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Equifax, one of the major credit reporting agencies, released information on September 7, 2017 that a cybersecurity incident may have potentially impacted approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. Criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files. Based on the company’s investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017. The company has found no evidence of unauthorized activity on Equifax’s core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.

The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. In addition, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers, were accessed. As part of its investigation of this application vulnerability, Equifax also identified unauthorized access to limited personal information for certain UK and Canadian residents. 

Equifax discovered the unauthorized access on July 29 of this year and acted immediately to stop the intrusion. The company promptly engaged a leading, independent cybersecurity firm that has been conducting a comprehensive forensic review to determine the scope of the intrusion, including the specific data impacted. Equifax also reported the criminal access to law enforcement and continues to work with authorities. While the company’s investigation is substantially complete, it remains ongoing and is expected to be completed in the coming weeks. 

Please see the Equifax website for more details and ways to protect yourself.  

https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/.

 Potential Fraud

 Although this is not the largest breach that has ever occurred, it is the largest in respect to the severity of personal information taken. It has been reported that 44% of Americans are affected. 

At this time, it unknown who was behind the breach, if taken by criminals, the potential for the personal information to be sold and resold on the dark web is a real threat.

 Here are some practical tips for individuals whose information may be compromised: 

·         Personal credit reports should be monitored for new applications that were filed on your behalf.

·         Monitor all monthly statements for any unauthorized payments.

·         Monitor your existing credit card and Credit Union/ bank accounts closely for charges you don’t recognize; such as address or phone number changes.

·         Consider placing a credit freeze on your files. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.

·         If you decide against a credit freeze, consider placing a fraud alert on your files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you.

·         File your taxes early — as soon as you have the tax information you need, before a scammer can. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS. The IRS will only contact you through the mail.               

Phishing and Ransomware

Criminals will use an email, telephone messages (vishing) or text messages on cell phones (Short Message Service or SMShing) to trick recipients into disclosing personal and financial data. Some phishing attempts ask e-mail or text recipients to respond with personal information; and others include links to what appear to be familiar Web sites but are really spoofed copies. Once the user clicks on the link to the spoofed site, all future online activity gets funneled through the phisher’s system, giving him or her access to any account numbers and passwords the user enters online.

To protect yourself from phishing:

·         NEVER respond to an e-mail asking you to verify or update your personal information

·         Never click on links in unsolicited e-mail that you receive

·         Delete any unsolicited e-mails in your e-mail accounts – don’t even open them!

·         Protect your passwords. Never write them down or enter them online unless you initiated the transaction.

·         Never give out your personal or financial information on the phone or online unless you initiated contact

·         Check your credit report at least once annually or sign-up for weekly or monthly alerts through credit management agencies

·         At home, use spam blockers, firewalls, virus protection, and adware & malware destroyers

·         Update your Operating System whenever security patches are available

Ransomware attacks have relied on a user's clicking on a phishing e-mail or infected website or downloading malicious software. The ransomware would infect individual machines and shared resources to which the user had access rendering them useless until a fee is paid. These attacks can focus on individuals, businesses and industries.       

 Visit Identitytheft.gov/databreach to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach.

NEW SERVICES

YOU CAN NOW RECEIVE YOUR CREDIT UNION STATEMENT ELECTRONICALLY.  SIGN UP FOR STATEMENT EXPRESS AND SAVE A TREE.  NO MORE PAPER STATEMENTS IN THE MAIL.  CLICK ON ESTATEMENTS UNDER THE ADDITIONAL SERVICES TAB IN VIRTUAL BRANCH.

IF YOU HAVE A CHECKING ACCOUNT WITH US, YOU CAN NOW SEND MONEY ELECTRONICALLY FROM YOUR ACCOUNT THROUGH A NEW SERVICE CALLED "POPMONEY" ON VIRTUAL BRANCH.  THERE IS A SMALL FEE FOR THIS SERVICE.

IF YOU HAVE A CHECKING ACCOUNT WITH US, YOU CAN NOW RETRIEVE COPIES OF CLEARED CHECKS YOU HAVE WRITTEN ON VIRTUAL BRANCH. JUST CLICK ON THE CHECK NUMBER YOU WANT TO VIEW ON YOUR HISTORY.

IF YOU HAVE SIGNED UP FOR VIRTUAL BRANCH FOR ONLINE BANKING, YOU CAN NOW UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER, EMAIL ADDRESS, ETC. ONLINE AND IT WILL UPGRADE OUR SYSTEM EVERYWHERE AUTOMATICALLY. LOOK IN THE UPPER RIGHT HAND CORNER ON THE VIRTUAL BRANCH HOME PAGE AND CLICK ON THE GEAR WHEEL AND THEN ON PERSONAL INFORMATION.

IF YOU DON'T HAVE A CU MONEY VISA CARD OFFERED BY LSC CARD SERVICES, PLEASE GIVE US A CALL OR GO TO THE WEBSITE HTTPS://WWW.MYCUCARD.COM TO APPLY.  

Our new Website and Online Loan Application is now available.  We are now offering GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection) and MRC (Extended Warranty) on vehicles at rates substantially below the dealerships.  We also offer Credit Life and Disability on loans and Life, Auto and Homeowners at Group Rates.  Give Rae a call at 769-3329 for more information and a quote or go to the link for TruStage insurance products at https://www.trustage.com/auto-home/save-on-car-insurance.

65th ANNUAL MEETING

The Credit Union Annual Meeting will be held at 2:00 on Thursday, February 22th, 2018 in the Cascade Room of RWCH.  All primary members are invited to attend.  There will be door prizes and refreshments!  If you cannot attend and would like a Meeting packet,  please come by the Credit Union.

UPCOMING HOLIDAY CLOSINGS

We will be closed Friday March 30th for Good Friday, Monday May 28th for Memorial Day and Wednesday July 4th for Independence Day.