Cyber threats are real — learn more about the risks they pose and tips to keep your identity and personal information safe when banking online.
Safeguarding Your Information
In today's high tech world, we are able to do things more quickly and conveniently electronically whether it is to send a letter via email, pay bills or even go shopping online. With this increase in speed and convenience also comes increased risk.
Every day, criminals are busy developing new scams targeting the unsuspecting public. At Pelican State Credit Union, the security of member information is a priority. We are strongly committed to the safety and confidentiality of your records, even offering free card fraud protection services. One of the best ways to avoid fraud is to become an educated consumer and we would like to help you in this endeavor. Please take a moment to read this important information on ways to try and stay safe when conducting business online.
List Of Reported Scams And Compromises
Text Message Scam - Reported 1/13/2021
We received a report that members are receiving fraudulent text messages. Scammers are tring to appear as if they are Pelican and that your loan application is ready to review. Below is a screenshot of the message:
What to do if you receive a text message like this:
- Do not click the link
- Do not respond
- Delete the text message
How to Detect that this is a Scam:
- Pelican will not use a URL like that when sending a text message members
- There are grammatical errors within the text message
- This is not a number Pelican will text members from
Fraudulent Call Scam - Reported 12/18/2020
- When Pelican calls members, the area code will appear as 225, not 1-800.
- When Pelican texts members, it is from our official text message number, 1-844-916-1956. The scammers are using a 1-888 number for text messages.
- Do not give out any personal or account information.
- Hang up or do not respond to the text message.
- Call us at 1-800-351-4877 to speak with a representative and ensure no suspicious activity has occurred on your account.
Members across the state have reported receiving text messages that say the following:
MSG:Your visa debit card is temporarily locked
Call us at (866) 946-8423
This message is fraudulent and is an attempt for scammers to gather sensitive, personal information from you.
It's important to know how to protect yourself from scams like this. If a message is unexpected and prompts you to take some sort of action, be cautious. If you ever have any doubt that a message came from Pelican, please contact us at 1-800-351-4877, visit your local branch, or chat with us online. Do not call the number listed on the suspicious message.
If you received this message, called the number listed, and provided any personal information, please contact us immediately.
BBB: Cell Phone Porting Scams
What is a cell phone porting scam?
A cell phone porting scam is when a scammer obtains your name and phone number and then attempts to gather as much additional information about you as possible. Then, they will contact your mobile provider, impersonating you, say that your phone was stolen, and request that the number be “ported” with another device.
Once they have your number ported with another device, they can gain access to accounts that require authentication in the form of a text message sent to your phone number.
How to protect yourself from this type of scam:
- Contact your mobile provider about port-out authorization. Every wireless company has some sort of additional security for port-out authorization that customers can set up.
- Watch out for unexpected “Emergency Calls Only” status. Contact your mobile provider if your phone suddenly switches to “emergency call service only.” That’s what happens when your phone number has been ported to another device.
- Be cautious about messages you receive. Watch out for phishing attempts, alert messages, text messages in response to authentication requests, and more.
To read the full article from the BBB, as well as to get tips on what to do if you feel you've fallen victim to this type of scam, click here.
Equifax Data Breach
On Thursday, September 8, 2017, Equifax, one of the leading credit reporting bureaus, disclosed that they discovered a data breach on July 29 that may potentially impact up to 143 million consumers in the United Sates—44% of the U.S. Population.
According to the company, hackers accessed data between May and July of 2017 through a vulnerability in a web application. The hackers gained access to:
- Social Security numbers
- Birth dates
- Some driver’s license numbers
- Credit card numbers
- Dispute documents that include personal identifying data
Here's what we're doing to protect you: When you call us, we ask a couple of questions to confirm your identity. Moving forward, we will be asking you to provide a little more information. Your membership is very important to us, and we are doing this to protect your personal, private information from being compromised.
Here's how you can protect yourself: Get familiar with protecting yourself online. Continue to read below to learn everything you need to know about protecting yourself on the internet.
Visit Equifax’s website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to read more about the incident. They are also offering complimentary identity theft protection for one year after you check if you’re impacted.
You can put a security freeze on your credit report to restrict lenders from accessing it. The freeze makes it more difficult for people trying to steal your information to open accounts or apply for loans in your name since most lenders pull an individual’s credit report before giving loan approval. A freeze does not affect your credit score, and it is also able to be lifted if you want to apply for credit yourself. If you would like to place a freeze on your credit report, please contact each of the nationwide credit reporting bureaus:
If you have questions about your credit or would like more information on preventing or dealing with identity theft, our team of Nationally Certified Credit Counselors is here to help! Please call 1-800-351-4877 to speak with a credit counselor or click here to send them a message.
What to Expect From Pelican State Credit Union
- Pelican will NEVER call, email or contact you to ask for your username, password or other online banking credentials.
- Pelican will NEVER contact you to ask for your credit or debit card number, PIN or 3-digit security code.
- All of your transactions are monitored 24/7, and you will be notified of any suspicious activity for verification.
- Card controls are available through our mobile app, which allows you to freeze and unfreeze your card when not in use.
We’re here for you! Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions by visiting a branch near you, contacting us using our online chat or by calling 1-800-351-4877.
How To Keep Yourself Safe In Cyberspace
An important part of online safety is knowledge. The more you know, the safer you'll be. Here are some great tips on how to stay safe in cyberspace:
1. Set secure passwords. A good password is a long combination of upper and lower case letters and numbers and one that is not easily guessed. Change your password frequently. Don't write it down or share it with others.
2. Don't reveal personal information via email. Emails and text messages can be masked to look like they are coming from a trusted sender when they are actually from someone else. Play it safe, do not send your personal information such as account numbers, social security numbers, passwords etc. via email or texting.
3. Don't download that file! Opening files attached to emails can be dangerous especially when they are from someone you don't know as they can allow harmful malware or viruses to be downloaded onto your computer. Make sure you have a good antivirus program on your computer that is up-to-date.
4. Links aren't always what they seem. Never login from a link that is embedded in an email message. Criminals can use fake email addresses and make fake web pages that mimic the page you would expect. To avoid falling into their trap, type in the URL address directly and then log in.
5. Websites aren't always what they seem. Be aware that if you navigate to a website from a link you don't type, you may end up at a site that looks like the correct one, when in fact it's not. Take time to verify that the webpage you're visiting matches exactly with the URL that you'd expect.
6. Logoff from sites when you are done. When you are ready to leave a site you have logged in to, logoff rather than just closing the page.
7. Monitor account activity. Monitor your account activity regularly either online or by reviewing your monthly statements and report any unauthorized transactions right away.
8. Assess your risk. We recommend periodically assessing your online banking risk and put into place increased security controls where weaknesses are found; particularly for members with business accounts. Some items to consider when assessing your online banking risk are:
- Who has access to your online business accounts?
- How and where are usernames and passwords stored?
- How strong are your passwords and how often are they changed? Are they changed before or immediately after terminating an employee who had access to them?
- Do you have dual controls or other checks and balances with respect to access to online banking transactions?
Rights and Responsibilities
With respect to online banking and electronic fund transfers, the Federal government has put in place rights and responsibilities for both you and the credit union. These rights and responsibilities are described in the Account Information Disclosures you received when you opened your account with Pelican State Credit Union. Ultimately, if you notice suspicious account activity or experience security-related events, please contact the credit union immediately at 1-800-351-4877.