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Fraud Alerts

December 10, 2018

Credit Union members should take some additional steps to keep their accounts secure this season.

Here are 3 ways members can allude holiday fraudsters this season.

  • Check Recent Activity
    When buying holiday gifts, members’ spending will go up and their purchases will likely not fall in the trend of their usual buying habits. Therefore, members should regularly check their account activity. A situation that happens often is those who lose, drop or misplace their credit card while holiday shopping. If a member goes shopping at the mall – spending quite a bit of money on gifts for friends and family, but somewhere along the way they lose their card, someone else can use it to buy their holiday gifts too. In this case, the transactions might not flag as fraudulent activity because the member was making legitimate purchases at the location before the card was compromised. It is very important members check their recent transaction history so if fraud occurs it can be caught early.
  • Sign Up for Alerts
    While many members choose to leave account alerts off, the holidays are a good time to switch them on. Transaction notifications will let members know when their cards are being used. Members are able to review their transaction history and if they weren’t the one that made the purchase, quick action can be taken to resolve the situation.
  • Seeing is NOT Believing
    Online shopping can be a dangerous practice during the holidays. Fraudsters can replicate sites and members might purchase items from fake sites and waste money on a product that they will never receive. Encourage members to be vigilant and validate the sites they purchase from during the holidays. Some fraudsters do a great job of replicating the original site, so members should check the URL and verify they’re on the correct and secure website. Members should also keep a close watch on their email inbox. Phishing emails tend to increase during the holidays and opening these emails and clicking on the links inside enable fraudsters to capture personal information.

November 13, 2018

Fraudulent Phone Calls

Phone calls have been circulating of individuals claiming to being a representative from Southwest Federal Credit Union. Our number is (505) 243-6751, if you receive a phone call from any other number claiming to be Southwest Federal Credit Union, do not give any of your information out.

September 18, 2017

Equifax Data Breach

For information regarding the Equifax data breach, visit the Equifax website at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and click on the “Potential Impact” link at the bottom of the page. You can also find out if your personal information was compromised during the Equifax Data Breach. You may also call 866-447-7559 for additional information.

You can obtain a free credit report by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. Southwest FCU members may also visit any of our three branches for a free credit review.

June 15, 2017

Use caution when you have been contacted and asked to release personal information

Scammers are contacting individuals stating they owe money to financial institutions. They use the name, account number, and an amount owed. They state that if you pay today, they will settle for a lower amount than what is owed. Please do not give out any of your personal information, i.e., credit card number, social security number, or any of identifying information out. If you receive a similar phone call, please contact your financial institution as soon as possible.

December 15, 2016

Use caution with our Cashiers Checks

Two scams are circulating counterfeit Cashier’s Checks drawn on Southwest FCU. A Secret Shopper and jobs seeking care for children, seniors, pets, homes, or personal shopper. If you receive a check, do not deposit the check or send money per instructions. Contact 505-243-6751 or toll free 800-880-7974 and we will take your report.

We suggest you file a police report, and save any form of evidence that was associated with check (i.e. package label, package) . Also, we suggest you go to www.ic3.gov to make an internet scam report, and make a report through the Better Business Bureau, the Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Trade Commission.

If you can answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you could be involved in fraudulent activity or you could be a victim of a scam.

      • Is the check from an item you sold on the Internet, such as a car, boat, jewelry, etc?
      • Is the amount of the check more than the item’s selling price?
      • Did you receive the check via an overnight delivery service?
      • Is the check connected to communicating with someone by email?
      • Is the check drawn on a business or individual account that is different from the person buying your item or product?
      • Have you been informed that you were the winner of a lottery, such as Canadian, Australian, El Gordo, or El Mundo, that you did not enter?
      • Have you been instructed to either “wire”, “send”, or “ship” money, as soon as possible to a large U.S. city or to another country, such as Canada, England, or Nigeria?
      • Have you been asked to pay money to receive a deposit from another country such as Canada, England, or Nigeria?
      • Are you receiving pay or a commission for facilitating money transfers through your account?
      • Did you respond to an email requesting you to confirm, update, or provide your account information?

Tell branch personal immediately

FBI Fraud Alert – poster

Important Notice on Cashiers Checks

A cashier’s check is a check issued by a financial institution, payable to a specific person. It is often used as a trusted form of payment to consumers for goods and services.

Having access to funds from a cashier’s check that you deposit in your account does not mean the check is authentic. If you sell goods over the Internet and a buyer sends you a cashier’s check for the price on which you agreed, it may take weeks to discover that the cashier’s check is fraudulent. By that time, you may already have used the funds. When the fraud is detected, you will owe the Credit Union the full amount of the cashier’s check funds that you deposited and used.

Ways you can reduce Check Fraud

When you use the Internet to sell goods or offer services, consider receiving payment through an online system (for example, PayPal) rather than by cashier’s check.

If your buyer requests that you keep a portion of the cashier check funds and send any remaining portion via wire transfer or money order, do not accept the cashier’s check.

Never accept more money than your selling price as payment.

Wait until the check clears before providing goods or services to the buyer.

The financial institution on which the cashier’s check is written can tell you if it is genuine. To be certain that it is, call or visit them before depositing the check.

Save your documents regarding the transaction including letters and e-mail correspondence and receipts.  You will need that paperwork if something goes wrong.
There has been an increase recently in the amount of fake checks SFCU members have received.

This article, “Five Things You Should Know to Avoid Fake Check Scams”, gives you valuable information to help you guard against this kind of fraud.