Fraud and scams are dishonest schemes
with the goal to gain money or information from you.
If you want to stay safe from hackers and scammers, always be cautious about unsolicited opportunities. If you didn’t contact them first, there’s a good chance scammers are at the other end. Never give out your personal information and never give money to someone you don’t know.
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.
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.
Fraud tactics include:
- Dumpster Diving. Thieves rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper that includes your personal information.
- Malware. Also known as ‘malicious software’, malware is designed to harm, attack or take unauthorized control over a computer system. Malware includes viruses, worms and Trojans. It’s important to know that Malware can include a combination of all three of the types noted.
- Phishing. A scam that involves the use of replicas of existing web pages to try to deceive you into entering personal, financial or password data. Often suspects use urgency or scare tactics, such as threats to close accounts.
- Vishing. Vishing is a type of phishing attack where the attacker uses a local phone number in the fake email as a means of obtaining your sensitive information. The goal is to fool you into believing the email is legitimate by instructing you that responding to the request by phone is safer than responding by email and shows authenticity. The unsuspecting caller is then tricked through an automated phone system to relinquish their sensitive information.
- Smishing or SMS Phishing. SMS Phishing is similar to Phishing and Vishing except that it uses SMS Text Messaging as the delivery medium. The recipient is usually asked to call a number to reactivate an account or debit card. The phone number that is dialed will usually ask for everything needed to reproduce the credit or debit card and may even ask for a Social Security Number.
- Pharming. Pharming takes place when you type in a valid website address and you are illegally redirected to a site that is not legitimate. These ‘fake’ websites ask for personal information such as credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security numbers and other sensitive information.
- Trojan. A Trojan is malicious code that is disguised or hidden within another program that appears to be safe. When the program is executed, the Trojan allows attackers to gain unauthorized access to the computer in order to steal information and cause harm. Trojans commonly spread through email attachments and Internet downloads. A common Trojan component is a “keystroke logger” which captures a user’s keystrokes in an attempt to capture the user’s credentials. It will then send those credentials to the attacker.
- Spoofing. Spoofing is when an attacker masquerades as someone else by providing false data. Phishing has become the most common form of website spoofing. Another form of spoofing is URL spoofing. This happens when an attacker exploits bugs in your browser in order to display incorrect URLs in your browser location bar. Another form of spoofing is called “man-in-the-middle”. This occurs when an attacker compromises the communication between you and another party on the Internet. Many firewalls can be updated or configured to significantly prevent this type of attack.
- Spyware. Loaded on to your computer unbeknownst to you, spyware is a type of program that watches what users do and forwards information to someone else. It is most often installed when you download free software on the Internet. Unfortunately hackers discovered this to be an effective means of sending sensitive information over the Internet. Moreover, they discovered that many free applications that use spyware for marketing purposes could be found on your machine, and attackers often use this existing spyware for their malicious means.
- Virus. A computer virus is a malicious program that attaches itself to and infects other software applications and files without the user’s knowledge, disrupting computer operations. Viruses can carry what is known as a “payload,” executable scripts designed to damage, delete or steal information from a computer.