While people are becoming more aware of how to protect themselves from most consumer fraud, the numbers of victims of e-mail fraud are growing rapidly. According to experts, e-mail fraud schemes have become the most prevalent crime on the Internet.
Cleverly disguised as urgent emails from your banking institution or Internet provider, “phishing” e-mail tricks consumers into divulging their credit card and bank account numbers using fake web sites or sob stories.
It is important to know how authentic these e-mails can look. These criminals, known as phishers, are stealing actual company messages and logos to create more convincing messages. When clicking through a link a person may actually think they are being taken to the financial institution web site when, in fact, they are being rerouted to the “phishers” site or pop-up box.
Following are some key things to look for if you believe an email is questionable:
- URL code can easily be disguised. The URL is the actual address that is in your browser bar for the web site you are going to. These links are often in email messages so it is easy to just click straight to the site. The URL may say one thing, but actually take you to a different location.
- Secure Socket Layer – If a web site is secure, you will see a little lock in the lower right- or left-hand corner. Clicking on the lock will display information about the owner of the security certificate.
- If you are unsure if an email solicitation is authentic, call our Member Service Department at (888) 883-7228 and ask if that information is being requested from our members. If the email is from another financial institution, contact their customer service department.
Altura Credit Union wants its members to be aware of this growing trend in e-mail fraud. Altura staff will never ask for account numbers or personal information via e-mail. We are dedicated to the privacy and protection of our members while using our secure Internet website to offer convenient and safe online banking.