Fraud Protection Center
Fraud Alert Phishing Information
Multiple credit unions have reported fraud against their members. Cardholders may receive what appear to be automated phone calls or texts, telling them that their ATM/Debit cards are locked.
The automated message requests call recipients to "Press 1" where they are to enter their 16-digit card number into their telephone key pad. Once this is entered, the scammers are then requesting the card’s Personal Identification Number (PIN). The scam artists are attempting to obtain customer card numbers and PINs in order to gain access to customer accounts via ATMs or POS (point of ale) purchases.
Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire personal information such as passwords and credit or debit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity such as a credit union, bank or credit card company.
Criminals will use an email, telephone messages (vishing) or text messages on cell phones (Short Message Service or smishing) to trick recipients into disclosing personal and financial data.
Some phishing attempts ask e-mail or text recipients to respond with personal information; and others include links to what appear to be familiar Web sites but are really spoofed copies. Once the user clicks on the link to the spoofed site, all future online activity gets funneled through the phisher’s system, giving him or her access to any account numbers and passwords the user enters online.
In vishing attacks, the criminal configures a dialer to call phone numbers in a given region or accesses a legitimate voice messaging company with a list of phone numbers stolen from a financial institution. A recording alerts the member that their credit or debit card has fraudulent activity or has been frozen and to call a phone number. When the number is called they are asked to enter a card number on the key pad, PIN, expiration date, SSN and date of birth. The vishers now have enough information to make fraudulent use of the card.
How do you protect yourself from attacks? Learn more.
Protect Yourself. Don’t become identity
theft’s next victim.
There are simple precautions that will keep your identity safe. We've provided
the following information as a courtesy to help protect you from identity fraud
and other criminal activities. Review the links and information on this
page to learn how to protect your personal and financial information
your information has been stolen, here's what to do:
- Contact 1st MidAmerica for immediate assistance.
- Contact the fraud departments of any one of the three major credit
bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file. The fraud alert requests
creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any
changes to your existing accounts. As soon as the credit bureau confirms
your fraud alert, the other two credit bureaus will be automatically
notified to place fraud alerts, and all three credit reports will be
sent to you at no cost.
- Credit Bureaus: Experian , Equifax and Trans
- Close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with
or opened fraudulently.
- File a police report. Get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors
and others that may require proof of the crime.
your complaint with the FTC. The FTC maintains a database
of identity theft cases used by law enforcement agencies for investigations.
Filing a complaint also helps us learn more about identity theft
and the problems victims are having so that we can better assist
- If you believe you have been a victim of Mail Fraud, submit
a mail fraud complaint form with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
- Consumer.gov/idtheft - maintained by the Federal Trade Commission, this site address issues from preventing identity theft to recovering from identity theft.
- AnnualCreditReport.com was created by the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, consumers may request a free copy of their credit report once every 12 months from each of the three consumer credit reporting companies. This secure web site is a means to obtain free copies of your credit reports.
- PrivacyRights.org - The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) is a nonprofit consumer organization with a two-part mission -- consumer information and consumer advocacy.
- IDTheftCenter.org- a nonprofit, nationally respected program dedicated exclusively to identity theft, the Identity Theft Resource Center provides consumer and victim support and advises governmental agencies, legislators and companies about this evolving and growing crime.
- FakeChecks.org - site reviewing many of the current check scams.
Smart. Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
|The following information is designed to safeguard your
Card Fraud Protection
Debit card fraud has become more prevalent in our local communities. To further protect the debit cards that we issue to our members, we have tightened the security measures on our debit card program.
You can also take extra precautions to monitor your accounts. Please monitor your account activity through e-Teller, our online banking system. Through e-Teller, you can set up alerts on your account to send email notices for transactions on your accounts. We also have mobile banking available so that you can access your accounts anytime, anywhere, from your mobile phone.
When debit card information is stolen, perpetrators often try to use the card numbers to make international purchases. As part of the security process, we have restricted the number of countries in which transactions may be made. Due to these restrictions, we request that you contact us prior to traveling outside the United States to determine whether you will be able to use your 1st MidAmerica debit or credit card.
Credit and debit card fraud generally occurs when cards or card numbers
are compromised. By following these simple guidelines your potential for
loss can be minimized.
Tips for protecting yourself against
- Keep a list of all your cards including the account number
and phone number to the issuing company.
- Review your statements as soon as possible. Match charges
with your receipts to ensure all charges are yours and are for the
- Always sign a new card immediately.
- When making a purchase with a card, make sure you get the
card back and the receipt. Check the receipt for accuracy.
- When using a card at a restaurant or store, make sure that
all blank lines are marked through so that no one can change the final
- Never sign blank card receipts.
- Only travel with the cards you plan on using.
- Never give the account number of the card over the phone
unless you initiate the call.
- Do not write the PIN for the account on the card.
Inactive Plastic Cards Can Attract Fraud
To assist you in keeping your accounts up to date on your credit report and to prevent fraud, we periodically close and purge the debit and credit card accounts. All Visa debit cards will be reviewed every six months and considered for purge if no activity is found. Newly issued Visa credit cards are reviewed thirty days from issue and will be closed if not activated. All plastic card accounts can be reviewed anytime and set to purge to prevent fraud. A purge can be performed without verbal or written notice to the cardholder.
Identity theft can occur when an individual obtains personal
information, such as your social security number, date of birth, address,
and financial account numbers. Once this information is obtained, the
thieves will assume or take on your identity, allowing them to illegally
purchase items or obtain credit. By following these simple guidelines,
your potential for loss due to identity theft can be greatly reduced.
Tips for protecting yourself against identity theft
- Check your credit report on a regular basis to ensure the information
- Immediately tear up (using a shredder is even better!) unsolicited
credit card offers.
- Never give personal information over the phone unless you initiated
the phone call.
- Never give a credit card number over the phone unless you have initiated
the phone call.
- Always be familiar with financial accounts that you currently maintain.
Verify statements and other information sent by your financial institution
Cashing Fraud Protection
This guide provides tips for protecting yourself against
check cashing fraud. Check cashing fraud occurs when individuals use
information taken from your checks, or the checks themselves, to access
your accounts and commit fraudulent acts. By following these simple guidelines
you can greatly reduce your risk of becoming a victim.
Tips for protecting yourself against check
- Always safeguard your checks. Do not leave your checks out in an
open area. Never leave your checks in your car or out on your desk
at the office.
- Keep your blank checks and canceled checks in a safe place. Put them
in a vault or other secure location. Destroy old blank checks if you
are not going to use them.
- Limit the amount of personal information printed on the checks to
your name and address. Use plain designed checks. The fancier the check
the easier it is to forge the signature. Useful information for thieves
includes not only your account numbers, but information used to verify
your identity, such as your driver's license number, social security
number, and secret codes. Don't have this information printed on your
- Don't leave your bill payments sitting in an unlocked mailbox for
pickup. Many credit thieves will steal bills from rural mailboxes at
the end of driveways so they can get your account information, checking
information, and even your checks. Go to the Post Office directly or
use a curbside USPS mailbox (the blue metal ones) and drop your bills
in the slot rather than using less secure street mailboxes.
- Be discreet when writing checks in public places. Write your checks
carefully and leave no space in which figures or words can be inserted.
- When you make an error in writing a check, be sure to destroy the
check or write "canceled" across it and store it with your
other canceled checks.
- If your checks are lost or stolen, report it immediately to your
- Reconcile your monthly statements as soon as you can to ensure all
transactions are accurate. Contact us immediately if you do not receive
it when expected. Be sure to contact your institution within that time
frame to ensure that proper attention is given to reconciling the problem.
- When you reorder checks, mark your calendar. If you don't receive
your checks within 15 working days, contact your financial institution
immediately to inquire as to the status of the order.
- Consider alternatives to check writing. For instance, paying by phone,
online, or setting up automatic payments. Fewer checks mean fewer theft
ATM fraud can occur when individuals lose their card,
give their card to someone else to use, or when their Personal Identification
Number's confidentiality is compromised. By following these simple guidelines
you can greatly reduce your exposure to ATM fraud.
Tips for protecting yourself against ATM
- Never write your Personal Identification
Number (PIN) on your card or in
your wallet. Memorize your PIN
as soon as possible. Do not reveal
your PIN to anyone not authorized
to use the account.
- Never use your date of birth,
social security number, license
number or street address as a
PIN -- those are the first numbers
a crook will try.
- Don't throw away your ATM receipts
at the ATM location. Keep them
to reconcile your account, then
dispose of them properly when
you get home.
- Always be aware of your surroundings
when using the ATM. If it is late
at night, try to use a machine
that is well lit and avoid dark,
- Always make sure to retrieve
your ATM card from the machine
when the transaction is complete.
- Be aware of the person behind
you. Make sure no one can see
you entering your PIN or how much
money you withdraw.
- Review your statement promptly
to ensure all transactions are
accurate. Report any discrepancies
- Destroy old ATM cards immediately
after receiving your replacement
ATM ScamsIn addition to the
types ATM fraud that most of us are
now aware of, there are two new types
that can clean out your account quickly
-- card withholding and skimming.
Card withholding occurs when your card gets stuck in the ATM, you can't
get it out, and you leave the card in the ATM planning to contact the
financial institution the next morning. When you call you find that the
card was not stuck in the ATM. What happens is that thieves put a substance
into the ATM card slot which will cause your card to stick inside the
ATM. They leave the ATM and wait for someone to attempt to use it. They
then get in line behind you and try to watch you enter your Personal
Identification Number (PIN). This is very common at drive-up ATM's where
the user may not be paying attention to other people or cars nearby.
The thieves even go so far as to put up a sign on the ATM stating: "If
your card gets stuck, enter your PIN three separate times to retrieve
it." This gives them three tries to watch you enter your PIN. After
you leave frustrated, and you're planning to contact the ATM owner the
next morning, they remove your card with a pair of pliers. They can then
use your card at other ATM's and Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals.
Skimming is done at businesses that offer Point-of-Sale (POS) devices
for you to pay with your ATM card, such as gas stations. The thieves
convince an employee to allow them to connect a lap top computer to the
POS machine. The lap top is usually stored under the counter where the
POS device is located. When you swipe your card in the POs device to
make a payment the information on the magnetic strip on your ATM card
is copied and loaded onto a disk. Thieves may also install a hidden video
camera that records you entering your PIN. They then match the magnetic
information to the PIN and access your accounts.
to take for countering these scams:
- Before inserting your ATM card into an ATM inspect the card slot for
- If there is residue, don't use that ATM. If there is a notice on the
ATM about entering your PIN several times, don't use that ATM.
- Always cover your hand when entering your PIN: if the thieves don't
have your PIN, they can't access your account.
Actions for Fraud Victims
If you suspect fraud, it is important to act quickly to minimize potential
damage and your own liability. It is important to keep a detailed
account of conversations you have with authorities and financial
Credit Bureaus. Immediately call the fraud units of
the three credit reporting companies -- Experian (formerly
TRW), Equifax and Trans
Union. Ask that your account include a statement referencing the
possibility of fraud.
Creditors. Contact all creditors immediately with whom
your name has been used fraudulently -- by phone and in writing. Monitor
your accounts closely for any further fraudulent activity.
Law Enforcement. Report the crime to police with jurisdiction
in your case. Provide any documentation that you have collected. Get
a copy of your police report. Keep the phone number of your fraud investigator
handy and give it to creditors and others who require verification of
Financial Institutions. If you have checks stolen or
bank accounts set up fraudulently, contact the institution to report
the crime. Put stop payments on appropriate outstanding checks. Close
your checking and savings accounts and open new accounts. If your ATM
card is stolen or compromised, get a new card and PIN. When choosing
a PIN, don't use common numbers like the last four digits of your Social
Security number, your date of birth, license number or street address.
U.S. Postal Service. Notify the local Postal Inspector
if you suspect an identity thief has filed a change of your address with
the post office or has used the mail to commit credit or bank fraud.
Social Security Administration. Call to report fraudulent
use of your Social Security number.
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Call to see if
another license was issued in your name. Go to your local DMV to request
a new number. Also, fill out the DMV's complaint form to begin the fraud
investigation process. Send supporting documents with the completed form
to the nearest DMV investigation office. Request a driver's license number
different than your Social Security number if available in your state.
Civil Courts. If a civil judgment has been entered
in your name for actions taken by your impostor, contact the court where
the judgment was entered and report that you are a victim of identity
theft. If you are wrongfully prosecuted for criminal charges, contact
the state Department of Justice and the FBI.
Phishing is an internet scam in which spam or pop-up messages are used to deceive you into divulging personal or financial information over the internet. Phishers will send you an email or a pop-up message that appears to be from a company that you deal with – your credit card company, credit union or a government agency. The message usually requests that you update or validate account information and it will direct you to a web site that looks just like the legitimate organization’s web site, but it isn’t. The purpose of the bogus web site is to deceive you into entering your personal information so the scammer’s can steal your identity and commit crimes in your name.
Protect yourself against "Phishing Scams"
- If you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply. And don't click on the link in the message, either. Legitimate companies don't ask for this information via email. If you are concerned about your account, contact the organization mentioned in the email using a telephone number you know to be genuine, or open a new Internet browser session and type in the company's correct Web address yourself. In any case, don't cut and paste the link from the message into your Internet browser — phishers can make links look like they go to one place, but that actually send you to a different sites.
- Never give your personal information via e-mail. 1st MidAmerica will never request personal information via email.
- If you want to update your information, go directly to our web site
by opening a new browser window, and typing www.1stMidAmerica.org in
Never go to our web site by clicking a link in an e-mail.
- When entering personal account information, verify that you are on
a secure web site. If the web site is secure, you will find "https" in
the address and a closed padlock in your browser's toolbar.
- Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software, as well as a firewall, and update them all regularly. Some phishing emails contain software that can harm your computer or track your activities on the Internet without your knowledge. Anti-virus software and a firewall can protect you from inadvertently accepting such unwanted files.
Vishing is a scam similar to Phishing, the scam involves sending a spam email or pop-up message telling you that your account has been compromised and will instruct you to call a phone number to verify your account information. An official sounding automated message will ask you to enter your personal financial information such as your 16 digit credit card number. Some of these scams involve a telephone call to the victim directly in which the caller already has your credit card number but asks you to verify the valuable three digit security code.
Protect yourself against "Vishing Scams"
- Never give your personal information over the phone.
If you feel a call is suspicious, call the company directly to verify
the authenticity of the call.
- Beware of organizations asking for charitable donations.
If you want to donate money, contact the organizations yourself to make
sure that your money is going to the appropriate place.
||Your savings are federally insured to at least $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration, a U.S. Government Agency. An additional $250,000 privately insured by ESI.