Please contact us when traveling outside of MT for debit/Credit card usage. You can send notice of travel via Card Services in our Mobile app or by emailing CardServices@skyfcu.org or calling (800) 445-3328.
STATES BLOCKED FOR DEBIT/CREDIT CARD USAGE:
Due to a high volume of fraud we have placed blocks on certain states and countries for credit and debit card usage. Please contact Sky Federal Credit Union at 1-800-445-3328 if you plan on traveling to one of the following areas:
The following states are blocked for credit and debit cards: AZ, CA, FL, GA, IL, MA, MD, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, PA, TX, Washington DC, VA
The following states are blocked for ATM transactions: CO, OR, WA
The following countries are blocked for credit and debit cards: Bangladesh, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China (Hong Kong), Columbia, Cuba, Cyprus, Egypt, Estonia, France, Greece, India, Israel, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, Panama, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Venezuela
March 6, 2017
Scammers “Spoofing” Law Enforcement Information on Caller ID
Consumers in a few Montana cities have reported scammers have been calling them and pretending to be agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other federal, state and local law enforcement departments. The impersonation attempts start with ‘spoofing’ the law enforcement department’s phone number on the intended target’s caller ID, or making it appear that the phone call is coming from a different number than the one it truly originated from. These scammers then try to obtain personal information, such as bank account numbers, from the person who answers the call by threatening to arrest or prosecute the victim for supposed ‘unpaid debts or taxes’.
Consumers are encouraged to either hang up the phone, or, if they think a law enforcement agency may be trying to get a hold of them, but they are not sure of the veracity of the call they received, to take the following steps:
- Ask the caller for his/her name and immediate supervisor.
- Ask under what authority this call is being made.
- Ask what court of jurisdiction they are operating within.
- Hang up, find the law enforcement agency’s phone number from their official website (such as the city or county website) or in the phone book, and call the agency at that number to verify the information provided.
- NEVER provide personal information over the phone to someone unless you initiated the contact (you called them) and you are certain you know who you are speaking to.
NEXT STEPS: To get updates on the latest scams and identity theft attempts affecting Montanans, sign up for Consumer Alerts through the Office of Consumer Protection. To report an attempted scam, use OCP’s convenient online reporting form here. You can also call to speak with one of our investigators at (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500, visit OCP’s homepage at https://dojmt.gov/consumer/, or call your local law enforcement agency.
Attorney General Tim Fox
Montana Department of Justice
February 2, 2017
Observe Tax ID Theft Awareness Week by Brushing Up on the Basics
In honor of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week (January 30 – February 3) I’m encouraging all Montanans to read up on the most common tax identity theft scams and how to avoid them.
The IRS reported the average federal tax refund during the 2015 filing season was about $3,200. Montanans work very hard for their wages, and it’s unconscionable that identity thieves are stealing their well-deserved tax refunds. Fortunately, consumers can arm themselves with knowledge from the FTC, the IRS, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and others, including my Office of Consumer Protection.
Tax identity theft can happen in a number of ways. It includes someone filing a phony tax return using your personal information, such as your Social Security number, to collect your refund from the IRS. It also can happen if someone uses your Social Security number to get a job or claims your dependents on a tax return. These identity thieves can get your personal information in a number of ways, such as searching through your trash, stealing your mail, or posing as the IRS and asking for personal information over the phone. The FTC reports tax identity theft has been the most common form of identity theft reported for the past five years.
The FTC suggests Montanans take the following steps to protect themselves from tax scams:
- File your return early in the tax season if you can.
- If you file electronically, don’t use unsecure, publicly available Wi-Fi hotspots at places like the library, coffee shops or a hotel lobby.
- Mail your tax return directly from the post office.
- Know the IRS won’t contact you by email, text, or social media. If the IRS needs information, it will first contact you by mail.
- Respond to all postal mail from the IRS as soon as possible.
- Shred copies of your tax return, drafts, or calculation sheets you no longer need.
- Don’t give out your Social Security number (SSN) or Medicare number unless necessary. Ask why it’s needed, how it’s going to be used, and how it will be stored.
- If your SSN has been compromised, contact the IRS ID Theft Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490.
- Get recommendations and research a tax preparer thoroughly before you hand over personal information.
- Check your credit report at least once a year for free at annualcreditreport.com to make sure no other accounts have been opened in your name.
If you become a victim of tax identity theft, don’t panic. Tax identity theft victims typically find out their information has been compromised when they get a letter from the IRS saying that more than one tax return was filed in their name, or IRS records show they received wages from an employer they don’t know. If you get a letter like this, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490 and visit IdentityTheft.gov to find more resources to help you report and recover from identity theft.
If you owe — or think you may owe — federal taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 or go to irs.gov. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions. The IRS doesn’t ask people to pay with prepaid debit cards or wire transfers, and doesn’t ask for credit card numbers over the phone. When the IRS contacts people about unpaid taxes, they do it by postal mail first, not by phone.
NEXT STEPS: More information about tax identity theft is available from the FTC at ftc.gov/taxidtheft and the IRS at irs.gov/identitytheft. Report IRS imposter scams to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) online or at 800-366-4484, and to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. To get updates on the latest scams and identity theft attempts affecting Montanans, sign up for Consumer Alerts through the Office of Consumer Protection. To report an attempted scam, use OCP’s convenient online reporting form here. You can also call to speak with one of our investigators at (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500, visit OCP’s homepage at https://dojmt.gov/consumer/, or call your local law enforcement agency.
Attorney General Tim Fox
Montana Department of Justice
December 15, 2016
SCAM in Gallatin County
The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has received a number of complaints from citizens regarding a scam that is occurring within Gallatin County. The caller informs the person who answers that they have criminal charges pending and to send money for these charges to be stopped. The Caller ID may indicate the phone number is 406-582-2125. Although this number is the number to the Sheriff’s Office, it is a scam. Additionally, the caller may identify themselves as a member of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office. These phone calls are not originating from the Sheriff’s Office. Please do not respond to their requests.
December 8, 2016
Be Wary of Online Threats During Holiday Season
The holiday season brings to mind warm acts of kindness and generosity. Unfortunately, scammers and con artists are very active year-round. However, some of the most common web-based scams are easy to spot once you know what to look for, and hopefully that can bring peace of mind back to this joyful time. My Office of Consumer Protection recommends Montanans stay safe online by keeping an eye out for common social media and web-based scams and deceptive offers as Christmas approaches, such as:
- Scam Smartphone/Tablet Apps – Apps are the latest technology being harnessed by scammers to steal personal information from consumers. Some of these scam apps, often offered for free and through alternative app marketplaces, are disguised to look like games, payment services, or department store shopping apps, but in reality they download malware onto the user’s device that steals usernames, passwords, credit card numbers and more.
The best advice before downloading an app includes be sure to read multiple reviews about the app. Also, many large companies have links to their apps from their official websites. Following these links to download an app guarantees the consumer is getting the real app and not a scam app designed to look legitimate.
- Social media “Gift Exchange” posts – These scams are prolific on Facebook and other social media sites this time of year and go by many different names, such as the “Secret Sister Gift Exchange,” the “#LoveMatters Gift Exchange,” and more. This scam promises that by sending just one present participants can get up to 36 back through a chain-letter type process. However, not only is this considered a gifting pyramid scheme where the people who join in later are unlikely to receive anything in return, it’s also illegal under the Postal Lottery Statute. Additionally, it’s inadvisable to add personal information, such as a home address, to a list that will be shared with strangers. While the people who post these “gift exchange” invitations on their social media pages may not intend to be exposing their friends to a scam, the truth is they have no control over who gets a hold of the list of names and addresses as the group proliferates.
The best advice for those who want to spread the cheer at this time of year is to participate in a gift exchange with friends and family, and contact all participants by phone to set it up.
- “Free” trials – Some online ads lure consumers in with the promise of “free samples” or “free trials” that require the customer only pay for the shipping of the product. However, somewhere in the fine print of the ad it states that the customer will be automatically signed up for a membership or recurring purchase of the service or product unless they cancel within a designated period of time.
The best advice to avoid “free trial” pitfalls is to read the fine print before entering any payment information online in order to understand all applicable charges. Alternately, set a reminder to cancel the trial service or product shipment within the designated time period to avoid continued payments. NEXT STEPS: To report an attempted scam, use OCP’s convenient online reporting form here. You can also call to speak with one of our investigators at (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500, visit OCP’s homepage at https://dojmt.gov/consumer/, or call your local law enforcement agency.
Attorney General Tim Fox
Montana Department of Justice
December 7, 2016 Amazon.com Scam Hits Holiday Shoppers
Just in time for the holidays, crooks have come up with a credible-looking way to scam online shoppers.
|How it Works:|
|What You Should Know:|
|What You Should Do:|
November 1, 2016 Phishing Attacks Continue to Rise
Phishing attacks continue to be widespread, so it’s critical we continue educating our members about these types of attacks. Cybercriminals craft professional-looking and sounding communications – such as emails, social media messages, text messages, and phone calls – to trick individuals into providing private personal and/or financial information:
- Sky Federal Credit Union will NEVER use outbound communications to receive personal or financial information from our account holders.
- NEVER respond to emails, text messages, or phone calls requesting personal or financial information.
- There are various types of phishing scams, and there is different terminology used to identify the type of scam (aka “vishing” for phone calls and “smishing” for texts).
- Be particularly cautious when receiving emails with an unknown sender, unsolicited emails or text messages, or when opening links provided in unsolicited emails or text messages; it is best not to open these communications.
October 4, 2016 Scammers Increasingly Turn to Text to
Steal Personal Information
My Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) has recently received a number of reports of scam text messages that are designed to appear to be sent by banks, credit card companies or other financial institutions. I encourage all Montana consumers to learn the telltale signs of these types of scams, and to utilize OCP’s easy-to-use online reporting forms to alert my office. The online reporting system allows us to watch for trends in scams and to alert the public more quickly.
These fraudulent text messages usually contain a link to a website that may look legitimate, and may even have the financial institution’s name in the web address. However, clicking on the link may install damaging software on your device, or take you to a website that asks you to ‘confirm’ your identity by providing personal information such as your name, bank account number, credit card number, online banking user ID and password, and more.
A general rule of thumb to protect yourself from identity theft scams like this is to never to provide personal or financial information via a phone call, email or text message exchange that you did not initiate. Instead, find a statement from your bank or credit card company and call the number or visit the web address listed on the bill. This way, you can be sure you are using legitimate contact information for the business, instead of potentially falling prey to a scammer.
The Federal Trade Commission recommends these additional tips for dealing with scam and spam text messages:
- Don’t reply to the text and don’t click on links provided in the message.
- Delete any text messages that ask you to confirm or provide personal information. Legitimate companies don’t ask for information like your account numbers or passwords by email or text.
- Report these text messages to your wireless carrier. Forward the original message to 7726 (SPAM) free of charge for subscribers of some wireless companies, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint.
- Place your cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry.
- Review your cell phone bill for unauthorized charges, and report them to your carrier.
NEXT STEPS: To report an attempted scam, use OCP’s convenient online reporting form here. The Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission both accept complaints about scam and spam text messages, too. You can also call to speak with one of our investigators at (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500, visit OCP’s homepage at https://dojmt.gov/consumer/, or call your local law enforcement agency.
Attorney General Tim Fox
Montana Department of Justice
September 26, 2016 Yahoo Email Users Urged to Take Precautions After Breach
With more than 500 million Yahoo user accounts affected in a recently discovered data breach, my Office of Consumer Protection urges all Montana Yahoo account users to take a few simple steps to safeguard their identities.
The Yahoo account breach is the largest single-site breach in history and the company has stated the information stolen may include names, emails, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords, and security questions and answers. While the Yahoo hack took place in 2014, it’s still a good idea to take action now to protect any information that has not been compromised.
Change your account password. Do this for both your Yahoo account and any other accounts that use the same or similar usernames and/or passwords.
Change your account security questions. Do this for both your Yahoo account and any other accounts that use the same or similar questions and/or answers.
Consider using Yahoo’s Account Key. The Account Key is an authentication tool that eliminates the need to use a password altogether.
Monitor all your accounts for suspicious activity. Don’t download attachments or click on links from questionable emails.
Yahoo also recommends that, while no email content or payment information was included in the breach, users monitor their credit reports and credit card activity. Additionally, potentially affected users may want to consider placing a “security freeze” or “credit freeze” on their credit file.
Yahoo has issued a statement to potentially affected users via email informing them about the breach. The email does not ask recipients to click on any links or contain attachments and does not request any personal information.
NEXT STEPS: The Yahoo Security Breach FAQ page is available here. To report an attempted scam, use OCP’s convenient online reporting form here. You can also call to speak with one of our investigators at (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500, or call your local law enforcement agency.
Attorney General Tim Fox
Montana Department of Justice
August 23, 2016 NCUA Warns of Text Phishing Scam
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Aug. 23, 2016) – The National Credit Union Administration has received consumer calls about a suspicious text message claiming to come from the agency.
The message reads: “National Credit Union Administration Alert for (recipient’s phone number). Contact 844-234-5445.”
This is not a communication from NCUA. The agency does not seek personal information through the internet or on the telephone.
Please contact NCUA’s Consumer Assistance Center at 1-800-755-1030 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern if you receive one of these messages. NCUA also recommends contacting your credit union and local law enforcement.
August 17, 2016 Bank Text Message Scam
Individuals are receiving text messages claiming to be from Wells Fargo stating, “Important notice from security department!”, with a link to click. PLEASE DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK. In most cases scam artists will attempt to retrieve confidential information from a potential victim by instructing them that their account funds are limited because of a failed authentication. The scammers state that they must authenticate the individual’s banking information. To do so they will need the recipient’s bank account information, PIN number and Social Security Number. If you, or someone you know, receives any unusual email or text message requesting such information, do not respond. Instead, if you have an account at the institution contact the company by phone or in person to alert them of the scam. A financial institution will NEVER ask for your personal information in a text message. If you receive this text message, simply delete it.
August 1, 2016 Tax Con Artists Employ Multiple Tactics
Scammers have stepped up their illegal activities and are impersonating Internal Revenue Service agents with increased frequency. Fortunately, Montana citizens are reporting these IRS scams. In fact, these are the most frequent types of complaints received by the Office of Consumer Protection (OCP). Citizens tell us they receive both telephone calls and emails. While IRS agent impersonation scams seem to increase in frequency occasionally, OCP receives these complaints year-around. I encourage all Montanans to learn the telltale signs of these types of scams, and to utilize OCP’s easy-to-use online reporting forms to alert my office to any IRS impersonators or other scams you may encounter. The online reporting system allows us to watch for trends in scams and to alert the public more quickly. Here’s a recap of the most common tax-related scams OCP and the IRS report receiving:
- Demanding Payment: Callers attempt to trick unsuspecting taxpayers into believing they owe taxes and that they should make payments immediately over the phone. The callers even go so far as to tell Montanans that they will take legal action unless the taxpayer immediately pays taxes from previous tax years. The callers demand payment by credit cards, prepaid debit cards, gift cards, or wire transfers.
- IN FACT, the IRS first contacts people by mail – not by phone. Further, the IRS does not require a specific payment method for your taxes. Checks work just as well as credit cards or prepaid debit cards. In fact, the IRS will not ask for a credit or debit card number over the phone. Also, the IRS will never demand immediate payment over the phone. Nor will the IRS threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying. If you receive a call from a person who claims to be from the IRS and the person is demanding money from you, simply hang up. If you think you may owe taxes, call the IRS or the Montana Department of Revenue directly.
- “Verifying” Information: Scam artists call saying they have received your tax return, and simply need to verify a few details to process your return. The scammer tries to get you to give up personal information such as a Social Security number or personal financial information, such as bank account or credit card numbers.
- IN FACT, the IRS will never call or email you and ask you to verify your identity or ask you to provide sensitive personal and financial information.
- Posing as Taxpayer Advocates: The IRS reports some taxpayers are receiving emails appearing to be from the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) about a tax refund. TAP is a real organization that sometimes advises the IRS. However, these unsolicited emails are a “phishing” scam. The emails look like they are sent from legitimate organizations — but are really from scammers — trying to trick you into providing personal identification and financial information.
- IN FACT, TAP does not have access to any taxpayer’s private information such as Social Security, credit card, or bank account numbers, or their passwords or PINs.
NEXT STEPS: To report an attempted scam, use OCP’s convenient online reporting form here. For IRS Impersonation Scams, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration also has an online reporting form. You can also call to speak with one of our investigators at (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500, visit OCP’s homepage at https://dojmt.gov/consumer/, or call your local law enforcement agency.
Attorney General Tim Fox
Montana Department of Justice
June 15, 2016 Stay Cool by Steering Clear of Summer Paving Scams
Summertime in Montana means boats are brought out of storage, sunscreen comes out of the cabinet, and flowers pop out of the ground. However, the warmer weather also brings certain scammers out of the woodwork. The Office of Consumer Protection at the Montana Department of Justice wants to alert you to a door-to-door “paver scam” that is common at this time of year. Here’s how it works:
A “contractor” will pull up in front of a consumer’s house, usually in an unmarked van or truck and will knock on the consumer’s door claiming they have leftover asphalt from another job they were working on nearby. The scammer will tell the homeowner that since they are going to use leftover material, they can offer a low price and a lifetime warranty on the paving or patching of the homeowner’s driveway.
The “contractor” will then complete the work, sometimes without getting approval from the homeowner first. Alternatively, the homeowner might agree to have some areas of the driveway patched, but the pavers end up resurfacing the entire driveway. However, they often use substandard material that does not harden to an acceptable strength and will simply peel away from the driveway over time. The scammers will then demand a much higher price than was agreed on, if a price was agreed on at all. The con artists can become very aggressive and try to pressure the homeowner into paying them immediately, sometimes even threatening to tear up the driveway.
These cons are typically based outside of Montana and often move on to another community by the time the blacktop dries.
WHAT TO DO
Tip-offs to “fly-by-night” paver or home improvement swindlers include:
• Arrival in an unmarked truck or van;
• Door-to-door contractors claiming “We’ve just finished a job nearby and have material left over so we can do your job for a deep discount;”
• High-pressure sales tactics;
• Refusal to provide a written estimate, contract or references;
• Very low bids; and,
• The ability to “start tomorrow” on your project.
If you are approached by a contractor, ask for a business card that shows their registration and licensing information. You can also verify they are registered to do business in Montana by searching for their company on-line at mtcontractor.com or by calling the Montana Department of Labor at (406) 444 – 7734. If you decide to move forward with paving, get a written description of the work to be done and the cost. And don’t be afraid to say no. This should be a practice even if you make the first contact. It’s also a good idea to get at least three estimates on any repair or construction work.
To report an attempted scam, call your local police department, or the Montana Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection at (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500, or visit us at https://dojmt.gov/consumer/.
Attorney General Tim Fox
Montana Department of Justice
April 06, 2016 Insidious Scammers Aim to Steal Employee Information
Scammers are targeting businesses nationwide, including many in Montana, with a sophisticated “spear phishing” email scam that has compromised the personal information of thousands of Montanans.
“Spear phishing” is a more focused form of “phishing,” or posing as a legitimate source to gain access to sensitive personal identification and financial information. “Spear phishing” emails are sent to specifically targeted recipients and are designed to look like they were sent from someone the recipient knows and interacts with – possibly a business owner, a supervisor, a colleague, or a department manager. The email’s subject line and content are likely to be specific to the target recipient’s business responsibilities or interests.
“This ‘spear phishing’ scam is especially despicable because it takes advantage of the trust that colleagues build between each other,” said Montana Attorney General Tim Fox. “These scammers often research their intended target by exploring the target recipient’s LinkedIn and other social media pages to build a convincing email. It is easy to fall victim to those emails. Educating Montana businesses about the existence of these scams is the best defense we have.
” The Montana Office of Consumer Protection has received dozens of notices about the following specific “spear phishing” scam:
A person impersonating a company executive sends a scam email to a staff member. The email requests a list of employees’ W-2 information, such as employees’ names, addresses, social security numbers, and wage information. In reality, though, when the staff member responds with the W-2 information to the fake scam email, the scammer steals the personal information and uses it to commit identity theft. The scammer may even file fake tax returns to steal an individual’s tax refund money.
If you, or someone you know, receives an unusual email requesting such information, do not respond immediately. Instead, contact the company executive by phone or in person to ensure that the request for W-2 information legitimately came from within your business.
If you discover that personal information has been sent to a scammer, alert company executives to the scam immediately.
The incident should then be reported to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org and the Montana Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection at (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500, or online at https://dojmt.gov/consumer. More information regarding phishing scams can be found at https://www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing.
Attorney General Tim Fox
Montana Department of Justice
NCUA Warns Consumers about Telephone Scam
Seeking Personal Information
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Dec. 17, 2015) – The National Credit Union Administration is warning consumers about a telephone scam in which consumers are contacted by a caller claiming to work for NCUA and asking for personal and financial information.
The caller tells the consumer her or his credit card or debit card has been frozen or blocked. The caller then asks for the consumer’s Social Security number, account number, date of birth and home address to supposedly verify the information.
Consumers should not provide this or any other information to the caller.
NCUA would not request personal or financial information in this manner.
December 10, 2015 Active ATM Fraud Investigation
FICO Card Alert Service (CAS) has recently seen a significant increase in skimming device fraud perpetrated at convenience store ATMs. CAS is actively investigating potentially compromised convenience store ATMs in the following areas listed below.
ATM skimming is a type of fraud which occurs when an ATM is compromised by a skimming device, a card reader which can be disguised to look like a part of the machine. The card reader saves the users’ card number and pin code, which is then replicated into a counterfeit copy for theft.
The corresponding fraud has typically manifested as aggressive, high dollar ATM withdrawals in the same general geographic area as the compromised terminal(s).
CITIES WHERE COMPROMISED CONVENIENCE STORE ATMS WERE FOUND:
- Arizona: Mesa
- California: Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pico Rivera, San Pedro, Santa Ana, Sante Fe Springs, Seal Beach, Studio City, and West Hollywood
- District of Columbia
- Massachusetts: Lowell
- Maryland: Baltimore, Bowie, Brooklyn Park, Capitol Heights, Laurel, and Oxon Hill
- New Jersey: Edison and Hackensack
- New York: North Babylon, St. James
- Oregon: Portland
- Pennsylvania: Hatboro, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Ridley Park
- Virginia: Chesapeake, Alexandria, Arlington, and Virginia Beach
- Washington: Seattle
Other geographic areas may be targeted by organized criminal groups, and CAS anticipates that compromised convenience store ATMs will be found in additional locations. Please use the above list as general guidance.
8 Tips to protect yourself from ATM Skimming
Know What to Look For
Skimmers are small electronic devices that fit over the slot you swipe (or push) your debit and credit cards into, which steal your card details. If anything seems out of place, unusually bulky, or poorly affixed to the machine, gently tug on it. If it moves or comes away from the ATM, it may be a skimming device.
The battery life of these devices is about two to four hours. When a few cards have been skimmed, the criminals remove them and move on to the next machine. They are usually only attached with glue or tape.
The FBI advises that you check for scratching around the card slot, adhesive tape or glue residue, and if the device can be removed, you should alert financial staff or call 911 immediately.
Look for Hidden Cameras
Skimming is a two-step process because criminals can also obtain your PIN. This is often done with a pinhole camera hidden on or near an ATM. Look for anything that may have a tiny hole or slot for a camera to be placed inside, especially if it’s aimed at the keypad. These devices may be stuck to the top or side of the machine, or placed inside light fixtures above it. They are also likely to be temporarily affixed, so check any unusual components to see if they move or seem poorly applied.
Many ATMs will also have security cameras attached to them, and these are usually much more obvious and permanent. If in doubt, check with the financial personnel or seek out another machine.
Check the Keypad
Some criminals have also used keypad overlays instead of cameras to capture customers’ PINs. These devices record keystrokes electronically, so check for anything that seems to have been placed over the top of the keypad that moves, seems unusual, or does not match the ATM.
Protect Your PIN
Always use your hand to shield your PIN as you enter it, and be aware of anyone standing too close who may be attempting to watch. And never write your PIN down; memorize it.
Know Your Surroundings
Machines with a lot of customers, especially in tourist areas, are the most likely to be targeted by criminals.
Look for an ATM that’s inside a financial institution or within the sight of a security camera, where scammers would be less likely to take a risk. Be wary of anyone loitering by machines, especially when using an ATM, and don’t let strangers help you with supposedly “broken” machines. It is not just ATMs that can be compromised. Gas stations that allow customers to pay at the pump are also at risk.
What to Do if You Fall Victim to Fraud
You are not liable for any fraudulent transactions and, if you report it early, you will get the money back — but it may take some time. You have 60 days upon receiving a statement to report suspicious activity and are protected under federal law by the Truth in Lending Act and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. To report any fraud to Sky Federal Credit Union contact us at 800.445.3328 and ask for our Card Services Department.
Get to Know Your Financial Institution
Understand their policies for preventing fraud and their procedures for helping victims. It’s also a good idea to understand what your financials security procedures are and what they are for. The secret questions and multiple passwords might be annoying, but they keep your details safer. If you use an ATM regularly and the appearance of the card slot changes, contact their personnel to alert them as soon as possible.
Check Your Statements Regularly
Criminals may only use stolen card details infrequently to minimize the chances that the financial will detect unusual transactions. It’s important to keep an eye out for anything on your statement that seems unlikely — or impossible.
If you don’t already use online banking, it’s worth considering. Being able to quickly access and search through your statements could help you to identify these transactions and allow you to report them much sooner.
Russian International Security Breach:
August 7, 2014
Please click the link below to read the latest bulletin regarding the Russian International Hack:
April 8, 2014
Sky Federal Credit Union wants to alert you to a scam in which an automated calling system is posing as “Sky Federal Credit Union’s Security Company”. These scammers are trying to gain access to your personal information, requesting your account number and social security number.
If you receive this type of call, please do not give out any personal information.
Sky Federal Credit Union does not have any program in which an automated system would request personal information. If we need any information from you, you would be speaking to live person and your caller ID should display Sky Federal Credit Union. If you ever want to verify a call from Sky Federal Credit Union, hang up and call one of the phone numbers we have listed:
We also have direct numbers for staff which begin with 823 or 922. For a staff directory listing click here.
Anyone that has given out this information should call us immediately to have your account closed, and a new account number issued.
Sky Federal Credit Union
TARGET CARD BREACH:
February 10, 2014
Dear Valued Member,
Recently, as you may have heard by now, Target experienced unauthorized access to payment card data from U.S. Target stores. The unauthorized access took place in the stores between November 27th and December 15th, 2013. Canadian stores and target.com were not affected. It has been determined that the information involved in this incident included customer name, credit or debit card number and the card’s expiration date and CVV. More specific information pertaining to this compromise can be found at https://corporate.target.com/about/payment-card-issue.aspx?intc=importantguestinfoNew.
Not all Sky VISA cards were affected. If your card was compromised you would have received several phone calls and letters from our card services department. If you were contacted your debit card may be vulnerable to potential fraudulent activity in the form of withdrawals. We are requesting that you look over and scrutinize all withdrawal activity on your monthly statement activity reports. We are not stating that your account has been tampered with; instead we are advising you of the possibility which will require your utmost and immediate attention. If something appears fraudulent, please contact our card services department at (406) 222-1750 or (800) 445-3328 immediately.
In the meantime, we have issued the affected members a new card and Personal Identification Number (PIN). You should receive this new card and PIN within the next 2 to 3 weeks. We have no other choice or alternative but to “turn-off” or close your existing VISA Card as of Friday, February 21st. Please be advised that effective February 21, 2014 your current VISA Card will no longer possess the capability to make credit or debit type transactions. If you have any automatic debits please contact your vendors and provide them the new card number and expiration date.
For your convenience, we will be leaving your existing card active until you receive your new card. Please remember that you are not responsible for any fraudulent charges to your account. If you would like the current card closed immediately or any day prior to February 21st, please contact our card services department.
Again, you should be receiving by mail your new replacement card in about 2 to 3 weeks followed by a new PIN as well.
In an effort to further minimize potential fraudulent activity, we are preventing credit and debit card activity in multiple states. This will remain in place until all compromised cards have been reissued. If you are going to be traveling outside of Montana or live in another state, please contact our card services department to allow access on your card.
We would like to apologize to you, our credit union member, for this tremendous inconvenience; however we feel the steps that we have taken are in the best interest of your account security and that of Sky Federal Credit Union.
Sky Federal Credit Union
SCAM WARNING FROM OFFICE OF CONSUMER PROTECTION (September 13, 2012)
Two scams are circulating through Montana which fraudulently use the Microsoft name. Cyber-criminals and scam artists often use the name of well-known and trusted corporations as a way to garner personal information and money from unsuspecting victims. Scammers have been targeting Montanans in these Microsoft scams, using both email and telephone communications. Please familiarize yourself with these scams and spread the word to your friends and family.
Steve Bullock, Montana Attorney General
COMMON SCAMS THAT USE THE MICROSOFT NAME FRAUDULENTLY:
- The “Microsoft Lottery” sends you an award letter: The Microsoft Award letter is a new twist on an old theme: Scammers are trying to trick recipients of the letter into believing they have won a large sum of money from Microsoft Corporation. In fact, there is no such thing as a “Microsoft Lottery.” This letter is a scam with the intended purpose of stealing the recipient’s identity by gathering their personal information. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Someone from “Microsoft Tech Support” calls to fix your computer: In this scam, which has especially targeted elderly Montanans, cyber-criminals call and claim to be from Microsoft Tech Support. They offer to help solve a citizen’s computer problems. Once the crooks have gained your trust, they attempt to steal from you and damage your computer with malicious software including viruses and spyware. Although law enforcement can trace phone numbers, perpetrators often use pay phones, disposable cellular phones, or stolen cellular phone numbers. It’s better to avoid being conned rather than try to repair the damage afterward. Treat all unsolicited phone calls with skepticism. Do not provide any personal information. If you receive an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft Tech Support, hang up. Microsoft soes not make these kinds of calls.
This notice was reproduced from “Scan Alerts,” a project of the Montana Department of Justice.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE: NEWS RELEASE (posted by DOJ on August 22, 2012 in Press Release)
BULLOCK, BILLINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT WARN OF DEBIT CARD SCAM
Attorney General Steve Bullock and the Billings Police Department are warning Montanans – particularly those in the Billings and Whitefish areas – of a scam targeting banking and credit union members with credit or debit cards.
The scam artists call Montanans claiming to be from the citizen’s bank or credit union. The scammer says the individual’s credit or debit card has been cancelled and the person must call a number to rectify the situation. When the victim calls, they are asked a list of questions soliciting their personal financial information – information that can be used to assume the identity of the victim and use their funds to make unapproved purchases.
“People think they’re talking to their own credit union; they give out sensitive, personal information they would never otherwise share,” Bullock said. “When it comes to stopping scams, knowledge is power. I encourage Montanans to share this information with their friends and family and to call my Office of Consumer Protection if they have any concerns at all.”
The Office of Consumer Protection is within the Attorney General’s Office and has also received multiple reports of the scam. The office can be reached at 1-800-481-6896.
Tracking down the scammers behind the con is next to impossible, said Billings Police Det. Brett Lapham. The scammers are using either disposible cell phones or utilizing a computer technology that generates fake telephone numbers, he said, making it virtually impossible to tell where the calls are really coming from.
Like Bullock, Lapham urged people to know and share the details of the scam and be wary of phone calls that sound similar.
“The more we spread the word about this, the less power the scammers will have,” Lapham said.
So far, the scam has been known to involve the members of two Billings credit unions and a third in Whitefish. It is nearly identical to a scam that went through the state earlier this year.
July 16, 2011
Skilled professional criminals are using sophisticated technologies to easily defraud individuals and their credit unions using a copy of a check and/or an individual’s personal information. A thief is able to create new, authentic looking checks using a blank check or personal information obtained from an intercepted check mailed to pay a bill. Common-sense and a logical approach with the way an individual uses and stores checks can help reduce the risk of this type of loss.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO MEMBERS TO HELP REDUCE THE RISK OF CHECK FRAUD
– Keep your account information confidential and never provide your account number or personal information to unknown persons. Be particularly cautious of unsolicited phone sales.
– Reconcile your bank statement as soon as possible after receipt (within 20 days) to detect any irregularities. Delays may subject you to liability for any losses due to check fraud.
– Protect your checks. Store your checkbook, blank checks, deposit slips and bank statements in a secure location.
– Don’t leave blank spaces on the payee or payment amount lines on your checks.
-Monitor check orders to ensure they are received timely and immediately verify that all checks were received with the order.
– Mail bill payments through the Post Office and not from your mailbox at home. Seeing the upright red flag on your home box is a favorite signal for criminals to look in the box and steal whatever is there.
– Do not add personal information on your check (Social Security#, Driver’s License# or DOB).
– Destroy (shred) cancelled checks (if received), account statements and deposit tickets unless needed for tax purposes.
– Use your own pre-printed deposit slips and make sure the account number on your slip is correct. Thieves have made attempts to alter deposit slips at drive-up windows in the hope that bank representatives will not notice with the result that the funds are deposited into the thief’s account.
– Don’t ever make a check payable to cash and also, never endorse a check until you are ready to cash the item or make the deposit. If lost or stolen, a check made payable to cash may be legally and rightfully cashed by anyone.
– If someone pays you with a cashier’s check, be cautious and if possible, have them accompany you to the bank to cash the item. If you need to accept a check for payment, do so during normal business hours so you can verify with the financial institution that it is legitimate. Make sure you obtain identification information from the individual.
– If your home is burglarized, determine if any checks have been stolen. Look closely because thieves will take checks from the back or middle of your checkbook to avoid immediate detection.