At Sperry, the security of both your assets and information is a top priority.
We go above and beyond credit union industry best practices to protect your valuable personal information, as well as monitor your Sperry accounts for fraudulent activities. As such, Sperry's online systems are closely monitored and constantly updated to protect against the emerging threats.
That being said, it is important to remember that the security of your personal information cannot be reliant upon on these measures alone. When it comes to fraudulent activity and catching the fraudsters who engage in criminal acts, we all have the responsibility to protect ourselves by keeping up-to-date on the latest scams.
Some simple tips include:
- Protecting your P.I.N. - Always use your hand to shield your P.I.N. as you enter it.
If the fraudsters do not have your P.I.N., they won't be able to use a clone of your debit card for P.I.N. based transactions.
- Protecting your Online/Mobile Banking log in credentials - Never, ever, give anybody access to your online or mobile banking log in credentials - no matter what. Always be sure to protect your sensitive account information!
- When In Doubt, Give Sperry a Shout - If something seems fishy or unusual, such as an email you've received asking for your Sperry online banking ID and password, don't hestitate to give us a call.
- Remember - Sperry will never contact you online to ask for your account numbers, social security number, or online banking username or password!
Following these tips are a good start to ensuring that your accounts are kept secure. Unfortunately, there are scammers everywhere - so vigilance, and education, are both key! The information that is provided on this page can help keep your sensitive financial information safe, so check back often. You can find a comprehensive list of resources below the Scam Alerts section.
Sperry Scam Alerts: Keep Up-to-Date on the Latest!
All Year Long - Don't Abbreviate The Year Throughout 2020
According to reports in USA TODAY, the year 2020 is giving scammers an easy way to forge documents.
Why is a shortened "20" a potential problem? 2020's abbreviation is easily changeable and could be used against you. The concern is that scammers could easily manipulate a document dated "1/1/20" into "1/1/2000" or even "1/1/2021." The scam can be done to post-date legal materials and checks as well.
Luckily, you can easily protect yourself - Stop abbreviating the year! The solution is easy: There's no harm in writing the full date. Writing the month out can also help. Write January 15, 2020, instead of 1/15/20. Future you will thank past you for the due diligence!
You can read the USA TODAY article here.
Goodbye Windows 7, Hello Social Engineering Scams
Recently, Microsoft announced they will no longer be supporting their Windows 7 operating system. This means there will be no further updates to Windows 7. The bad guys are using this situation to their advantage. They will randomly contact you by phone, emails, or pop-ups and try to convince you to pay yearly fees, or they’ll insist that they need remote access to your computer so they can install “necessary” software. You’ll lose your money if you mistakenly pay the fake fees, but if you grant the scammers access to your computer, your personal information and identity are at risk.
Follow the tips below to help protect yourself from these types of scams:
• Microsoft support does not call customers. If anyone calls you and claims that they are from Microsoft, this is a big red flag. Hang up the phone and ignore the request. If you want to speak with a legitimate customer support agent, go to Microsoft’s website and find the company’s customer support phone number.
• If a computer pop-up urgently claims that your computer needs an update to it’s version of Windows 7...don’t fall for it! The bad guys add flashy pop-ups to websites to trick you into thinking your computer is at risk. Do not click on the pop-up or call any numbers that are listed. This is a scam!
• Do not share your credit or debit card information with anyone that calls you. Never use a debit card to make online purchases, and only give someone your credit card data when you have initiated the phone call and you’re sure the number is valid.
Don't Let the Dark Side Win With So-Called Star Wars: Rise Of Skywalker "Downloads"
If you’re looking to stream or download blockbuster movies when they’re still in theaters, you probably shouldn’t. Why not? Well, first and foremost, this is called piracy and it is illegal. Secondly, any “free downloads” you do find will likely be a scam.
Following the release of the newest movie in the Star Wars saga, cyber scammers are creating fake websites and social media accounts that appear to be affiliated with the official film franchise. The sites and social media accounts offer free streams or downloads of the blockbuster film–all you have to do is sign up for an account. Don’t fall for it! If you enter your credit card details during account setup, this information will be stolen and your “free download” will actually be malicious malware.
These criminals have managed to get their dangerous websites to show as a top result in popular search engines, and they use social media to spread their “free download” links all across the web. Always remember the following to keep yourself safe from these scams:
• Never download anything from an unfamiliar or questionable website. Especially if the download could be stolen and, therefore, illegal material.
• Never give information to a website you can’t trust. Even if you don’t enter credit card data, simply creating an account makes your email address more vulnerable to future scams–especially phishing attacks.
• Never click on an unexpected or suspicious link. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
Netflix... and FRAUD?! There's No Chill From the Bad Guys When It Comes to Phishing
“Your Subscription Has Ended” Netflix Phishing Campaign
Since most people are familiar with the popular streaming service, the bad guys often use Netflix as bait in phishing attacks. One recent Netflix scam starts with an email claiming that you’ve missed a payment and that your subscription has ended. You’re instructed to use the links in the email to log in to your account and fix your billing information.
The emails in this particular phishing campaign usually include misspellings and improper grammar. But if you fail to notice these clues and proceed to click the link in the email, you’re brought to a fake login page. The login page looks legitimate and so does the page where you’re told to enter your payment card details.
Don’t fall for it! Remember the following to help stay safe online:
• Never click on links in an email you weren’t expecting.
• When you receive an email asking you to log in to an account or online service that you use, log in to your account through your browser–not through links in the email. This way, you can ensure you’re logging into the real website.
• Be wary of emails with spelling or grammar errors, especially when it supposedly came from a reputable source.
Important Security Information You Need to Know:
Preventing Check Fraud
Scammers are going old-school, but protecting yourself is easy
While cybercrimes are as attention-grabbing as ever, scammers are reviving the simple, old-school tactics that make check fraud one of the easiest and most popular ways to steal money. Even in our digital world, billions of paper checks are processed every year - providing ample opportunity for would-be fraudsters to take advantage.
Luckily, you can take some easy steps to protect yourself, including:
Setting Up Account Notifications via Sperry FCU's Online Banking
Setting up online Sperry account alerts is easy! When in online banking, click Additional Services > eStatements & Alerts > Alerts > Manage Alerts and get started. You can set up a variety of alerts that highlight checks drawn on an account, account balances, and more.
Using Sperry FCU's Bill Pay Feature
Did you know that using online Bill Pay protects your information, automates your recurring and one-time payments, and reduces the need for checks?
Yup - it's true! To set up this convenient feature, click the Bill Pay menu option in online banking and follow the prompts.
Preventing Elder Abuse - Doing Your Part
As more Americans are aging, it's important for loved ones to understand signs of Elder Abuse. In fact, the American Psychological Association claims that there are at least four million cases of elder abuse and neglect each year, with as many as 23 unreported cases for every case that comes to the attention of the authorities. Older adults possess greater resources, less technological savvy and a reticence to admit victimization - characteristics make them perfect targets for scams.
Some well-known types of scams geared towards the elderly include:
The Draining of Joint Accounts: Some older individuals hold joint savings, checking, or credit card accounts with their children, grandchildren, or other family members. This makes it easy for abusers to withdraw money for their own use without the approval of the joint account holder.
Frequent Demands for Money: Family members, neighbors, or even romantic partners and spouses take advantage of an older person’s willingness to lend or provide funds, particularly if the elderly individual has memory loss.
If you believe that an elderly person is the victim of financial elder abuse, take action. Here are several ways you can help:
Call Emergency Services. If you suspect that an elderly person is in immediate danger (physical abuse or physical or medical neglect), call emergency services (911 in most of the United States) to report your suspicions.
Call Protective Services. If the victim is living alone or in a non-institutional setting, call your state’s Adult Protective Services agency or the Eldercare Locator hotline at 1-800-677-1116. Adult Protective Services agencies coordinate efforts between social services, law enforcement, and other agencies to investigate the allegation. Each area’s Adult Protective Services agency has its own scope of practice and qualification standards. Age qualifications vary by agency, though some may provide services to disabled individuals of any age. Call your local agency to learn more about its standards.
For more tips on preventing elder abuse, click here.
Additional resources, sourced from the NCUA and others:
- Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks
- Avoiding Tax Scams
- How to Spot Fake Checks
- Preventing and Responding to Identity Theft
- Phishing Prevention
- Preventing Malware
- The Dangers of Identity Theft
- Computer Security
- Spotting Internet Fraud
- Choosing Secure Passwords and Protecting Your Information
- Keeping Your Personal Information Safe and Secure
- Preventing Tax-Related Identity Theft
Resources to Help Combat Elderly Abuse and Fraud, and Senior Issues: