Fraud Alerts and Scam Warnings and Notices
3-6-2014 - Fraudulent Official Freedom Checks - Freedom Credit Union is experiencing a large volume of fraudulent official check activity from areas across the United States. If you receive a Freedom Credit Union official check and would like to verify its authenticity, please contact us immediately. All necessary authorities have been notified of this scam. We are working together to resolve this situation as soon as possible.
2-11-2014 - Merchant Data Breach (Target, Michaels, and other merchants) - Freedom Credit Union has reissued numerous cards over the past couple of months due to the various retail merchant compromises. If you receive a replacement card in the mail, please activate it immediately. Inadvertently, some of our cards were sent out by our card processor without a member notification insert that advised members of a deactivation date. If you have any issues or concerns, please contact our Operations Department at (413) 739-6961.
1-24-2014 - Watch Out for IRS Tax SCAMS - As the 2014 tax season approaches, the IRS warns taxpayers to be on alert of tax-related scams. These tax scams can take many forms, from perpetrators posing as the IRS through e-mail refund schemes to phone impersonators. Be vigilant of any unexpected communication that is purportedly from the IRS. It is important to note, that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal and financial information. This would include electronic communications such as text messages and social media channels as well. The IRS also does not ask for PIN numbers, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit cards, or other financial accounts. Don't give personal information over the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you have initiated the contact.
Recipients of these types of e-mail communications should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1-21-2014 - "Automated" Phone Call SCAM - We have been informed of several automated calls being received by the membership informing them that their debit card has been compromised and to call a number and provide personal card information. The automated calls are purporting to be from the National Credit Union Association NCUA. This is a SCAM and you are encouraged to never provide any personal information over the phone related to this incident or any similar requests in the future.
12-23-2013 - Target Security Breach - Target Brands, Inc. has announced a data breach in its payment card data affecting consumers who used their debit and credit cards at U.S. Target stores between November 27, 2013 and December 15, 2013. Members are encouraged to review their debit and credit card account activity and report any suspicious activity. Freedom Credit Union will be issuing new debit cards to those members affected by this breach. If you have any concerns, please contact us at (413) 739-6961 or (800) 821-0160.
12-20-2013 – "Text" messaging SCAM - We have received notification of four phone numbers reaching out to our members for information via text messages. Be vigilant for texts coming from the following phone numbers: 413-212-6174, 413-271-0895, 413-347-3023 and 413-848-8444. THIS IS A SCAM! Please do not provide your debit card, credit card, or account numbers over the phone or online. Freedom Credit Union does not use cellular phone communications when communicating with its membership on any financial matters including debit and credit card information. If you have replied to the text, please call our Operations Department so we can help you monitor any questionable activity on your account.
12-09-2013 - Millions of Social Media, Email and ADP Payroll Password Credentials Stolen - It is recommended that you change your personal online social media, email, and ADP payroll account passwords as soon as possible. Just after Thanksgiving it was confirmed that cyber criminals managed to steal 2 million passwords. If you belong to or use any of these online social networking, email, or ADP payroll services, please act immediately:
- Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Twitter, LinkedIn, VK, Odnoklassniki, or ADP Payroll
4-29-2013 - SmartPhone and Mobile Device Security Tips - The credit union offered mobile banking to its membership last week and here are some very prudent security practices for SmartPhone users.
- Lock Your SmartPhone - Set up a screen lock so the phone cannot be accessed or used without a password. Use a real alphanumeric password (not a 4-digit PIN) and ensure the screen is set to lock automatically after 1 to 5 minutes of being idle.
- Don't Leave Your SmartPhone Unattended - Don't leave your SmartPhone sitting around in public spaces...it's easy to do. Put it in your coat, pocket, briefcase, purse, wherever it can be out of view when not in use.
- Don't Give Your SmartPhone to Strangers - If someone needs to make an emergency call home and asks to use your phone...don't. Rather than give the person your phone, make the call for them and put it on speaker.
- Keep Your SmartPhone Up-To-Date - You know those system updates you've been ignoring for a while? Install them. Most SmartPhone system updates include enhancements to device security. When updates are provided by the manufacturer, install them.
- Use 'Find My iPhone' or Similar Service - There are free, very easy SmartPhone tools available that allow the tracking and wiping service for Androids, iOS, Windows and Blackberry phones. These tools and services allow the user to lock, track, or wipe their SmartPhone remotely if lost. This not only protects your personal data, but it could help you recover a lost or stolen device.
- Don't Download Apps from Untrusted Sources - Do not enable the "non-market Apps" setting on your SmartPhone. These types of Apps are riddled with vulnerabilities. Only install Apps from the SmartPhone manufacturer's approved online App Store.
- Do 'SmartPhone Apps' Due Diligence - Do your homework! Read the 'Permissions' screen when you download and install new Apps to your SmartPhone. Many Apps will let you know that they are accessing your location, call history, contacts, and other personal data. Realize too when these Apps deliver your SmartPhone information to other third-party companies for other uses.
- Watch Those Attachments! - Be careful about opening attachments sent to your SmartPhone by people you don't know. Many attachments are used by hackers to deploy malicious software and viruses.
- Encrypt SmartPhone Data - Most new SmartPhones make it relatively simple to encrypt the contents of the phone. This ensures that even if the phone does fall into the wrong hands and is accessed because the screen lock was bypassed, some level of protection still remains for your personal data.
- Your SmartPhone is a Small Computer! - Don't think of your SmartPhone as being "just a phone." It is a small computer with a substantial storage of personal information in addition to phone numbers and contacts._________________________________________________________________
Call-Forwarding SCAM - Identity thieves have learned how to "Call-Forward" telephone numbers to a fraudulent call center where criminals are stealing identities. Although Freedom Credit Union has implemented the necessary precautions and procedures to prevent the inadvertent disclosure of its membership's confidential information to these thieves, it is highly recommended that you contact your local telephone service company and request that "Call-Forwarding" be disabled, and enable "Password-Protection" on your telephone number, if available.
Freedom Credit Union will continue to utilize this forum to promote awareness and educate our membership and visitors as new fraud alerts and scams become available.
**It is important to always remember, Freedom Credit Union will under NO circumstances send an email or leave voicemail messages on a mobile or home telephone requesting a member to reply to an email or call to update or verify financial account information.***