There is a large amount of fraudulent activity that occurs preying on innocent people. Rhode Island Credit Union will make every attempt to keep you informed and advised of common activity including counterfeit checks and money orders, fraud schemes, email scams, and internet and mail fraud.
It is important to remember to never respond to any email requesting personal information. Fraudulent emails and websites are created to look authentic. Please notify us whenever you receive a suspicious e-mail or have any other form of unsolicited contact from individuals seeking personal information about your accounts.
"Drive-By" Virus: There is a new “drive-by” virus on the Internet, and it often carries a fake message—and fine—purportedly from the FBI. Reveton Ransomware is designed to extort money from its victims. Reveton is described as drive-by malware because unlike many viruses—which activate when users open a file or attachment—this one can install itself when users simply click on a compromised website. Once infected, the victim’s computer immediately locks, and the monitor displays a screen stating there has been a violation of federal law. The bogus message says the user’s Internet address was identified by the FBI or the Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section as having been associated with child pornography sites or other illegal online activity. To unlock their machines, users are required to pay a fine using a prepaid money card service. The virus has become more widespread in the U.S. and internationally. Some variants of Reveton can even turn on computer webcams and display the victim’s picture on the frozen screen.
PHISHING: Phishing is the practice of sending an email that appears to be from a financial institution with the goal of persuading online banking users to share sensitive information that can be used to commit fraud or identity theft. The criminals that send out these emails copy logos and imitate the look and feel of a real website to try to persuade online banking users that the emails are genuine. Click here for more information about phishing.
VISHING: Vishing is the voice counterpart to phishing. Instead of being directed by email to a website, an email message asks the user to make a telephone call. The call triggers a voice response system that asks for the user's card number or other personal or financial information. The initial bait can also be a telephone call with a recording that instructs the user to phone an 800 number or another area code within or outside the United States.
SMISHING: Smishing is the mobile phone counterpart to phishing. Instead of being directed by email to a website, a text message is sent to the user's cell phone or other mobile device with some ploy to click on a link. The link causes a Trojan to be installed in the cell phone or other mobile device.
EMAIL SCAM: Fraudulent emails appearing to be from NCUA (National Credit Union Administration) and/or CUNA (Credit Union National Association) attempting to obtain personal and confidential information are sent out to credit union members. The email indicates that the "Credit Union" has restricted their account for security reasons and additional information is required to allow the member to have access to their account. The email includes a link for the member to click on and verify their information. This is an attempt to gather information for fraudulent purposes. Do not click on the link or respond to the email.
TEXT MESSAGE SCAM: Cell phones have become a convenient way for scam artists to reach out to the public. One common text message scam sends a text message to people advising them that there is a problem with their bank account and they need to call a number to resolve the problem. When the number is called, it is an automated message that requests the caller to enter a card number and other information. This information is then used to steal identities and use cards fraudulently. Recipients of this type of text message should not respond to the message or call the number.
LOTTERY SCAM: It begins with a letter claiming the recipient has won a lottery, usually a foreign lottery. When the recipient calls, they're told they will receive a check to cover the taxes and/or fees, as well as additional instructions on how to collect the prize. They'll then receive another mailing that includes a check that looks authentic. The check indicates that the lottery winners must pay taxes and a processing fee on their winnings. Prize officials include a letter with the check stating that winners can use these funds to make that payment, and then their windfall check will follow in the mail. The recipient is supposed to deposit the check and then write a check to cover the costs/taxes from their account. The check deposited by the recipient is later determined by the bank to be fraudulent and they must repay the bank.
LOTTERY EMAIL SCAM: The recipient receives an email claiming they have won a lottery. They are to contact a claims agent to collect their winnings, usually at a free email address. After contacting the agent, the target of the scam will be asked to pay "processing fees" or "transfer charges" so that the winnings can be distributed, but will never receive any lottery payment.
There are several ways to recognize a lottery email scam:
- Unless you have bought a ticket, you cannot have won a prize. There are no such things as "email" draws or any other lottery where "no tickets were sold." This is simply another invention by the scammer to make you believe you've won.
- The scammer will ask you to pay a fee before you can receive your prize. It is illegal for a real lottery to charge any sort of fee. It does not matter what they say this fee is for (courier charges, bank charges, various imaginary certificates — these are all made up by the scammer to get money out of you). All real lotteries subtract any fee and tax from the prize. They never ask you to pay it in advance.