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Westerra Credit Union

Fraud Alerts

Wire Transfer Scam - April 2014

Beware of online scammers who ask you to wire money.  We are seeing an increase in fraudulent activity with outgoing wire transfers.  The following types of wire transfers scams have been brought to our attention:

  • Perpetrators convince victims that they will give them a large sum of money if they wire a small portion upfront.
  • Perpetrators become an online love interest and persuade the victim to wire money to help them come to the United States.
  • Perpetrators convince online job seekers to wire money for the start-up cost of a new business. 

Many of these scams are taking place on social media sites.  Perpetrators are advising the victims to not trust their financial institution and to not provide information about the purpose of the wire.   

Target Stores Data Breach - January 2014

As a proactive step to protect our members from potential fraud related to the Target stores data breach, members who used their Westerra debit card or credit card at a Target store between November 27 and December 15, 2013, had their cards reissued in early January, if they had not already requested a reissue.  While this breach was not caused by Westerra, it is important to us to be proactive in protecting your account from Target’s data breach:

  • Review your transaction history - Please review your transaction history to see if any unauthorized transactions may have been made on your account. If you find any unauthorized activity, please contact us immediately at 303 321-4209 or 1-800-858-7212.
     
  • As a precautionary measure, all cards used at Target stores during this time frame were reissued in early January - Members who used their cards at Target during this time period received a reissued Westerra plastic card with a new card number in early January.  Impacted members received a letter in the mail in late December and their cards were reissued. If you received a new card, please activate it immediately, as your existing card was deactivated January 21, 2014.  All impacted card numbers have been blocked.  If you have automatic payments coming from your former card number, be sure to provide those companies your new card number to ensure your payments continue.
     
  • Cards can be reissued immediately at any branch - All cards reissued by mail have the standard card design.  If you had one of our new Colorado design cards, or a high school debit card issued as part of our school fundraising program, you can obtain the same design by visiting any branch. You can bring your new card to any Westerra branch at any time to have it reissued in the design of your choice.

If you have already cancelled your card and had it reissued at a branch or by phone, please continue using your new card. There is no need for the card to be reissued again. 

Westerra has fraud prevention security procedures in place on an ongoing basis to identify transactions that appear outside of your normal activity.  These security procedures are at an elevated status due to the Target data breach.  If any suspicious activity is detected, blocks are placed immediately on the card. We then will contact you to determine if the charges are yours. You may also want to set Alerts in Online Banking to let you know if transactions over a certain amount take place on your account or if your account reaches a certain high or low balance. Monitoring your accounts regularly is a good practice to help avert potential fraud. 

Please be assured that you are not responsible for fraudulent transactions on your card.  We regret the inconvenience that Target’s data breach has caused you. If you have any questions, please call us at 303-321-4209 or 1-800-858-7212. 

Fraudulent Walmart Gift Card Contest - June 2013

Please be aware that the phone numbers 1-888-858-7212 and 1-888-466-0040 are not associated with Westerra Credit Union and asks callers to enter a fraudulent contest to win a Walmart gift card. The contest claims you are the 100th caller and asks callers to give their personal information. Please be assured that Westerra Credit Union will never ask you to verify your personal information by phone, email, through a web link, or with a text message unless you initiate the contact.  Please be sure you are calling the correct phone numbers to reach Westerra: 1-800-858-7212 and 1-800-466-0040.

Counterfeit Westerra Cashier's Checks - April 2013

Please be aware that there are counterfeit Westerra Cashier's Checks being distributed to the general public through a "working from home" online job offer.  In payment for online work, a fraudulent company called “Excel Art Gallery” has issued Cashier’s Checks that appear to be drawn on Westerra Credit Union.  These are counterfeit checks.  The perpetrator sends the check for more than the amount due to the individual for their work, then asks to have it cashed and send the balance back to them.  If you are offered a job online and provided payment in this way, report this to local law enforcement immediately.  The name “Eric Castillo” is one of the names used as a representative of the fraudulent company.  The work requested by the fraudulent company is often mystery shopping to evaluate other businesses.  Other fraudulent representative names and company names may be used in this and similar scams.  

Phishing Scam - March 2013

The National Credit Union Administration has warned of a new phishing scam using the agency's name in an attempt to obtain consumer debit card account numbers. The scammers have set up an automated message, claiming to be from the NCUA, which erroneously informs consumers that their debit card has been deactivated. The consumer is then instructed to press 1 on their phone, and enter their 16 digit account number, to reactivate their card.  Please be aware this is not a call from NCUA.  If you receive a this call, please notify NCUA's Fraud Hotline, toll-free, at 800-827-9650.

Counterfeit Westerra Cashier's Checks - March 2013

Please be aware that there are counterfeit Westerra Cashier's Checks being distributed to the general public through a "working from home" online job offer.

Card Phone Scam - March 2013

Fraudulent phone calls are being made informing members that their card has been deactivated. Additional information such as card number, expiration date and PIN number are being requested in order to reactivate the card.  Please be assured that Westerra Credit Union will never ask you to verify your personal information by email, through a web link, with a text message or by phone unless you initiate the contact.  If you receive this call, hang up and do not provide any personal information.

Text Message Scam - February 2013

Fraudulent text messages from "vtext.com" are asking members to verify and reactivate their debit card by calling
561-275-5430. If you receive this text message, please do not call the number.  Please be aware that Westerra Credit Union will never contact you asking for your personal information.

Holiday Scams to Watch For - December 2012

  • Secure your home computers and mobile devices:  Make sure your home computers are secured with a firewall and antivirus software before performing any online transactions. Operating system patches should be downloaded when made available by software vendors. You should also protect mobile devices (mobile phones, tablets, etc.) used to conduct online transactions by installing antivirus software.
  • Phishing scams:  Do not respond to emails, text messages, and phone calls that advertise the sale of gift cards, holiday gifts, promotions, contests and jobs.
  • Be wary of holiday offers for free items:  Avoid tempting holiday offers, such as free downloadable applications for smartphones, antivirus software, screen savers, ring-tones and electronic greeting cards, which may be infected with viruses and/or malware.
  • Be wary of shopping online at Craigslist and public auction sites:  You might purchase merchandise that is never delivered. Follow the best practices published by Craigslist and other public auction websites to avoid scams.
  • Be wary of social media scams:  Fraudsters often place bogus advertisements for free prizes on social media sites. Do not respond to these advertisements.

Credit Union Members Recruited as “Money Mules” - August 2012
A number of credit unions have reported that their members are being recruited as money mules by fraudsters. Money mules unknowingly assist fraudsters in laundering stolen funds.  Money mules are most often recruited through bogus job offers for payment processors, financial managers, or overseas representatives. They are also recruited through online dating sites.  Fraudsters typically find their potential money mules by searching websites where job seekers post their resumes. A key consideration in accepting the position is the ability to work from home. Upon accepting the job, the money mules are notified they will receive deposits to their accounts via ACH and/or wire transfer. The deposits made to the money mule accounts via ACH and/or wire transfer were actually stolen from deposit accounts at other financial institutions and investment accounts held at brokerage firms.

E-mail Scam - March 2012
A fraudulent e-mail from digitalinsight.com may have been sent to Westerra members.  The e-mail states that your Online Banking password has expired and asks you to follow a link to set up a new password. Please be assured that Westerra Credit Union will never ask you to verify your personal information by email, through a web link, with a text message or by phone unless you initiate the contact. Be cautious to never download virus scans from websites or pop-ups, as these may be fraudulent attempts to gain financial information. If you receive a request of this type, or believe you have responded to a fraudulent attempt, please contact us immediately to report the incident.

Secret Shopping Scam - February 2012
A secret shopping scam is sending letters and checks to people informing them they have been selected to become secret shoppers for various businesses and companies. The letter instructs the victim to go to their financial institution and deposit the check, wait a few days (place a hold on their account), then come back to withdraw the funds and wire the rest of the money to Western Union. Please be aware that any letter and check sent to you regarding secret shopping is a scam where fraudsters attempt to have you wire them money.

Phishing Scam - December, 2011
A new spam campaign is sending legitimate-looking emails, claiming to be from the National Automated Clearing House Association, advising recipients there was a problem with an ACH transaction at their financial institution, causing it not to be processed. Once they click on the link to "take care of the problem," they are infected with Zeus or Gameover malware, which is able to key log and steal their online banking information.

After the accounts are compromised, the scammers conduct a Distributed Denial of Service attack on the financial institutions, which is used to deflect attention from the wire transfers, and make them unable to reverse the transactions if found. A portion of the wire transfers are being transmitted to high-end jewelry stores, where a fraudster arrives to pick up jewels worth the dollar amount that was wired.

The FBI in Denver is asking all consumers to be cautious of opening emails from unknown senders.

Email Message Scam - November, 2011
An email scam, purporting to be from the Federal Reserve Board, is currently circulating the internet targeting the bank account information of unsuspecting consumers.  The scam claims that an outgoing wire transfer has been declined by the Federal Reserve Wire Network, and directs recipients to a malicious website.

Financial fraudsters often use governmental agencies, such as the Federal Reserve Board or Treasury, to proliferate their scams and attacks against consumers.  Because the scams appear to come from a legitimate source, consumers are more likely to fall into the trap.

Another recent report of a fraud attempt is an email from an unknown source stating the individual’s direct deposit was declined.  It then directs the individual to a malicious website.

Any suspected scam or financial fraud should be reported immediately to the U.S. Secret Service (http://www.treas.gov/uss/index.shtml), the U.S. agency that has jurisdiction over financial crimes in the U.S.; or your local FBI office http://www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/fo.htm.

Common Scams and What to Watch For - September 2011

  • Family emergency/friend in need: Call the person, because email accounts are often hijacked in this scam. If someone calls, ask personal questions to make sure they are who they say they are. In a genuine emergency, send money directly to that person and never to a third party.

  • Mystery shopper: Refuse this and all job offers from a potential employer that requires depositing a check and wiring funds, even if the assignment is to "shop" a money transfer agency. 

  • Lottery scam: People don't win lotteries they didn't enter, and government employees don't call to inform someone they won. Never cash a check and wire funds to claim any winnings.

  • Disaster relief scam: Legitimate charities will take checks and credit cards. Don't wire money for relief efforts, especially to an unknown party.

  • Sweetheart scam: Run from someone on an online dating site who quickly professes their love, builds trust and then starts asking for money. Both your money and your sweetheart will soon be gone.

  • Advance-free loans and credit cards: Never wire money in advance to obtain a loan or credit card.

(Source: Federal Trade Commission)

Text Message Scams - August, 2011
Fraudulent text messages have been sent to Westerra members informing them that their debit cards have alerts and/or have been frozen. They ask the member to call a (false) number to provide information, or request them to “press 1” to activate their card. Please be aware that Westerra will never contact you asking for your personal information. Attempts such as these text messages are fraudulent.
 
Text Message Scam - April 1, 2011
A fraudulent text message has been received by Westerra members.  The text is from a fraudulent phone number and reads, "WCU ALERT: Your CARD has been DEACTIVATED.  Please call 303-859-8232." Please be assured that Westerra will never contact you asking for your personal information. 
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received reports of a fraudulent email which has the appearance of being sent from the FDIC. The email and the website it is associated with are fraudulent, and recipients of this email should NOT click on the link. Please click here for more information.
 
Phone Scam Alert Targeting Bank Accounts - June 22, 2010
The FBI is warning consumers to be on the alert for scammers who tie up their phone lines while emptying their bank accounts.  Consumers are urged to take the following steps to avoid being a victim of this new scam:
  • Never give out personal information to an unsolicited phone caller or via e-mail.

  • Change online banking and automated telephone system passwords frequently.

  • Check your account balances often.

  • Protect your computers with the latest virus protection and security software.

Click here for other current telemarketing schemes

Please be aware that Westerra Credit Union would never contact you asking for your personal information. Never give out personal information to anyone who contacts you. You cannot be sure they are who they say they are, unless you are the one initiating the contact. Because of the rise in fraud and phishing scams, Westerra may ask you additional security questions. Please be patient as we go through the process to ensure your identity is safe.

Phishing Alert - December 3, 2009
Reports of "phishing" scams continue to rise on the Internet as a means to attempt to fraudulently obtain personal information used for identity theft.

Beware of any emails or telephone calls that claim to be your Credit Union, an online payment service, or even a government agency. The message may ask you to update, validate, or confirm your personal or account information on a website that looks just like the legitimate organization's site, but is not. Some phishing emails even threaten a dire consequence if you do not respond.

Please note that Westerra Credit Union will never ask you to verify your personal information by email, through a web link, with a text message or by phone unless you initiate the contact. Be cautious to never download virus scans from websites or pop-ups, as these may be fraudulent attempts to gain financial information. If you receive a request of this type, or believe you have responded to a fraudulent attempt, please contact us immediately to report the incident.

Identity Theft
Identity theft involves stealing or taking over the identity of another person or business and using it for personal gain. Any personal information can be used by an identity thief to impersonate you.