Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are the most common way credit union members get cash and make deposits. Here are a few basic safety tips to keep in mind when using ATMs:
- Always be aware of your surroundings. If you see anyone suspicious, leave immediately.
- Always feel free to cancel your ATM transaction if you feel uncomfortable for any reason. On most ATMs, you will have several opportunities to cancel before your transaction is processed.
- Use ATMs with security cameras and inside businesses such as grocery stores since they are less likely to attract criminal activity. All RVCU ATMs are equipped with security cameras.
- Protect your ATM personal identification number (PIN). Never write it on your ATM or debit card, or on a note in your wallet. Never share it with anyone. RVCU employees will never ask for your PIN.
- Avoid using ATMs at night unless necessary.
- Make sure no one is observing you when you enter your PIN.
- It is also very important to keep a close eye on your monthly statement. The easiest way to do this is to set up online access to your RVCU account through online banking. Once you have set up your account, you can check your account balance and activity any time you want, day or night.
- If you ever lose your RVCU Visa Debit Card, contact RVCU right away. You can also block your RVCU Visa Debit Card yourself through NetTeller under Options - Debit Card
Experts estimate that for every case of reported elder abuse, there are 20 to 30 cases that go unreported. It affects men and women from all socioeconomic and educational backgrounds and takes many forms. Elder abuse can be physical, psychological, financial or involve neglect.
Because elder abuse often involves family members, friends and loved ones, victims are often too embarrassed or ashamed to contact the authorities. Therefore, it is up to caretakers, financial representatives, or other members of the community to recognize the signs of elder abuse and take action.
The following are some possible signs of elder abuse:
- Change in physical appearance - May include dirty clothes, unexplained injuries, sudden weight loss, dirty or uncombed hair, or an unkempt appearance.
- Change in condition of the home - May include ignored maintenance, excessive garbage, strong odors, or neglected pets.
- Mental and emotional state - May appear fearful, confused, disoriented, withdrawn, isolated, or depressed. Elder may exhibit strange behavior or use inappropriate speech. Elder may misuse alcohol, drugs, or prescribed medication.
- Changes in financial behavior - May include numerous large withdrawals, often in round numbers; withdrawals made from share savings or share certificates, despite penalty assessments and without a clear reason; a relative or caregiver who seems overly concerned about the elder's finances or is overly controlling; or a new, often much younger person or "best friend" who is suddenly very involved in the elder's life.
If you have reason to suspect elder abuse, don't hesitate to contact someone who can help. If the elder is in immediate danger, always call 911 first! Otherwise to report suspected abuse, exploitation or neglect of an older person, call the statewide, 24-hour Adult Protective Services Hotline: 866-800-1409, 888-206-1327 (TTY).
Everyday, most email users are bombarded with commercial junk email or "SPAM" that clogs up their inbox and makes it difficult to determine which emails are important. Some of these messages are not only annoying, but potentially dangerous.
Criminals, identity thieves in particular, have become adept at impersonating legitimate institutions, such as banks and well-known companies, in order to defraud consumers. This technique is commonly referred to as "phishing." Criminals are looking for a few important pieces of personal and/or financial information, such as social security numbers, bank account numbers and passwords.
Here is an example of a phishing email attempt:
Dear Credit Union Member,
The personal identification number (PIN) was entered incorrectly more than 3 times. For your protection we have deactivated your card.
To reactivate your card please complete the authentication form or call (fraudulent phone number).
Thank you for choosing our services.
Credit Union Customer Service
Live Chat Scams
A new trend in phishing includes live chat windows that pop-up on fake phishing websites. These type of scams are called "chat-in-the-middle". Through this new scam, the phishers chat with the victim to gain their name, phone number and email address.
Avoid this scam by not clicking on any link within an email that requests you to update or authenticate your personal information on a website. Instead, type in, or use the website address you know for the company. Or call the company at a phone number you have for them. If you would like to live chat, initiate contact by clicking on the live chat link on the website you know for the company.
As a general policy, RVCU will never send an email that solicits you for personal information.
Here are some tips to help you avoid email fraud and phishing attacks:
- Never send your personal financial information via email. Email is not a secure medium and should not be trusted to protect your personal information.
- Question suspicious and "official-looking" emails. Be especially alert to those requesting personal information to "claim a prize" or "verify information." Never enter your credit union account information or password in response to an email you receive. Rock Valley Credit Union will never send an email requesting your personal information or account numbers and passwords.
- Be cautious when clicking links inside email messages. RVCU email messages only link to trusted internet destinations.
- Never open unsolicited email attachments even if they appear to be from someone you trust. Email addresses can be faked very easily in a process commonly known as "spoofing." This will also help you avoid malicious computer viruses, as these are almost always transmitted via email attachments.
- Protect your computer by installing up-to-date antivirus software.
Microsoft now offers a phishing filter on Internet Explorer 7. If you have IE7, you can activate this filter by selecting Tools -> Phishing Filter -> Turn on Automatic Website Checking. This new technology will help you identify phishing websites.
If you receive an email claiming to be from Rock Valley Credit Union, which you suspect is aimed at defrauding you, please contact us at 815-282-0300 and the FBI's Internet Fraud Complaint Center.
For more information about Spam, visit the Federal Trade Commission's spam website .
Lottery Fraud Schemes
Lottery Fraud Schemes are on the rise, targeting unsuspecting victims through email and phone. These schemes often start with an email or phone call telling the person they have won a substantial amount of money in an international lottery. An initial fee is requested to process the money with additional fees following afterwards.
To avoid these types of scams, keep in mind:
- No legitimate lottery will charge you up front for winnings.
- If it looks too good to be true, it usually is.
- Be wary when dealing with individuals outside your country.
- Be wary if you don't remember entering any lottery or contest.
- It is illegal to play a foreign lottery by phone or mail.
For more information on these types of scams and how to avoid them, visit the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Telephone fraud is one of the most common types of fraud committed in the United States today. In order to protect yourself, it is important to be familiar with some of the most common scenarios that fraudsters use when contacting unsuspecting consumers.
The following are a few examples:
- Free Prize Offers: Businesses are not in business to give things away. If you are offered a free prize but are required to pay for shipping or handling, be wary. Don’t be afraid to ask for the exact value of the prize. And never give away a credit card number or other personal or financial information if you’re unsure of the situation.
- Investment Offers: Always be wary of accepting investment advice or agreeing to invest in anything over the phone. Listen for phrases such as "no risk" and "you must act now."
- Travel Offers: Low-cost travel offers can seem like a great deal, but travel deals peddled over the phone often require very specific and hard to meet obligations such as only traveling on a certain date, or joining a "club" that costs money.
- Credit-Related: If you receive a call suggesting ways you can instantly fix your bad credit or receive large cash advances, just hang up.
- "900" Numbers: "900" numbers charge you by the minute or by the call, and although many businesses behind "900" numbers are legitimate, many are not. Always check your phone bill carefully to make sure you are not charged for a service you did not purchase.
Most importantly, never be afraid to hang up. You have no obligation to continue listening to a telemarketer or salesperson if you don’t want to, or if you feel uncomfortable in any way.
If you ever believe any information related to your Rock Valley account(s) has been compromised, contact RVCU immediately at 815-282-0300.
If you have questions about telephone fraud in general, contact the National Fraud Information Center (NFIC) at 800-876-7060 or visit the NFIC Website.