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Neighborhood Credit Union

Informational Videos on Security Topics

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Identity Theft

Internet Fraud

Social Media

Portable Devices

Phishing Video Transcript

Phishing is when criminals try to trick you into revealing personal information: email, instant messages, and social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. They use the information for various scams, including identity theft.

The thief behind a phishing email could be looking for your credit card, bank account or social security numbers, the user name and password you use to log into your email or online financial accounts or other personal identifying information such as your name, address, and date of birth.

Don’t take the bait. If you do, thieves may use your information to steal your money or identify; damaging your credit and creating a trail of wreckage that can take years to sort through. Or they may secretly send spam or viruses from your email address to family and friends, landing you in the dog house and possibly locked out of your account.

The thieves behind phishing emails pretend to be a person or organization that would already have your information, such as a bank, credit card company, eBay, PayPal, an IT administrator, or even the IRS. The message may tell you to verify your account and confirm your billing information.

Don’t take the bait. Remember to stop and think before you connect. While legitimate organizations may request information from you at times, it would never ask you to revel it through an email or instant message. When in doubt, connect to the organization in question through a safe channel: call the customer service number from a recent statement on the back of your bank or credit card or type the legitimate web address into your browser. Don’t ever call the numbers, click the links, or fill out forms from suspicious messages.

Thanks for you joining us! And remember, stop and think before you connect.

Identity Theft Video Transcript

Identity theft is when someone steals your personal information and uses it to commit fraud or other crimes. Millions have their identities stolen each year. Recent evidence shows that identity thieves are friends or family members of their victims. Identity thieves may make charges to your credit card without your permission. They may use your name to open a new checking account, get a new credit card, take out a loan, or rent an apartment and never pay the bills. Or they may get a job using your taxpayer ID number or give your personal information to police during an arrest. Identity theft leads to debt, damaged credit, and a big knot that can take years to untangle.

Identity thieves get your information by dumpster diving for old bills, grabbing your wallet or purse, or taking your bank statements, tax information, or new checks from your mail. They may steal personnel records from employers. Cyber criminals fish for identity with email and instant messages that ask for personal details.
How do you protect yourself? Stop and think before you make your personal information available to anyone. Here’s how:

Check your financial statements every month for suspicious charges and then shred them. Don’t ever reply to suspicious emails or instant messages, or click the links in them. Don’t carry your tax payer ID card in your wallet. If someone asks for your taxpayer ID number, ask why they need it and how they’re going to store it.

Check your credit report. Federal Law gives you the right to get a free one every year from each of the three national consumer reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. To request yours, go to or call 1-877-322-8228.

If you suspect someone has stolen your identity, check your credit report immediately. If you see mysterious debts, call one of the three major credit bureaus immediately to create a fraud alert on your account. When you call, they will notify the other two. Next, check your bank, credit card company, and any other institution where your information has been misused. Close your accounts if necessary. Then file a report with the local police and file an Identity Theft Report with the Federal Trade Commission at or 877-ID-THEFT.

Thanks for joining us!

Internet Fraud Video Transcript

Fraud is when someone deliberately cheats you out of money or other valuable things. The internet is a popular place for crooks to operate because they can reach a lot of people at once and hide their own identity at the same time.

Common internet scams involve online auctions. Sometimes the con artist posts an item for sale, sells it and collects the money, but never ships the item to the buyer. Or a thief may buy an item, pay with PayPal, receive the item, and then demand a refund claiming that they never received it.

In Nigerian Prince scams, a con artist poses as a foreign dignitary who promises to pay for help with moving millions of dollars into a secure U.S. bank account. Once a victim agrees, there are fees to pay, officials to bribe, and other complications that require money from the victim, who – you guessed it – never gets anything in return. There are also bogus credit card offers, investment scams, fake prescription drug coverage, and many more.

Don’t be a victim. Educate yourself about the many types of internet fraud by researching on the web. If you ever receive a suspicious invitation, remember to stop and think before you connect. Always be skeptical. Do your research before you do business. If it doesn’t add up, don’t connect. Consider the source: consider why someone would offer such a great deal; if there aren’t any good reasons, don’t connect. Beware of high pressure pitches. Fraudsters don’t want you to think it through. If they can’t wait, don’t connect. If you suspect, don’t connect. Better safe than sorry.

If you suspect you’ve been the victim of fraud or escaped it, immediately report the crime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, an government website. Use their online form to alert all the proper authorities. Next, gather any remaining evidence including receipts, bills, copies of web pages, and texts, emails, or chats.

You may also want to hire a credit monitoring service, which will keep an eye on financial activity happening in your name and alert you with anything fishy. To learn more, do an internet search on credit monitoring service.

Thanks for joining us! And remember, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

Social Media Video Transcript

We all use Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social sites to stay in touch with family, friends, and business associates; people that we trust. Unfortunately, cyber criminals exploit that trust and use social media sites to spread spam, viruses and malware, use your personal information to hack into email or online financial accounts, rob your house, and even steal your identity. That doesn’t mean you can’t still use these sites. But it is important to keep yourself and your friends safe.

Here are a few important things to avoid on social networking sites: first, be careful about sharing real world details. That includes your birthday, phone number, street address, email address, pets’ and children’s’ names, and favorite books and movies. This is especially important if you use any of this information for passwords or security questions that verify your identity. Second, make sure you have different passwords for social networking sites and your financial account sites. Third, beware of clicking on links that lead to other sites. Scammers often hack into accounts so that they can leave malware to other sites. These sites try to trick you into downloading their software. Sometimes you need a special application to view a funny video, but don’t fall for it. Fourth, don’t tell people when you’re about to go on vacation or post while you’re gone. If criminals know your address, they can easily break in. And finally, don’t accept invitations from people you don’t know; that goes double for celebrities: if you don’t know Britney Spears personally, it’s probably some kind of scam.

Protect yourself with these tips: first, configure your privacy settings on every social site you use so that you can control who sees your page, posts, photos and friends. Second, keep your operating system and security software up-to-date. Set your anti-virus, spyware detection, firewall protection, and pop-up blocking software to update automatically so that you always have the latest version. Third, always stop and think before you connect. It only takes a few seconds to make sure you’re safe. And finally, report suspicious activity to customer service. Social media sites actively prosecutes cyber criminals.

Thanks for joining us! And remember, be careful who you trust.

Portable Devices Video Transcript

Portable device is any electronic tool designed to be used from place to place, including laptops, tablet PCs, smartphones, and many more. Their small size and weight makes them easy to carry. Unfortunately, they’re also easy to lose and steal. Since they often contain a lot of personal information, they are easy targets for identity thieves.

Many portable devices also wirelessly connect to the internet or a phone service. Unless you’re on a secure connection, you could give hackers access to your email account, financial information, or other personal details.

Stay safe on the go with these tips: do password protect all of your mobile devices and change the passwords often. Do keep your software and operating systems up-to-date. Often the free updates contain critical upgrades to security features. Do treat your devices as you would cash, and back up the data on them to protect yourself from loss, breakage, and theft. Do record the brand, model, and serial number of your devices to help police find them if they’re stolen. And provide insurance with replacement information.

Don’t install unauthorized software on your phone or other mobile device. Official retail outlets verify all the software they sell to ensure it won’t cause harm. Skirting those safety protocols puts you at risk. Don’t carry anything you wouldn’t want a thief to see on your portables unless you need it. Do insure your connection to the internet is encrypted. We’ll talk more about that in the next section.

When using a portable device to connect to the internet, make sure you use a secure connection. Sometimes this is called “encryption.” It’s not always easy to set up a secure connection, so if you don’t know how to do it, make sure you ask for help from a computer consultant or other knowledgeable person. And, keep in mind that even the very best encryption methods aren’t foolproof. Wired networks (which use a cable to connect to the internet) or virtual private networking (which is a private network set up using a public network), will always be more secure.

Thanks for joining us! And remember to play it safe when it comes to your portable devices.