AmeriCU Credit Union maintains this page to inform members to scams currently or recently affecting our members. If you suspect that you have fallen victim to one of these or any other scams related to your AmeriCU accounts, please call us immediately at 1.800.388.2000.
Also, stay abreast of national and international security news with LifeLock, Inc., the leader in identity theft protection. LifeLock maintains a helpful blog as well as alerts and information on identity theft and data breaches.
SCAM ALERT! We are hearing from people who received a call from an "unavailable" number claiming to be from AmeriCU. The caller tells the person that their debit card has been deactivated and asks the person to input their card number so it can be reactivated. THIS IS NOT AMERICU. We already know your account numbers and would never ask for that information.
The NCUA today has warned that scammers using a website with a logo and design similar to that of the National Credit Union Administration are attempting to convince consumers to provide sensitive information or send money. According to the NCUA, consumers have received emails from the National Credit Union website, which is not affiliated in any way with the NCUA, a federal agency, and the emails are not from the agency. Learn more>>
SECURITY ALERT UPDATE: Microsoft releases emergency fix for the critical Internet Explorer vulnerability!
This security update resolves a publicly disclosed vulnerability in Internet Explorer. Please visit this Microsoft Security page for more information.
SECURITY ALERT: Vulnerability Detected in Internet Explorer Versions 6 through 11
IMMEDIATE ACTION RECOMMENDED: Members should use another browser until an official Microsoft security update is installed
April 26, leading internet security firm FireEye outlined a new vulnerability in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser software (versions 6 through 11). The vulnerability is potentially significant because these browsers "represent about a quarter of the total browser market". Microsoft has stated that: “A cyber-attacker could use the vulnerability to gain the same user rights as the current user. If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights."
Microsoft has acknowledged that it was aware of "limited, targeted attacks that attempt to exploit a vulnerability" in Internet Explorer versions 6 through 11. Microsoft stated that once the company has completed its investigation, it will take appropriate action to protect its customers, "which may include providing a solution through our monthly security update release process, or an out-of-cycle security update, depending on customer needs."
The Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT) is urging online users to avoid using Internet Explorer versions 6 through 11 and to consider employing an alternative Web browser until an official update is available.
RECOMMENDATION: AmeriCU recommends that members using Internet Explorer versions 6-11 should IMMEDIATELY CHANGE TO ANOTHER BROWSER for ALL browsing activities (specifically, we recommend Firefox to access online banking) until an official security patch has been released by Microsoft and installed.
AmeriCU has tested our systems exhaustively and we have confirmed that NO systems that contain sensitive member information are vulnerable to the “Heartbleed Bug”. In particular, neither our website nor any part of our secure online or mobile banking systems are affected by this issue.
Important Security Alert:"Heartbleed" Bug
As you may be aware, a new security threat is currently affecting much of the internet. The “Heartbleed Bug” is a serious vulnerability in version 1.0.1 (and older) of the popular “Open SSL/TLS” encryption software. This bug potentially affects any servers running this version of the software, which is used for applications such as web, email, instant messaging (IM), and some virtual private networks. It is important to understand that the Heartbleed Bug is NOT a problem within your personal computer and/or mobile device.
The Heartbleed Bug enables hackers to read the memory of those servers and systems running version 1.0.1 of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, names and passwords of users, and the actual content. This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users, and to impersonate services and users.
This threat was made public April 7, 2014. Since that time, AmeriCU Credit Union has begun immediate appropriate action to identify and address any potential risk. We have reviewed all systems within our internal operating environment to identify and update any servers running OpenSSL. We have also contacted all vendors and service providers to ensure that they are taking appropriate steps to review and secure their systems.
What should you do? As always, AmeriCU recommends monitoring all your accounts closely. In addition, we highly recommend enrolling in AmeriCU’s FREE online/mobile banking with FREE eAlerts Automated Notification Service. eAlerts service allows you to set up automated notifications via text messages and/or emails to alert you nearly instantaneously of all kinds of account activity, such as withdrawals, cleared checks, and address changes. AmeriCU’s eAlert service is one more way you can keep track of your finances and continuously monitor your account for suspicious activity. To set it up, just login to online banking and click on eAlerts to get started.
UPDATE: Credit + Debit Card Compromise at Target®
AmeriCU has begun communicating with members regarding the replacement of potentially affected credit +/or debit cards. However, due to the national scope of this compromise, production of replacement cards is taking considerably longer than expected. We ask for members' continued patience in awaiting the arrival of their replacment cards. Please be assured that AmeriCU will NOT deactivate current cards for at least 10 days. We do not wish to inconvenience you by deactivating your current card(s) prior to the arrival of your replacement card(s). Therefore, please wait until January 20, 2014 for your card(s) to arrive before calling AmeriCU to report it. Please see the sections below for additional information. Thank you!
UPDATE: Credit & Debit Card Compromise at Target®
AmeriCU is starting to receive lists of debit and credit card accounts that may have been compromised at Target®. If your account has been affected, you will receive a communication via email and/or U.S. mail. AmeriCU will issue new cards to all affected members.
If you are concerned because you shopped at a Target® store between November 27th and December 15th and paid with an AmeriCU debit or credit card, you have the following options:
- Contact AmeriCU at 1.800.449.7728 to disable your card immediately and issue a new one. PLEASE NOTE: Due to the U.S. Postal Service holidays of Christmas and New Year's Day, it may take up to 10 days or more to receive your new card. AmeriCU will waive the replacement fee for our members if you meet the criteria above.
- If you do not wish to disable your card right now, you can and should take precautionary measures, such as setting up e-Alerts on your account to notify you whenever a withdrawal occurs, using online and mobile banking to monitor your account frequently, and changing your online/mobile banking password and ATM PIN. learn more>>
AmeriCU will continue to update this page as additional information becomes available.
Credit & Debit Card Compromise at Target®
We were recently notified of a potential compromise at Target® for customers that made purchases in stores between November 27th and through December 15th, 2013. Cards affected are only for those used at the physical stores, and not for online purchases.
Please be assured that AmeriCU’s systems were not compromised. We have the highest level of security possible and take every precaution to safeguard and protect your accounts and personal information.
What does card compromise mean?
A card compromise means that credit or debit card information may have been acquired by an unauthorized source. In most cases, the breach occurs at a location that accepts or processes card transactions such as merchant terminals or card processor’s computer systems.
What kind of information was obtained?
Target® has said that information such as customer names, card numbers and expiration date and CVV security codes was stolen. Confidential information such as social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, addresses, and dates of birth are not stored on cards.
Could AmeriCU have prevented this incident?
AmeriCU has no control over how a merchants store customer’s information. Every merchant has an obligation make every attempt to protect the customer’s information by ensuring their system is secure. We recommend that you monitor your account and card activity online frequently. If you notice any suspicious transactions, please contact the credit union immediately.
What action is AmeriCU taking?
Immediately upon notification, AmeriCU has decided to be proactive rather than wait for VISA® and MasterCard® to provide the affected accounts.
- If you used your VISA® debit card at Target between the dates of November 27th and through December 15th, and feel it may have been compromised, please contact us at 1.800.449.7728 so that we can close your debit card and have a new one issued. AmeriCU will waive the replacement fee for our members if you meet the criteria above.
- If you used your VISA® credit card at Target between the dates of November 27th and through December 15th, and feel it may have been compromised, please contact us at 1.800.449.7728 so that we can close your credit card and have a new one issued. There is no fee to replace your credit card.
- If you used your MasterCard® credit card at Target between the dates of November 27th and through December 15th, and feel it may have been compromised, please contact us at 1.800.449.7728 so that we can close your credit card and have a new one issued. There is no fee to replace your credit card.
Once AmeriCU is notified by VISA® and MasterCard® with the card accounts that have been identified as compromised, we notify those members affected by mail. New cards will be issued at no charge to our members affected by the compromise.
Please note: AmeriCU will NEVER contact you by phone or email and ask you to verify your account details such as debit or credit card numbers, social security number, and/or passwords. If you receive such an email/text message, please contact us immediately and do not provide any information to the sender.
AmeriCU Credit Union is committed to offering safe and secure financial services. It’s important that you keep your contact information updated at all times so we can reach you if needed. Please remember to let us know if your address, email or phone number changes. You may update your email address online, use our Big Blue Kiosks to update your address or contact us by phone at 1.800.388.2000 to update all of your contact information.
What if my card is blocked and I have pre-authorized debits made to my compromised card?
Please contact the merchants upon receipt of your replacement card and provide them with the new card information. It is important that you do this so that you do not experience any service interruptions. You may even be able to complete this online on the merchant’s website.
What about other pre-authorized users on my Debit Card account?
Each debit card has a unique number. Therefore, if one card is compromised, that doesn’t mean the other user’s card on the same account is compromised as well. We strongly recommend monitoring all accounts and report any suspicious transactions immediately.
Should you have additional questions or concerns, please contact us at 1.800.388.2000.
Some AmeriCU Credit Union members have reported that they are receiving suspicious text messages. These messages indicate that there are issues with their account and the members are being instructed to call a 315 area code phone number. The messages do not state anything specific about AmeriCU and the sending address is not an AmeriCU address. These messages are not being sent by AmeriCU.
We have had a report of a member calling the number and being instructed to input their debit card number. AmeriCU will never request members input account or credit/debit card numbers. The fraudulent telephone number reported to us has since been taken out of service.
While the phone number to call has been consistent in every report, the sending address is constantly changing to some variation of “CU_some number@vtext,com”
Note: a comma has been inserted in place of the “.” in each address to render them inactive in this posting.
Please be advised of the following:
- Do Not respond in any way to a call, text, or email asking for account information.
- Delete any and all suspicious text or email messages with similar claims.
- AmeriCU will never contact any member in this manner and never request account or card (debit/credit) numbers from them.
Examples of text messages that some members have received:
- CUNOTICE your card has been limited please call 315-xxx-xxxx
- CUNOTICE your acct balance is zero. Card placed on hold. please call 315-xxx-xxxx
Source address examples:
Please contact AmeriCU at 1-800-388-2000 if you have given out your account or card number.
AmeriCU has been advised that scam emails appearing to be from Staples are being sent to some of our members. These emails likely contain a virus; members are advised NOT click any links embedded in these emails. (So far, all reports are coming from Staples.com customers, but contract customers should be alert as well. ) Members are advised to be wary of any email from Staples, especially if you did NOT place an order. If you did place an order and are a contract customer of Staples, the order number in the subject line should start with 11 or 71. If not, it is likely a scam. Please contact Staples Customer Service at 1.800.378.2753 to verify whether an order number is legitimate before clicking on any links.
You may receive or have received automated calls telling you that your (debit or credit) card was de-activated and to re-activate it you should press 1. This is a Phishing Scam! These calls are not coming from AmeriCU. Some of the calls state the call is on behalf of Berkshire Corp. Berkshire bank is a bank in our area but not affiliated with AmeriCU. Please do not give any account or card number information if you receive one of these calls and do not follow any of their instructions. Hang up immediately if you receive one of these calls, emails or text messages. If you have given your card number or related information, please call this number 1-800-449-7728 to report a lost or stolen card number. Please contact AmeriCU at 1-800-388-2000 if you have given out your account number.
Serious Threat to U.S. Financial Industry Detected
McAfee and federal agencies are warning of a serious threat of various sophisticated fraud schemes designed to steal and defraud members and customers of U.S. Financial Institutions. Credit Union members are being targeted by criminals with the intent to harvest (steal) their e-banking credentials (IDs and passwords) necessary to access online accounts. Typically, criminal organizations will impersonate consumers' financial instititions. They will send electronic communications (emails, text messages, etc.) and/or call consumers and ask for them to "verify" their online credentials.
PLEASE NOTE: AmeriCU will NEVER ask you to provide or verify your account number and pin, and will NEVER ask you to provide online banking login information. Should our Call Center staff contact you, we will verify your identity by confirming specific account details. AmeriCU representatives will NEVER ask you to provide sensitive information, such as an account numbers, PINs, or passwords. All that will be required is to answer 'yes' or 'no' to a series of questions designed to validate your identity.
We recommend that all members immediately take the following precautionary actions:
- Change your passwords for online banking (i.e., sometimes called e-banking, home banking, &/or Member Connect Web). Do this for any and all online accounts you have at all financial institutions.
- Choose passwords that are strong and memorable, longer than eight (8) characters, to exclude words, pet, or children names.
- If you think someone may have knowledge of a password, change that password at your earliest opportunity.
- Check and review your account balances frequently for discrepancies, from a trusted computer only.
- Configure AmeriCU's e-Alerts service to notify you of activities associated with your account (such as debits, withdrawals, transfers, and/or low balance alerts, etc.) that may help you quickly identify any unauthorized activity.
- NEVER check your account balances or process transactions from an untrusted or public computer.
Attention current or former South Carolina taxpayers:
Recently, the South Carolina Department of Revenue was breached in a criminal cyber-attack. Anyone who has paid South Carolina taxes since 1998 may have had their personal information compromised.
By January 31, 2013, current or former South Carolina taxpayers should:
- Visit www.ProtectMyID.com/SCDOR (code SCDOR123) or call 1-866-578-5422 (MF 9am-9pm EST; S-S 11am-8pm EST) to enroll for one year of identity theft protection.
Last US address must be used. Spouses must enroll themselves. Parents will be notified when children may enroll.
All services are free of charge. For more information, visit www.consumer.sc.gov.
Visa Gift Card Email Scam
Recently, some members have been targeted with email messages indicating that they have been issued a $1,000 Visa Gift Card free of charge and that they should click on a link to claim their card. (CLICK HERE to view one of these email messages.) AmeriCU Credit Union does NOT contact members in this manner, in these circumstances, or for these reasons. The scam is intended to commit fraud. Please DELETE this email immediately. Click here to read more about phishing scams.
Debit/Credit Card Scam
Recently, some members have been targeted via SMS text (messaging) scams on their cell phones as well as direct phone calls and individually targeted email, with messages regarding account problems or debit/credit card problems. AmeriCU does not contact members in this manner in these circumstances or for these reasons. The scam is intended for you to give the details of your card in order to commit fraud. Read more.
Phishing Cell Phone Scam
AmeriCU alerts our members to a cell phone scam in which the phone number is coming up "blocked" but a message states, "Your AmeriCU debit card has been restricted on funds. If you need more information or would like more information please press 1." DO NOT press 1 or give any information. AmeriCU does not contact members in this manner in these circumstances or for these reasons. The scam is intended for you to give the details of your card in order to commit fraud.
Phishing Attacks Referencing "eNFact"
02.01.2012 - We have become aware that some of our members are receiving phishing emails that reference the "eNFact" product. The email directs recipients to click on a link that takes them to a mock-Fiserv site that we presently believe may install malicious software. This may be a serious threat. If you received this email DO NOT click on the link! The phishing attack is contained in a fraudulent email identical or similar to the one in this example.
Phishing Attacks Using NACHA
The FBI has issued a warning about a new malware attack targeting bank accounts. The malware is called Gameover and the FBI says it is able to defeat several forms of dual-factor authentication. The FBI suggests that consumers and businesses pay attention to suspicious emails purporting to come from NACHA, The Electronic Payments Association. Receipt of a direct email from an organization such as NACHA should raise a red flag. If you receive any emails appearing to come from NACHA please delete them. Do not open or click on any links contained in the message.
Text Message Scam
Members and customers from various financial institutions have reported receiving phone text messages coming from various phone numbers. These messages indicate that they are Credit Union Center Alerts and that their cards have been deactivated. The text message instructs you to call a phone number and enter their card information. At no time should you give out any contact information and AmeriCU will never send you a text alert asking for your personal information.
NACHA Warns of Phishing Scam
NACHA, the electronic payments association, warned of a phishing scam perpetrated by individuals who are claiming to be representatives of NACHA. The emails, which contain harmful links, have been sent to both individuals and companies and bear the name of NACHA and, at times, the names of fictitious NACHA employees and departments. NACHA in its release said that the organization "does not process nor touch [auto clearinghouse (ACH) transactions] that flow to and from organizations and financial institutions. "NACHA does not send communications to persons or organizations about individual ACH transactions that they originate or receive," the organization added. NACHA warned recipients not to click on the link included in the email, and added that similar fraudulent emails, with some changes, could be sent in the future. NACHA also recommended the use of antivirus programs.
Recent Security Alerts
Phone Scam 1-800-235-7738
This one is coming from 1-800-235-7738. The name being used is Rebecca Wells and she's asking if the member received their debit card and if they want to activate it. This is a scam as AmeriCU will not call any member to activate their card.
Zeus Bot Makes its rounds through Credit Unions
A flurry of Zeus Bot attacks have been occurring at credit unions throughout the country. Zeus Bot is a particularly nasty malware that is bypassing top AntiVirus / Malware scanners. Once infected it waits for the user to login to their online banking, logs the credentials, then pops up a screen that asks the user to further verify their login by entering their credit card data. All information gathered is sent back the attackers. While some users may be skeptical and not enter their data, the damage is already done. The online banking credentials have been compromised. If you receive a screen asking you to enter credit card information after logging in to Online Banking, please shut down your computer and notify the credit union immediately.
Phone Scam 1-231-732-2737 and 1-517-933-2030
This phone scam comes from 231-732-2737 or 517-933-2030 and they say they are from "Credit Card Services" or "Visa Services". They try and get members to confirm the last four digits of their credit/debit card by letting them know that because they use their VISA card they were being given a $100 and/or $120 gift card for gas rebates. They tell the member that they will only be responsible for shipping/handling for $2.95. This is a scam. As always, the best prevention in this scenario is to never give out personal information over the phone.
Phone Scam 1-256-489-4400
Our members are being contacted via the following number: 1-256-489-4400*. (This is a legitimate company called Live Course Capital). This is an automated call and asks members to push certain numbers and key in information on their card. If no one answers, then it leaves a 1-800-245-9655* number for them to call back...which goes to another legitimate credit union or bank. Both numbers were stolen from these companies. We believe the goal of the original call is to get a physical person to answer — one that will actually give them personal information. (The phone numbers may differ from those above. The best prevention in this scenario is to never give out personal information over the phone, especially to an automated call.)
NCUA Express Scam
A fraudulent e-mail seeking credit card information (known as a "phishing fraud") has been circulating nationwide. This fraudulent phishing email appears to be from NCUA and contains a link purportedly to obtain a subscription for the NCUA Express Subscription service. When that link is used, the recipient is directed to a "clone" of the NCUA Express Service site that seeks credit card information from those to whom the phish was sent. If you receive such an email, please ignore it, as it is fraudulent. The NCUA does NOT charge for the Express Subscription service and does NOT solicit credit card information over the Internet. If you have questions or comments, please contact the NCUA Fraud Hotline at 800-827-9650 or, during off duty hours, at 703-728-0700.