips:
- Never open email attachments unless you know that they are safe; even if it comes from a friend or someone you know. Virus’s on their computer can manipulate their email account to spread the virus to your computer
- Never open an attachment that has an “.exe” file extension (an .exe file launches a program download- and unless you have requested this to happen and know exactly what it is, this is not a good thing.)
- Never reply to email notifications from you financial institution, credit card provider, etc.- they are fakes designed to have you divulge your personal information to scammers. No financial services provider would ever use email to ask you to verify your account or personal information. Never.
- Don’t access your banking account on a publicly accessible computer (at the library, etc.) or on a public wireless network.
- Never share you account number, password or Personal Access Code (PAC) with anyone and change your passwords frequently.
- Check your account activity frequently and notify Beautiful Plains Credit Union of any unauthorized activities.
How to protect your computer and your personal information:
- Purchase and install reputable anti-virus software that also includes anti-spyware and anti-malware in the program. Also install and configure a firewall on your computer.
- Ensure that your anti-virus software is setup to run daily updates and regular scans of your computer.
- Renew the software when the subscription runs out (usually every year)
For more information on how you can protect your Banking Information online, contact Beautiful Plains Credit Union in branch or by phone: (204) 476-3341 Neepawa ; (204) 352-4475 Glenella.