Fraud & Security
Your financial well-being is important to us. Visit this page to find news, alerts, and other info to keep you informed about identity theft and fraud scams. Should you suspect, you may be a victim of fraud, please contact us at (603) 224-7731.
Dirty Dozen: Watch out for scammers using email and text messages to try tricking people during tax season
The Internal Revenue Service urges everyone to remain vigilant against phishing and smishing schemes where cybercriminals try to steal a taxpayer’s information through scam emails or text messages.
“Email and text scams are relentless, and scammers frequently use tax season as a way of tricking people,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “With people anxious to receive the latest information about a refund or other tax issue, scammers will regularly pose as the IRS, a state tax agency or others in the tax industry in emails and texts. People should be incredibly wary about unexpected messages like this that can be a trap, especially during filing season.”
- Phishing is an email sent by fraudsters claiming to come from the IRS or another legitimate organization, including state tax organizations or a financial firm. The email lures the victims into the scam by a variety of ruses such as enticing victims with a phony tax refund or frightening them with false legal/criminal charges for tax fraud.
- Smishing is a text or smartphone SMS message that uses the same technique as phishing. Scammers often use alarming language like, “Your account has now been put on hold,” or “Unusual Activity Report” with a bogus “Solutions” link to restore the recipient’s account. Unexpected tax refunds are another potential target for scam artists.
Click here for additional information from the IRS
By Terri Miller, FTC Consumer Education Specialist, February 13, 2023
It’s almost Valentine’s Day. Maybe you’ve already sent a card to your grandmother, grandfather, or the older adult in your life. But if you haven’t told them lately that you love them, pick up the phone and call, too. While you’re catching up, remind them that you’ll never pressure them to wire you money or buy you gift cards — but a scammer might.
Scammers use fake family emergencies to target older adults. They call pretending to be a grandkid in trouble, or a lawyer or police officer on the scene. They ask for money, but once the grandparent finds out there was no emergency, the scammer’s gone — and so is their money. You may not get these scam calls, but chances are you know someone who will get one — if they haven’t already. Sharing is caring.
January 20, 2023
Fraud Alert to NHFCU Members – Rise in Local Financial Institution Impersonators
We are aware of fraudsters posing as representatives from various NH financial institutions – including NHFCU. These fraudsters are in contact with people primarily via cell phone and texting – even revealing a valid financial institution name on Caller ID (spoofing).
If you receive a call asking for any account information, Social Security Number, e-branch login, password, PIN, etc., hang up immediately and call us at (603)224-7731.
Here’s what you might see:
- Caller ID may appear as “UNAVAILABLE” and “WITHHELD”
- Caller ID may appear as “NHFCU”
- The caller asks you to verify your personal information, and/or to verify a one-time passcode they send to your mobile device.
- The imposter may tell you they are calling from the NHFCU Fraud Department asking for your personal information because “you’ve been a victim of fraud” and requests your Personal Identification Number (PIN) so they can deactivate it. They may also ask if you completed specific transactions and tell you they need more info from you to cancel them. These fraudsters are tricky and sound legit. Please call us directly at (603)224-7731 to verify whether we are trying to reach you.
When logging in to online banking, please do so directly from nhfcu.org or our mobile app. Know your information remains secure with NHFCU.
NHFCU does not ask for unsolicited personal information like your PINs and passwords when verifying your identity.
If you believe you are a victim of fraud or receive a suspicious call or text, please contact NHFCU immediately at (603)224-7731.
January 19, 2023 (posted January 20. 2023)
Facing the facts about fraud: It may not be the face you think, By Lesley Fair, FTC Blog, December 8, 2022
Ask someone to picture the typical person who has experienced a scam and they may think of an older consumer taken in by a fast-talking fraudster. Regardless of the image they create, the results of the FTC’s latest Consumer Protection Data Spotlight suggest their impression may not be accurate. That’s because reports in the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel contradict some stereotypes about how fraud affects our communities and evoke a more nuanced picture. Here are some of the surprising findings revealed in the Data Spotlight.
- Who’s losing money to fraud – and how much are they losing?
- In 2021, Gen Xers, Millennials, and Gen Z young adults – people between 18 and 59 – were 34% more likely than people 60 and over to report losing money to fraud. The median individual fraud loss reported by people in the 18-59 age group was $500.
- But the Data Spotlight also suggests that when older adults lose money due to fraud, they’re hit harder in the wallet. People between 70 and 79 reported median individual losses of $800. For those 80 and over, that number shot up to $1,500.
- Are there differences in the types of fraud different generations report?
Click here to read the full article.
If you suspect you are a victim of fraud, contact us immediately at (603) 224-7731. To report fraud to the FCT, click here: ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
December 21, 2022
What to do if your online order never arrives. By Colleen Tressler, FTC, Division of Consumer and Business Education, December 12, 2022
We’ve all been there. During the holidays you order something online and anxiously await its arrival. But then your package doesn’t come when the seller said it would. And worse, you hear nothing. Your happy anticipation is turning to anger and frustration. So now what?
If you didn’t get your stuff:
- First, contact the seller. Most businesses will work with you to resolve the problem and keep you as a customer.
- If that doesn’t work, you still didn’t get your order and the charge shows up on your credit card statement, dispute the charges.
- If you paid by debit card, contact your debit card company (often your bank or credit union). Ask if they can help you. This sample letterfor disputing debit card charges can help.
Click here to read the full article.
Fraud and scams are everywhere and increase exponentially during the holidays. Watch your emails and texts for suspicious messages -don’t click on them. Be vigilant about phone calls – don’t give out personal information inducing your bank account and Social Security number. Be sure to contact us immediately if yoususpect you’ve become a victim of fraud at (603) 224-7731. Scroll down to review last month’s article about the uptick in fraud.
November 4, 2022 – Special notice to NHFCU Members – Uptick in scams and fraudulent activity
Special Notice to NHFCU Members – Uptick in scams and fraudulent activity
Please know this latest scam has affected several NHFCU members.
Publisher’s Clearing House Fraud – Several members have reported getting calls from Publisher’s Clearing House telling them they have won a prize. The scam typically starts with a phone call. The caller pretends to be from Publisher’s Clearing House and explains you’ve won their jackpot, and YOU need to pay them a sum of money to cover certain expenses. Next, the caller may request your account details, social security number, and other personal information, all under the guise of making sure they got the right person. The scammer may call back several times, cultivating a relationship with you, promising you they will be at your house on a certain day. And then…usually, “something comes up” and they can’t make the appointment. At this point, they may ask you to send MORE money to cover unexpected taxes, fees, or other costs.
If you get one of these calls, DO NOT COOPERATE. Hang up and block their number immediately. Then:
- Notify your local police.
- Contact us immediately at (800) 639-4039.
- Go to reportfraud.ftc.gov and report the fraud online
This is a well-known national scam. A legitimate sweepstakes will NEVER ask you to pay any money to them, much less ask for your social security number or bank account information.
These scammers are clever. They are good at what they do. They will sound convincing to get you hooked. They will act as your cherished friend, but in reality, all they want is your money and your identity.
If you have been contacted by one of these scammers and have provided your NHFCU account information, please contact us AT ONCE at 800-639-4039, so we may try to protect you and your money.
Other scams and fraud schemes to be aware of:
- Romance Scam – Online dating can be a great way to find lasting love, but you don’t have to be looking for love to be courted by a romance scammer.
- Family emergency scam/grandparent scam – The first call is from a grandchild “in jail” to a grandparent. The second call is a lawyer pressuring the grandparent to wire/send bail money NOW.
- To see a list of all scams and sign up to receive emails from the FTC about all scams, go to ftc.gov/scams
What to do if you’ve been defrauded
- To report fraud, go to ftc.gov
- For other ways to protect yourself, please go to org/fraud-and-security
- As always, if you think you are a victim of a scam/fraud, contact us immediately at (800) 639-4039.
Your home networks might have a range of wireless devices on them — from computers and phones to IP cameras, voice assistants, smart TVs, and connected appliances. Taking some basic steps to secure your home Wi-Fi network will help protect your devices from getting hacked — and your information from getting stolen.
The upside of Wi-Fi? You can connect to the internet wirelessly. The downside? Others nearby who connect to your unprotected network might be able to see what you do online, including your personal information. And if anyone uses your network to commit a crime or send illegal spam, the activity could be traced back to you.
Protect yourself and your home Wi-fi network from scammers and fraud – Click here for the full article from the FTC.
September 13, 2022 – Protecting your Social Security number from identity theft
August 25, 2016 • By Doug Walker, Deputy Commissioner, Communications. SSA.gov (Last updated August 19, 2021)
Every year, millions of Americans become victims of identity theft. Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personally identifiable information and pretends to be you. They can use this information to open bank and/or credit card accounts, file taxes, or make new purchases in your name.
It is important that you take steps to protect your Social Security number from theft. If someone obtains your Social Security number, they can use it to get other personal information about you, including your banking and/or credit report information. Someone can steal your Social Security number by:
Stealing your wallet or purse.
Raiding your mailbox which may contain paper statements.
Obtaining personal information you provide to an unsecured site on the Internet.
Rummaging through your trash.
Posing by phone or email as someone who needs information about you.
To read the full article, click here.
August 16, 2022 – Multi-Factor Authentication is a good thing
Excerpts taken from “Protect your personal information,” ftc.gov article/secure your accounts.
So, you have your passwords for your personal computer, mobile phone and tablets set up, and your antivirus software and firewall programs are up-to-date to keep them working properly. You’re feeling pretty good about protecting your personal information.
While you’re on the right track, you can do more to avoid scammers, hackers, and other bad guys who try to steal your personal information online. It’s a good idea to know how to lock down your devices, network, and information. That way, your passwords, Social Security number, or account numbers don’t go speeding along the superhighway to the scammers.
In addition to your passwords and software/firewall protection, you can add another layer of protection from the bad guys. Set up multi-factor authentication (MFA) to safeguard your personal information. MFA is available with some accounts which offer extra security by requiring two or more credentials to log in to your account. These additional credentials fall into two categories:
Something you have, like a passcode you get via an authentication app, a security key, email, text, and phone.
Something you are, like a scan of your fingerprint, your retina, or your face.
MFA makes it harder for scammers to log in to your accounts if they do get your username and password. Yes, it’s one more thing to do with technology, but it’s crucial.
Be sure you use this authentication process to continue to protect your personal information and keep the bad guys away!
If you think you are a victim of fraud, contact us immediately at (603) 224-7731. If you think someone has gotten into your accounts or has your personal information, visit IdentityTheft.gov.There, you’ll get steps to take to find out if your identity has been misused, and how to report and recover from identity theft.
For detailed information from the FTC on how to keep your personal information safe, click here.
July 15, 2022 – How to keep your passwords secure
Passwords are the locks on your account doors. You keep lots of personal information in your online accounts, including your email, bank account, and your tax returns, so you want good protections in place. Click here to review the password checklist to make sure your passwords are secure.