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Fraud Alerts

Experts Warn of a Cybercriminal Holiday Season

Source:  CU Times 11/15/2016
Kaspersky Lab security specialists expect that in 2016 the trends, including a higher than average percentage of financial phishing and scams, will continue their development as phishing remains one of the main sources of credit card data for criminals. And phishing is still one of the easiest ways to set up a fraud scheme.
Both in 2014 and 2015, Kaspersky Lab researchers witnessed a significant increase in phishing attacks against payment systems and online stores during the gift-giving season, which includes Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Attacks against financial institutions also grew but at a lower rate.
On the holiday menu for these cybercriminals:

  • Phishing. During the holiday period, users are eager to find the best goods at the best price and expect to see special offers. Cybercriminals know that and try to exploit this as much as possible. When attempting to steal payment data, criminals may create a bogus payment page of a well-known payment system, duplicate legitimate online retailer websites, or even create fake shops with incredibly attractive offerings. Cyber criminals also tend to exploit the Black Friday theme itself. While doing research into the threat landscape, Kaspersky Lab researchers spotted a Black Friday-themed phony internet shop offering products at attractive prices. 

Kaspersky Lab threat statistics show the share of financial phishing during the fourth quarter is noticeably higher than the typical yearly result. In 2015, the financial phishing total was 43.38% during this time as opposed to 34.33% for all of 2015. Kaspersky Lab noted similar upticks in the three major types of financial phishing during the last quarter: banking (18.90% during the last quarter), e-payment (12.19%), and e-shopping (12.29%).

  • POS malware. Infecting point of sales operating systems and then stealing card credentials is a lesser-known threat. Kaspersky admitted, “We don’t yet have relevant statistics on the number of detections during the holiday period.” However, it estimated the threat by counting the number of threat families starting with just four in 2013 and growing to at least 36 types of malware capable of stealing data from POS terminals in the wild today. Kaspersky also warned ATM skimming attacks would happen during Black Friday and continue through Christmas and New Year.
  • Cyber Monday. Kaspersky pointed out cyber criminals are more excited about Cyber Monday than Black Friday. “This may be because Cyber Monday is more about online sales. There will be a lot of online advertising of special deals and it will be easier for them to hide phishing scams inside the stream of legitimate offers,” Kaspersky suggested. It added Cyber Monday is more convenient than Black Friday, which is more about offline sales. “Criminals don’t have to deal with physical access to ATMs to set up, and later collect a skimmer. Instead, they could use a phishing or malware attack to collect credentials and then monetize them in a number of ways.”

Scammers have a new trick when it comes to telemarketing.

Article written by Kyle Iboshi of

They’re using fake caller ID to fool consumers into thinking they’re local or someone you trust.

The tactic is called “Spoofing.”

“It’s become much more common the last couple of years,” said Charles Harwood, regional director of the Federal Trade Commission. “We get literally thousands of complaints now about spoofed calls.”

Portland resident Janice Parker got a call from a scammer claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service.

“The reason of this call is to inform you that IRS is filing a lawsuit against you,” said the female voice on the phone.

The fraudster used a Washington, D.C. phone number.

“They think people are going to believe this is legit because of where they are calling from,” Parker said.

She didn’t fall for the trick.

Fraudsters use technology to create a fake caller ID. They can dial anywhere in the world, making it look like the call is coming from the IRS, sheriff’s office or even someone you trust, like a relative.

“A lot of this is untraceable,” said security researcher Ken Westin. “It is really difficult for you as the person that is being targeted to actually identify that it is real or not.”

KGW asked Westin to show us how this technology works. Within a few minutes, he was able to set up a service allowing him to be anyone, calling from anywhere. As a test he dialed us. The caller ID displayed KGW’s main phone number, even though the call came from Westin’s cell phone.

Consumers aren’t the only ones being tricked by spoofing. Washington County 911 dispatchers say they’ve had fake calls. The phony emergencies have led to SWAT teams showing up with guns drawn.

Most types of spoofing is illegal. The Federal Trade Commission admits catching the imposters isn’t easy.

“It used to be that I could look at a phone number and be confident that they are calling from Las Vegas and we’ll just go to Las Vegas. That’s not possible anymore,” said Harwood of the FTC. “If somebody gives me a phone number now, a 503 number or 541 number, I’m pretty confident that call is not coming from Oregon.”

The FTC provides the following tips for handling these calls:

  • If you get a strange call from the government, hang up. If you want to check it out, visit the official (.gov) website for contact information. Government employees won’t call out of the blue to demand money or account information.
  • Don’t give out — or confirm — your personal or financial information to someone who calls.
  • Don’t wire money or send money using a reloadable card. In fact, never pay someone who calls out of the blue, even if the name or number on the caller ID looks legit.
  • Feeling pressured to act immediately? Hang up. That’s a sure sign of a scam.

Multiple Outlets Reporting Major Spike in ATM Skimming Attacks

ATM Skimming on the Rise Again

Recently, there has been an intense increase in ATM Skimming attacks across the United States and especially here in North Portland and along the I-5 corridor.

A study completed by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) referenced a FICO Card Alert Services alert that notes an increase in skimming attacks of 546% from 2014 to 2015. That is on top of the 174% increase in attacks in 2014 when compared to 2013.

This dramatic shift in ATM skimming devices is largely due to ATMs not receiving the same attention as POS terminals at retailers and the EMV liability shifts coming in 2016 and 2017 for ATMs.

Typically, fraudsters attack weaker ATMs by attaching skimming devices used to capture card data from magnetic stripe of the card and use a hidden camera to capture the pin number being input by the card holder. There has been a significant spike in ATM fraud targeting convenience stores.

Take the following steps to check for skimming devices on any machine prior to use:

  • Try to check the ATM fascia before making any transactions. If devices are placed over the ATM’s card reader or keyboard, gently tugging on these areas may reveal the devices.
  • Keep an eye on vehicles that are sitting within a close proximity to the machine but do not appear to have a business purpose.
  • Be familiar with how your machine looks and what is around it. If a new brochure rack suddenly appears—determine if it is supposed to be there or not.
  • If you do suspect or detect a skimming device on a machine, contact management or your local police department.

Keep an eye out! Your best defense is awareness. Questions? Contact us at (503) 760-5304 or email

Fraudulent Text Messages

We have received phone calls from members asking if we sent them a text message in regards to their account. We will NEVER contact a member via a text message to discuss their account. The text message our members have received is: Call 1-416-848-4194 Credit Union. DO NOT REPLY TO THIS TEXT MESSAGE. If you have any questions about this matter please contact the credit union at 503-760-5304 or 800-331-0968.

Don't Fall for Text Scams

If you get a text asking for personal information, such as your name, address, and checking account number, it's likely a scam. Don't respond; just forward it to 7726 or SPAM. Major phone carriers use this number to collect potentially fraudulent messages for investigation. If you think you might have given out personal information to a criminal, notify the staff at your credit union immediately by calling 503-760-5304 or 800-331-0968.

Identity Theft Victim Checklist

Identity theft has been the top consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission now for 13 years
The FTC's annual look at its Consumer Sentinel Network database of complaints found that 2012 was the
first year the agency got more than 2 million complaints overall, with 18% related to identity theft.
The average loss from the misuse of a victim's personal information is more than $4,900.
If you are a victim, take these steps immediately:
* Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, ask for a free copy of your credit report, and review those
reports for evidence of accounts you didn't open. Fraud unit contacts are:

Equifax 888-766-0008
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Experian 888-397-3742
P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion 800-680-7289
P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

Protect Yourself from Phishing Attacks

* Forward suspicious emails to the Federal Trade Commission: Leave the header intact.
* Don’t click links in emails. Type the address in your browser bar instead.
* Don't try to win anything. If you see the word "free" think "danger."
* Update your computer's antivirus software and firewall.
* Look for the "s" in https://. It means your information is secure.
* Avoid sending financial information by email.

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