GFA Federal Credit Union

Security Center

Fraud and Information Protection Center

GFA will never ask members to login to their account through an embedded link contained in an email or text.  GFA will not ask for credit card numbers, personal identification numbers, social security numbers via email, text message or over the phone.

If you receive any message asking you for these types of personal information please do not respond.  These are fraudsters attempting to collect your personal information.

Latest Scam Alerts

Equifax Breach
On September 7th Equifax announced a cybersecurity incident impacting approximately 143 million consumers.  The actual incident occured between May - July of this year.  Information accessed included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and in some instances credit card numbers.

To learn if your information has been impacted by this breach please visit https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/.

Equifax is offering free credit protection and monitoring services for those affected.

 

Hurricane Harvey
Be aware of social media postings to Facebook and Twitter that contain fake charity websites and phishing emails asking for donations to #HurricaneHarvey Relief Fund.  If you are looking to make a donation to those in need in Texas go directly to the website of the charity and make a donation.  Do not click on any links contained in emails or texts.

Video Scam Targeting Consumers and Routing Numbers
This scam is using social media, such as YouTube to promote a scam claiming consumers can pay bills using a secret account or Social Security trust held at their financial institution.  Through an online payment service, consumers are instructed to use their financial institution's routing number and their Social Security Number in paying bills.  These payments are being rejected and returned unpaid, consumers are incurring fees associated with these transactions from the vendor or merchant.  This also leaves the consumer vulnerable for identity theft.

  • Scams

    There are various ways that fraudsters can steal information from you.  Below is a listing of scams to watch out for.

    • Phishing & Spear Phishing - When a fraudster attempts to obtain sensitive information by posing as someone else.  Have you ever received an email from "Amazon" asking about your recent payment activity and you need to update your account immediately?  You later find out that Amazon never contacted you, that's phishing.  The identity thief is looking for you personal information like, password, username, credit card information.
      Spear Phishing is similar, you receive an email from an individual or business you know and trust.  These are targeted attacks specific to organizations.  If you receive an email from your CEO asking to transfer money immediately, but don't contact him because he is busy and will get back to you later, pause it may be hackers.  Take the time to contact the person in the email to confirm before you react.
    • Vishing - This is a telephone version of Phishing when you receive a phone call from a person posing as a business in an attempt to gain personal information.  Be sure to verify the caller and never provide personal or payment information over the phone.  Your bank or credit union will not contact you looking for this type of information.
    • Smishing - Have you ever received an email notifying you that you won a free trip, just click here for details?  That's not a prize waiting for you, it's a fake link that captures your personal information.  If you don't know who sent you a link within a text or email the best practice is to delete the message and do not open the link.
    • Social engineering - This is when a thief gains access to your personal social media passwords and poses as you.  They will impersonate you asking your friends and family for money due to an emergency.  To avoid this type of fraud make sure your social media privacy settings are secure.
    • Ransomware - Malicious software that locks up all the files on your computer so you cannot access them.  You then receive a message on your computer demanding money for the return of your files.  Most times your computer becomes infected by clicking on a link within an email.  Be sure your system's antivirus software is up-to-date.
  • Debit and Credit Card Fraud Prevention

    How to protect yourself from credit and debit card fraud.

    Card fraud happens many ways, online scams, data breaches, stolen property, mail theft.  GFA monitors for threats and suspicious activity.  There are ways to make sure you don't fall victim to credit or debit card fraud.

    Guard your information

    • Never give your personal identification, credit card, or account number to anyone over the phone unless you have initiated the call to the business you trust.
    • Carry only the cards you need so there is less potential for a thief to steal.
    • Shred your documents before disposing papers containing your personal information.
    • Write your card and account numbers down along with expiration dates at a safe area at home.  Include the phone numbers for each card company in case you need to report fraud.

    Be careful how you use your card 

    • After each transaction be sure you take your card back.
    • Be aware of those around you when you enter your PIN number at a point of sale. Cover the keypad so those behind you cannot see your debit card Personal Identification Number.
    • Look for irregularities at the ATM before using it.  A skimmer may have been placed to capture your debit card information, if you notice something odd after you have inserted your card, alert the business immediately.
    • Be careful when using your card online.  Always make sure it is a trusted site that is secure.  Only enter information on website's you are positive are legitimate.

    Will you be traveling?
    If you are traveling outside of MA and NH; please review our Debit Card Restrictions.

    • If you are planning a trip overseas, please contact the Member Resource Department at 978-632-2542 to ensure that your debit card is not restricted in the area where you are traveling.
    • To activate your new GFA Debit Card, you need to conduct an inquiry or other transaction at any ATM.
    • You can change your PIN (Personal Identification Number) at any GFA ATM or by calling 800-448-8268.
    • Surcharge-free use of GFA ATMs and SUM ATMs.
    • Who is Fraud Watch Plus? The cards we issue are protected by Fraud Watch PLUS. If suspicious activity is noticed on your card, Fraud Prevention Services will call to notify you. If they cannot reach you, they will temporarily block your card and leave a message to call them back at 1-866-842-5208.

    What do I do if I become a victim of fraud?

    If your debit card is lost or stolen you can immediately freeze it using online banking.  The next step is to contact a Better Banking Representative at 978-632-2542 so we can put a hold on your account.

    If your credit card is lost or stolen call your credit card provider immediately and report the fraud.

    Contact the credit bureaus immediately so they can put a fraud alert on your account.
    Experian
    Equifax
    TransUnion

  • Online and Mobile Banking Security

    Online Banking Safety

    • Keep your passwords and Personal Identification Number (PIN) confidential.  Don't share your Online Banking password or PIN number with anyone.  By providing your password or PIN number to another person or company, you are placing your finances and personal information at risk.
    • Changing your password - Don't use a public computer or a computer on public W-iFi to change your password.  Choose a password that is not easily guessed.  Choose a password 6-12 characters using a combination of numbers and special characters.  Be sure that your password is not your date of birth, phone number or address, these can be easily guessed.
    • Look for the lock icon - Before entering personal information on a website, look for the "lock" icon in your browser.  Also look to be sure the site has HTTPS in the beginning of the URL address.
    • If you share a computer, be sure to log off of your online banking account so no one else can access your account information.

    Mobile Banking Safety

    • Be sure your mobile device has a security option such as fingerprint authentication or a passcode.
    • Do not use unsecured an unsecured Wi-Fi network, fraudsters may be able to access the information being transmitted from your device.
    • Research apps before you download them, the app may look like the name of your financial institution, but it may not be.
    • Be aware of Phishing messages via text, GFA will not text you asking for any personal information.  If you should receive a message like this, contact GFA immediately.
  • ATM Security

    ATM's and even gas pumps are vulnerable to "skimming".  This is when someone steals your account information by adding a magnetic strip called a card "skimmer" over the slot where you insert your debit card.  Here are some ways to protect yourself from skimming...

    • Avoid standalone ATMs; choose one in a well lit area or well known establishment.
    • Be ready to immediately use your debit card at the ATM and leave once your transaction is complete.
    • Notify the business if you feel there is something wrong with the ATM's keyboard or card slot.
    • Cover the keyboard with your hand when entering the PIN, and be aware of others around you standing too close.
    • If your card is not returned from the ATM notify the business/financial institution immediately.
    • Do not let others use your debit card or know your PIN number.
    • Do not write your PIN number on the sleeve of your debit/ATM card, memorize the number.
    • Keep your car doors locked and other windows closed when at a drive-thru ATM.

    What to do if you are a victim of a skimming device?

    If you suspect that you have used a device with a skimmer on a GFA ATM, please contact us immediately at 978-632-2542.  Contact the local police in your area to file a report  Monitor your accounts regularly, if you notice suspicious transactions report them to GFA immediately.

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