We Put Our Members First.

Fraud & Security Education

Members 1st endeavors to protect our members and financial assets as well as maintain the confidentiality of your personal information. Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous individuals who constantly attempt to scam the public each and every day. One way to protect yourself is to be educated about the various scams and frauds out there.

Important Tips

Always remember:

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Never provide your online banking credentials to anyone.
  • Trust your gut feelings – especially when you have a bad feeling about an offer or a company.
  • If you are ever asked to deposit a check or money order, then wire funds – this is a scam!
  • For more information about some of these scams, please visit www.FakeChecks.org

ATM Security

ATMs can be subject to fraud, vandalism, burglary, and may be the scene of robberies. Consider the following tips when using an ATM:

  • Use a familiar ATM when possible. Alternatively, choose a well-lit, well-placed ATM where you feel comfortable. Use a "drive up" ATM especially if you're alone at night. Keep your car doors locked and your windows up, except for the driver's window.
  • Scan the entire ATM area before you approach it. Avoid using the ATM if anyone is loitering or if it looks too isolated or unsafe. Trust your instincts.
  • When using a walk-up ATM, avoid opening your purse, bag or wallet when you are in front of the ATM. Have your card ready in your hand before you approach the ATM.
  • Observe if anything looks unusual or suspicious about the ATM indicating it might have been altered. If the ATM appears to have any attachments to the card slot or keypad, do not use it. Check for unusual instructions on the display screen and for suspicious blank screens. If you suspect that the ATM has been tampered with, proceed to another ATM and inform the financial institution.
  • Avoid an ATM which has a message or a sign affixed to it indicating that the screen directions have been changed, especially if the message is posted over the card reader. Financial institutions will not post messages directing you to use an ATM that has been altered.

Skimming

Skimming is a method of obtaining magnetic strip data from ATM, debit, or credit cards that are used at an ATM machine or a merchant location. Learn how to protect yourself from skimming.

Criminals install equipment (disguised to look like normal ATM equipment) on legitimate ATM's in an effort to steal both the magnetic stripe data from the cards being used and the PINs that are assigned to those cards.

The criminals then return to the machine to remove the device along with the captured information. More recent technology allows criminals to remain nearby receiving the information transmitted wirelessly from equipment they install on the front of the ATM. In either case, the thieves copy the cards and use the PIN numbers to withdraw thousands from many accounts in a very short time directly from an ATM.

Please note: The following examples refer to ATM machines, but similar devices may also be placed on card readers at gas station pumps.

scamone

Equipment being installed on the front of the original ATM card slot. The false slot holds an additional card reader called a "skimmer." The skimmer captures and copies the card information.

scamtwo

The equipment as it appears installed over the normal card slot.

scamthree

A camera that reads the card PIN is housed in an innocent looking pamphlet holder.

scamfour

Camera inside pamphlet holder is angled to view monitor and keypad.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Be vigilant and inspect the ATM before using it. Skimming devices placed on or near the ATM's actual card reader are often difficult to detect, but if anything about the card reader or PIN pad looks different or unusual or seems loose to the touch, don't use it. If possible, report this to the owner of the ATM and/or local law enforcement as soon as possible.

What if a skimming device is found on a Members1st ATM?

If you suspect a skimming device has been place on a Members1st ATM, do not use it or try to remove the device. Speak to branch personnel as quickly as possible and call our Fraud & Security Services at (717) 795-5202.

Phishing

Phishing is a technique that uses fake emails and fraudulent websites to gain personal information for purposes of identity theft. The fraudulent email messages and/or Web sites are designed to fool recipients into divulging personal financial data such as credit card numbers, account usernames and passwords, social security numbers, etc.

Phishers create a phony Web site that looks like a reputable and known good site and attach a link to the phony Web site in the email. Unsuspecting recipients that click on this link will find that a Web site opens up that resembles the reputable Web site. However, the computer user does not know that they have been redirected to a phony Web site which can be designed to collect personal information that you key in (such as account numbers and social security numbers.)

  • Be suspicious of any email that requires an urgent response from you and that seems alarming or exciting. Phishers will send emails that require your immediate attention or to "verify their records." They usually ask for information such as usernames, passwords, account numbers, social security numbers, etc. Emails from phishers are generally not personalized and may appear to be sent in mass distribution.
  • Do not click on links sent in an email that are asking for information. Emails suggesting to "click here" in order to enter personal information may end up redirecting you to a phony site that could be collecting your data for malicious use. If you are unsure, contact the company or financial institution on the phone or go to their Web site address directly by typing it into your browser's address bar.
  • Avoid filling out forms asking for confidential or financial information unless you are dealing with a reputable site that you can verify as authentic. If you enter any information, make sure that it is done over a secure link (SSL). This can be verified by checking the "lock" icon in your browser window and displaying HTTPS:// in the address bar. (HTTPS:// - the "S" represents secure)

Fraud Scams

The following are common scams that continue to make headlines:

Lottery/Sweepstakes Scam

The Scam: You receive an official-looking notification that you’ve won a lottery or sweepstakes. You are provided with a check that represents a portion of your winnings. The check may appear to be a cashier’s check, an official check, or a check drawn on a business account. Then you are instructed to wire funds to cover taxes, insurance, and/or other fees.

How it Works: The scammers may instruct you to not disclose yours winnings for security purposes. They will also like you to wire the funds as soon as possible. Once you have deposited the check and wired the money, the check may take at least three (3) business days to be returned as a counterfeit. Unfortunately, if you have already wired the funds, you will suffer the loss.

Craigslist/Overpayment Offer Scam

The Scam: You advertise an item for sale on Craigslist or other similar classified advertisement system. You are contacted by a potential buyer who sends you a check or money order(s) totaling more than what you were asking.

How it Works: The checks or money orders that the scammer sends you are counterfeit. They will instruct you to deposit the item(s) and wire a portion of the over-payment to another individual. They will give you a story or reason for this. It may be that the overpayment is to go to the shipper, some other third party, or perhaps they indicate this was a mistake. They may even tell you they will give you a little extra for your efforts. If you do deposit the check and wire the funds, the check may take at least (3) business days to be returned as counterfeit. Unfortunately, if you have already wired the funds, you will suffer the loss.

Mystery Shopper Scam

The Scam: You respond to an advertisement, or you are solicited to participate in Mystery Shopping. You receive a check and are given instructions as to what locations to make your purchases. You are given forms to fill out to rate the particular company or location visited. One of the services you are to rate is a wire service – perhaps Western Union or MoneyGram.

How it Works: The checks or money orders that the scammer sends you are counterfeit. They will instruct you to deposit the item(s) and wire a portion of the over-payment to another individual. They will give you a story or reason for this. It may be that the overpayment is to go to the shipper, some other third party, or perhaps they indicate this was a mistake. They may even tell you they will give you a little extra for your efforts. If you do deposit the check and wire the funds, the check may take at least (3) business days to be returned as counterfeit. Unfortunately, if you have already wired the funds, you will suffer the loss.

Car Wrap Scam

The Scam: You respond to an advertisement, or you are solicited to earn extra cash having your car “wrapped” as an advertisement for a business or product. You receive a check to cover your payment as well as the cost of wrapping the car with the brand’s logo. You will be instructed where to wire the funds for payment to the company who will supposedly wrap your vehicle.

How it Works: The scammer sends you a counterfeit check as payment for you and the company wrapping your car. Once you have deposited the check and wired the money (to the scammer); the check may take at least three (3) business days to be returned as a counterfeit. Unfortunately, if you have already wired the funds, you will suffer the loss.

Romance Scam

The Scam: You meet someone online and start a relationship by emailing and/or texting. This may continue for weeks if not months. You may able unable to meet this individual in person because he/she is in the military, overseas, or he/she indicates some other reason. However, this person has won your trust and you may have provided some personal information about yourself. Maybe you have provided him/her with your login credentials so they can remotely deposit a check into your account. Or, they may have a check sent to you to deposit. Either way, they will ask you to help them and wire funds to him/her.

How it Works: The check is a counterfeit. The person you are conversing with is a scammer. They want you to deposit the check into your account so that they can receive cash on the other end of that wire. Once you have deposited the check and wired the money (to the scammer); the check may take at least three (3) business days to be returned as a counterfeit. Unfortunately, if you have already wired the funds, you will suffer the loss.

Unexpected Inheritance Scam

The Scam: You are contacted and advised you are the beneficiary to an inheritance of a foreign individual. After some correspondence and official-looking documents, you are sent a check along with instructions to wire the funds to a third party so they can open account for the rest of the inheritance. The reason for this, they claim, is to circumvent the Patriot Act, which prevents them from transferring funds from a foreign country. (This is not true.)

How it Works: Once you have deposited the check and wired the money (to the scammer); the check may take at least three (3) business days to be returned as a counterfeit. Unfortunately, if you have already wired the funds, you will suffer the loss.

VISA® & MasterCard Telephone Credit Card Scam

Please be aware of the following and note that the callers do not ask for your card number as they already have it. They are looking for you to provide the three-digit security code on the back of your card located next to the signature block.

How this scam works:

Person calling says:

"This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My badge number is 12460, your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of financial institution). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a marketing company based in Arizona?"

When you say "No" the caller continues:

"Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct? You say "yes."

The caller continues:

"I will be starting a Fraud Investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 1- 800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA) and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number." The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. "Do you need me to read it again."

Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works

The caller continues with, "I need to verify you are in possession of your card". He'll ask you to turn your card over and look for some numbers. There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the last 3 are the Security Numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the last 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he'll say, "That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?"

After you say no, the caller then thanks you and states, "don't hesitate to call back if you do", and hangs up. You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the card number. The scammers want the 3-digit number on the back of the card located next to the signature block.

As a reminder, we will not ask you for any numbers associated with your account since we already have that information on file. If you give the scammers the three digit number on the back of your credit card, you open yourself up to fraud. Do not provide your credit card number or any security code numbers to anyone unless you initiated the call.

The United States Government has put into place several laws to help protect you, your identity and your finances. We encourage you to become familiar with the following:

USA Patriot Act

What is the U.S. Patriot act and how does it affect you?

The Fair And Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACT)

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (often referred to as the FACT Act, or FACTA) was signed into law in December 2003. The FACT Act, a revision of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months through a central source.

In addition to free credit reports, the following are also in effect:

  • Uniform credit standards - These set clear rules on what credit agencies can include in consumer credit reports.
  • Safeguarding receipts - Retailers must hide credit and debit card information on customer receipts. Only the last five digits of a card number appear on receipts. All cash registers and point-of-sale terminals must print safeguarded receipts.
  • Opt-out rules - Consumers have the right to "opt-out" and block solicitations from affiliates of companies that they do business with.
  • Disclosing bad credit news - Financial institutions now have to tell you if they report any negative information about you to the credit bureaus. By law, we may report information about your account to the credit bureaus including late or missed payments or other defaults that affect any of your savings, checking or loan accounts. This information could appear on your credit reports.
    A financial institutions must tell you if it grants you credit at less favorable terms than those received by most other consumers.
  • Reporting of false credit news - Any debt collector that learns that information on a consumer's credit report is fraudulent must inform the creditor that the information is false. No retailer or creditor may report credit information to credit bureaus.
  • More power for identity theft victims - Identity theft victims that file police reports may block fraudulent information from appearing on their credit reports. Identity theft victims are able to obtain copies of business records that list fraudulent transactions carried out by an identity thief.
  • Enhanced fraud alerts - Once a credit bureau receives a fraud alert, it must take steps to ensure that the consumer, not the thief, will be granted credit in the future.
  • Special alerts for the military - American military personnel may place special alerts in their credit files while they are serving overseas to help minimize their chances of becoming victims of identity theft.

How Do I Order My Free Credit Report?


Online: www.annualcreditreport.com
Phone: (877) 322-8228
Mail: Print and complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form
and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281 Atlanta, GA 30348-5281