For Your Benefit

Keeping Your Account Secure

How safe am I online? Am I being scammed? How do I know something is wrong? What do I do if I discover my account is being accessed without my permission? If you've asked yourself these questions, you're not alone.

Online security is a growing concern for many Americans; here at RBFCU, our team of security experts works to protect your finances. However, fraudsters continue to come up with new ways to affect members' finances as well. One of the more common threats is social engineering – things like work-from-home and phishing scams where people are tricked into doing something that affects their identity and finances.

How does social engineering work? Here are a few examples:

  • Scammers use emails and banners on web sites, mail pieces, even billboards and road signs, to snare consumers by promising an income of thousands of dollars a month. Too good to be true? Absolutely. Often the individual will be asked to receive goods (which were purchased with stolen credit cards), then use their own money to reship them somewhere else,
  • In other cases participants receive checks (which are fraudulent) to deposit in an account and are asked to immediately withdraw, wire or transfer all or part of the money. When a fraudulent check is deposited, the person who makes the deposit is responsible for replacing those funds if the check is a fake.
  • In some work-from-home situations, individuals are asked to provide their online account log-in credentials to the scammers as part of their “employment contract.” That should always be a serious red flag. You should never provide your username or password to anyone, no matter their connection to you. RBFCU has put in place a system so that each authorized NetBranch Online user has a unique username. Providing account information to others may result in serious financial loss to the account holder.

What can you do to protect your information? Updating your computers' operating system and antivirus programs are great steps, but you need to do more.

Phishing emails - messages that pretend to be from your financial institution, the federal government or your favorite online shopping site - are a big problem for everyone. CyberSource estimates that in 2011 alone more than three billion dollars in revenues were lost to online payment fraud. If you receive an email urging immediate action regarding your account, do not respond to it or click the links. Instead, contact the organization sending the email directly. Clicking links in phishing messages can put malicious software on your computer and give criminals access and control. They can record what you type; copy files; log in to social media; or access your financial accounts. Your stolen information can then be sold and used for all kinds of illegal activity including identity theft.

If you find yourself caught in a scheme, the first thing you should do is call your financial institution. Involving your financial institution early can sometimes limit the damage and can allow them to assist law enforcement in apprehending the fraudsters and putting a stop to the illegal activity.

You can also take some proactive measures to monitor your accounts. For example, you can enable eAlerts to assist you in monitoring your accounts and balances. You should also review your statements regularly and monitor your account through NetBranch to make sure you're keeping your money safe.

Using the Internet shouldn't be scary, and being aware and proactive are the easiest ways to stay safe. More information on how to keep your computer safe, and some tips on mobile devices, are available on the Security section of NetBranch. Please take advantage of those resources to continue to have a positive online experience, and please don't hesitate to contact us if you have issues or concerns regarding your account.