Over half of all U.S. adults use online banking services.* Are your concerns about banking online stopping you from joining in? You may be surprised to learn it’s more secure than ever and virtually anything that can be done in-person can now be done, well, virtually. Take a moment to erase your fears and dispel some myths of mobile banking.
Tax season is here, and it’s stressful enough without the threatening and aggressive tactics of scammers impersonating the IRS. In recent years, thousands of people have lost substantial amounts of money, as well as precious personal information, to tax scams. Although you may think you’re too savvy to fall victim, it’s important to remember that every year, criminals find new and creative ways to cheat you out of your money and identity.
While it might not seem like there is much the average person can do to stop ID theft from happening, there are steps individuals can take to minimize personal risk. One of the most practical ones? Ditch the jot-it-down-on-a-notepad method of password tracking in favor of a secure software application that generates and stores passwords on your behalf. In other words, get yourself a password manager, stat.
Several years ago, a thick envelope landed in my mailbox. Its return address was that of the hospital where I’d been receiving treatment. Upon opening the envelope, I was horrified that it contained not only my own medical records, but those of twelve other patients, along with our insurance claims. For some unknown reason, the hospital had put my address on the envelope instead of the claims processor’s address.
I promptly called the hospital to report the erroneous mailing and was instructed to destroy the records, which included patient names, addresses, and their own detailed health information. Several months later, I received a letter from the hospital offering me a year’s worth of free credit protection because of their mistake. What did the hospital do beyond that to secure these wayward records? Nothing. They took my word for it that I'd destroyed the mailing. What if those records had gotten into the hands of someone who wasn't diligent and trustworthy?
It's our responsibility at Hanscom FCU to keep your member information as safe as possible, and it's a responsibility I take seriously. Yes, I get that it can be frustrating to deal with the layers of security required to access your account information. You just want to jump on your computer to check your balance and not have to jump through hoops to do it! But rest assured, these so-called hoops are for protection of your identity and assets. Here are five important ways we keep your online access with us secure:
Recently two of our members reported unauthorized charges on their Hanscom Federal Credit Union credit cards. Both members stated their cards had been compromised when they clicked on a pop-up ad that appeared after they’d completed a survey on a third-party web site. The pop-up ads offered a choice of three “free prizes” when the member paid a shipping and handling fee. What neither member realized is they were also signing up for ongoing subscriptions of products, which would be charged to their credit cards each month.
It’s tax season and a new scam involving stolen data from tax professionals, fraudulent tax filings, and erroneous checking account deposits has law enforcement and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on high alert.
Here’s how the scam works and what to do if a mysterious tax refund appears in your checking account or mailbox.
She opens her messages from the online dating site and her heart skips a beat.
Someone wants to meet her. But not just any man. He is the man of her dreams, dreams sparked the first time she watched An Officer and A Gentleman and enhanced by a decade of Lifetime movie-watching.
In his photo, he sports a military uniform and is dashing, clean cut, a man of action.
With increasing news reports about data breaches, take precautions now to protect your identity:
1. Check your credit report.
As a member of Hanscom FCU, you can request a free copy of your credit report. Visit www.hfcu.org/score to learn more.
The three-letter message on the caller ID strikes fear in any American’s heart: IRS. You pick up the phone, nervously, to hear a somber voice with an unsettling message.
“This is the IRS,’’ the voice intones, confirming the caller ID information. Adjustments have been made to your tax account and an immediate payment is due, the caller is informed. Payment must be made over the phone by cash, wire or services, such as MoneyGram. Even iTunes gift cards will suffice. If not, police will be at your location within an hour.
Reading about such an incident should trigger internal alarm bells. This kind of