Black Friday and Cyber Monday

We're only a few days away from Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Many people hope to score big deals these days - and so do criminals. According to a report featured recently in The Credit Union Times, "40% of U.S. consumers fall victim to online phishing attacks, despite 91% reporting they are aware of the existence of spoofed websites or emails of trusted brands." But phishing isn't the only scam we - and our members - need to beware of.

Criminals can place skimmers on ATM machines, gas pumps, and even checkout lanes. Skimmers scan your card data from the magnetic strip and either store it in a database or transmit it via Bluetooth to a laptop, tablet, or cell phone. Once criminals have your information, they’ll make a duplicate card and drain bank accounts, rack up charges on a person's credit card, or sell the information on the underground market.

Criminals may also attempt to hack into online accounts - something made easier if passwords aren't strong, or if someone shares information with bogus sites. The best passwords use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols, and don’t use words, names or birthdays.

Take some time to review the nine crucial security tips on our website, and share them with members. For even more information, refer to our Fraud Education page, as well as our Tips to Prevent Identity Theft.