Security

Another benefit of membership 

Firefighters First Credit Union provides you with Rapport online fraud protection software from Trusteer—at no charge to you.  It delivers extra security while you're signed in to our site. From using Online Banking to filling out loan applications, Rapport provides increased peace of mind every click of the way.

  • No charge, no registration and no commitment 
  • Downloads in just minutes
  • Future updates are free

Protect your identify and accounts against fraud and cyber criminals – they are out there and trying to get your information. Download Trusteer Rapport today and know your account is protected.

  • Extra security—plus extra malware protection
  • Works alongside your existing anti-virus software and firewall
  • Prevents malware and fraudulent websites from stealing your Online ID, Password and other sensitive information
  • Keeps malware from tampering with your transactions while using our site
  • Blocks malicious software that your anti-virus software can’t detect or remove
  • Warns you if you accidentally visit a fake website that looks like Firefighters First Credit Union

It runs in the background so your computer usage is uninterrupted. Once installed, a small Trusteer Rapport icon will appear next to your browser’s address bar, changing color to let you know when it is working.

Ready for increased fraud protection? Download Rapport Now *

For Windows   For Mac

More information Does your system qualify? Check compatibility Have more questions? View Rapport FAQs

Rapport is offered by Trusteer, Trusteer is responsible for the accessibility of its products. To contact Trusteer with accessibility questions about their product please visit Trusteer support.

*By clicking Download Rapport now you will be presented with a popup window from Trusteer that will enable you to download the Rapport software to your computer. Trusteer may offer a different privacy policy and level of security than Firefighters First CU. Firefighters First CU is not responsible for and does not endorse, guarantee or monitor content, availability, viewpoints, products or services that are offered or expressed on other websites. Trusteer, Trusteer Rapport, Rapport and the Trusteer logo are trademarks of Trusteer or its subsidiaries or affiliates in the United States and other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others. Copyright © 2014 Trusteer, Inc.

Protect Yourself

What You Should Do If Your Identity Is Stolen

If your name, account number or any form of personal identification has been used in a fraudulent scheme or transaction, you may wish to contact the appropriate agency.

Report Bank Account Fraud

Help protect yourself and others by reporting any instances of:

  • Bank Account Fraud-Report any fraudulent activity on your deposit account, such as lost or stolen checks, and other unauthorized transactions found in your statement.-Seek the assistance of from your friendly Firefighters First Credit Union by calling us at 1-800-231-1626.
  • Scams-File a complaint regarding internet-related fraud with the Internet Crime Complaint Center.-Report scams to your state Attorney General.-To learn more about these and other types of scams, please visit this FBI affiliate website.

Credit Bureaus

Request a copy of your credit bureau report and look for unknown inquiries or approved credit. Request a statement be placed on your record that no further credit be approved unless you are contacted directly before approval is granted.

Equifax
P O Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30349-5069
http://www.equifax.com
To order a report: (800) 685-1111
To report fraud: (800) 525-6285

Experian
P O Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013-0949
http://www.experian.com
To order a report: (888) 397-3742
To report fraud: (888) 397-3742

Trans Union
P O Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
http://www.transunion.com
To order a report: (800) 916-8800
To report fraud: (800) 680-7289

Report any bank account set up fraudulently under your name to:
Telecheck (800) 366-2425
National Processing Company (800) 526-5380
SCAN (Deluxe) (800) 262-7771
CheckRite (800) 766-2748
CrossCheck (800) 552-1900
Market Block List (888) 567-8688

These agencies will place information in their system about checks that are reported as stolen or lost. They will also make note of accounts that were opened for the purpose of true name fraud. This information is then made available to merchants who subscribe to their service.

Social Security Services
Report victimization and improper use of your Social Security number to:
Social Security Hotline at (800) 269-0271
The Social Security Hotline allows a victim of identity theft to report misuse of a Social Security number. You may also visit your local Social Security Office to obtain further information.

U.S. Postal Inspectors Office
Victims of fraud should contact their local post office to report any crime involving stolen mail or use of the mail in furtherance of a fraud scheme.

Local Police Departments
It is recommended that victims of identity theft file a police report with their local police department. Victims should keep a copy of the report for their records.

Department of Motor Vehicles
If your driver's license is stolen, report the theft immediately to your local Department of Motor Vehicles. Ensure that a duplicate license was not recently issued in your name to an imposter.

Other Support Agencies


Federal Trade Commission
The FTC Consumer Response Center (877-FTC-HELP) maintains a program to assist victims of identity theft. The Center logs complaints and provides assistance and information to victimized consumers to rectify damage to their credit and personal reputation.

Fraud

Phishing – scams that request your account informationPhishing (pronounced "fishing") is the fraudulent process of attempting to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords or credit card details by pretending to be a trustworthy organization or person in an electronic communication like email.

  • Find out more about hoax emails.
  • To learn more, read Internet Pirates are Trying to Steal Your Personal Financial Information.

Identity theft - Identity theft is where your personal details are obtained to get some sort of financial or other benefit

Identity theft works in a range of ways, from crude methods to well organized scams. Be suspicious if anyone asks you for your personal information. Scammers use convincing stories to explain why you need to give them money or personal details.

Your information can be obtained in many ways:

  • Theft, including theft of mail from your mailbox at home
  • By going through your garbage bins
  • Telephone, Fax and Mail scams
  • Internet.

The following can be used to assume your identity:

  • Date of birth
  • Utilities bills (phone, gas, water and rates notices)
  • Address.

Always take your time to check whether a request is genuine. You can verify a request by calling Firefighters First Credit Union at 1-800-231-1626.To learn more, read OCC's Answers about Identity Theft, If You Become a Victim of Identity Theft, and Identity Theft on the FTC Web site.

Viruses and Trojans
Viruses and Trojans are harmful programs that are loaded onto your computer without your knowledge. The goal of these programs may be to obtain or damage information, hinder the performance of your computer, or flood you with advertising. Viruses spread by infecting computers and then replicating. Trojans appear as genuine applications and then embed themselves into a computer to monitor activity and collect information. Using a firewall and maintaining current virus protection software can help minimize your chances of getting viruses and inadvertently downloading Trojans.

Spyware and Adware
When clicking on pop-up advertisements – ones that "pop up" in a separate browser window – it's possible you are also downloading "spyware" or "adware". These programs often come bundled with free programs, applications or services you may download from the Internet. Spyware or Adware software covertly gathers your user information and monitors your Internet activity, usually for advertising purposes. Be cautious about clicking on Internet banners and pop-ups or downloading free programs. Maintain current security software to detect and remove spyware.

Card skimming
Card skimming is the illegal copying and capture of magnetic stripe and PIN data on credit and debit cards. Skimming can occur at any bank ATM or via a compromised debit/credit card machine. Captured card and PIN details are encoded onto a counterfeit card and used to make fraudulent account withdrawals and transactions. Fraudsters can attach false casings and PIN pad overlay devices onto genuine existing ATMs, or they can attach a camouflaged skimming device onto a card reader entry used in tandem with a concealed camera to capture and record PIN entry details.

Examples of suspicious merchant activity

  • Your card is taken out of your sight to process a transaction
  • You card is swiped more than once
  • Your card is subsequently swiped through a second terminal

How to spot an ATM Skimming Device
Before you insert your card into any ATM, take a moment to check for evidence that the ATM has been compromised with a skimming device. Areas to inspect are:

  • ATM casing
  • Card reader entry where you insert your card
  • PIN pad buttons you use to enter your PIN
  • Foreign objects attached
  • Evidence of damage or tampering
  • Panels that don't fit snugly together
  • Holes in the casing panel may indicate that a camera has been inserted
  • Card reader entry (A skimming device is often "piggy backed" onto the existing card reader.)
  • Keypad (Keypad is loose and not fitting flush with the rest of the ATM)

What is check fraud?
Check fraud is the use of a check to get financial advantage by:

  • Altering the check (payee/amount) without authority
  • Theft of legitimate check and then altering them
  • Duplication or counterfeiting of cheques
  • Using false invoices to get legitimate cheques
  • Depositing a check into a third party account without authority
  • Depositing a check for payment knowing that insufficient funds are in the account to cover the deposited cheque.

How to protect yourself from check fraud

  • Reconcile your accounts promptly and regularly
  • Never sign blank cheques, and only sign cheques after all details have been completed.
  • Limit the number of signatures to your account to ensure control.
  • Ensure that your signature is not with documents that can be accessed by the general public.
  • Keep all cheques secure when not in use to deter theft.
  • Don't leave any gaps in the completion of the payee name, amount in words and in figures.
  • Ensure that any invoices are valid before payment.
  • Consider using electronic means of payment (if possible) for high value payments.
  • Ensure that your mailbox is secure to protect your inward cheques.

Scams

Top tips to avoid scams

  1. If it looks too good to be true—it probably is.
  2. ALWAYS get independent advice if an offer involves significant money, time or commitment.
  3. Remember there are no get-rich-quick schemes: the only people who make money are the scammers.
  4. NEVER send money or give credit card or online account details to anyone do not know and trust.
  5. Check your bank account and credit card statements regularly. If you see a transaction you cannot explain on your account, contact Firefighters First Credit Union immediately at 800-231-1626.
  6. Keep your credit and ATM cards safe. Do not share your personal identity number with anyone. Do not keep any written copy of your PIN with the card.

Job Scams

Job and employment scams (Work-at-Home Scam)
Job and employment scams target people looking for a new job or a change of job. They often promise a lot of income (sometimes they even guarantee it) for not a lot of work.

  • Be wary of various job scams advertised via the Internet. Bogus overseas companies have been targeting American consumers to act as 'money transfer agents' in the sale of goods and services via methods such as fake job advertisements, unsolicited emails and online chat rooms.
  • 'Employees' are asked to use their own bank accounts to transfer money overseas made from 'sales' in Australia. In fact, they will be transferring stolen money. In most cases, employees are instructed to send these funds to Eastern European countries. Employees are promised a percentage of the transfer as their commission.
  • The fake job advertisement websites look very professional and convincing. Some job advertisements contain malicious software that allow the job advertiser to access the person's computer and collect their personal details, including bank account details. Exercise extreme caution if you receive an email from any person or company asking for your personal and banking details.
  • If you have received a work from home offer that you think could be a scam, or if you have responded to a job advertisement that you now realize is a scam, you can report a scam through the SCAMwatch website.

Mystery shopper scams
You might apply for a job as a mystery shopper and are sent some money to purchase a few small goods. Then you are asked to mystery shop the services of money transfer companies like Western Union and send money overseas. This money is from Internet Banking Fraud, counterfeit Traveler's checks or business checks.

Personal Scams

Online Romance/Dating/Friendship Scam

  • Dating and Bogus Friend scams aim to appeal to your romantic or compassionate nature. It may start as a friend request on Facebook from someone you don't know or via Internet dating sites.
  • Scammers will attempt to build your trust over what could be a number of months, revealing personal information to you, sending you gifts or promising to visit you.
  • Once they've gained your trust, they'll ask you for money either directly or subtly by telling you of an ill relative that needs the funds for medical treatment or how they're enduring financial hardship and need some funds. You could lose your money doing this, and many Americans have.
  • In other cases they may ask you for your banking/credit card details because they need to get some money out of the country or want to share some with you. This may be money laundering.

Sales and Service Scams

Classified ads scams

  • Sellers are posing with genuine classified ads for all sorts of things including pets, rental properties, cars and bikes with real pictures and details offering goods at low prices to get your interest. Once you've responded the seller usually claims to be travelling or moved overseas and that an agent will give you the goods once they get your payment. A professional looking email receipt for payment is then sent to you. After you've paid them you won't get your goods and you won't be able to contact the seller anymore.
  • For rental properties they also claim to be away overseas and cannot be there to do inspections. They may ask you for a deposit to secure it and even documents proving your identity and bank details which are then used for identity theft.

Overpayment scams

  • Other scams include overpayment for goods you're selling, paying you for example $9000 instead of $900. The buyer tells you've they've made a mistake entering the information and asks you to send the difference to them overseas via Western Union. This is another way scammers are laundering money.

Award Scams

Lottery scams

  • This is when you get a phone call, email or letter letting you know you've won an online lottery or a lottery draw overseas. But before you can get your prize money you are asked to send them money to claim your prize. There is no prize money and the money you send is lost.

Genealogy site scams

  • These happen when you are contacted by someone letting you know that you are the last living relative of a wealthy person who has passed away. For you to inherit their fortune you need to pay some legal fees. Again there isn't any inheritance and the money you send goes to the scammers.

Government Grant Scam

  • Description: A phone call from a "government agency" congratulates you on being awarded a free grant for paying your taxes on time. The caller asks for your checking account number so the grant can be deposited and "one-time processing fees" automatically withdrawn.
  • Tips: Government agencies do not spontaneously award free grants. Typically, individuals must apply for government grants. Do not give your bank account information to individuals, companies, or agencies if you are unable to verify the request is legitimate. Be especially cautious if you did not initiate the call.

Calling scams

Cold calling scams

  • You may be contacted by phone with someone offering investment opportunities. They may have professional looking websites showing their success. Often your first smaller investment receives a good dividend like 50% over a few months. You will be given this money making you feel confident that the investment is legitimate. Then you may be asked to invest again and having built your trust this is usually a larger amount. But this time you don't receive any returns and your money is gone.

Software upgrade calls

  • Becoming more common are calls offering free software upgrades like anti-virus. To be eligible for the upgrade they claim you have to provide your credit card details. Once you provide this the fraudsters used the details to do transactions with your money.

Refund bank charges

  • Customers have fallen prey to another calling scam where a caller claiming to be from the Office of Fair Trading lets you know that you're eligible for a refund of bank charges. To be able to start the refund process you're asked to send a small amount of money via a money transfer service like Western Union. The fraudsters are also providing a contact number that seems to look like an American phone number. However they're using VoIP (Voice over Internet protocol) from an overseas location to take enquiries and appear as though they are legitimate. There is no bank charges refund and the money you sent is lost.

Hoax Emails and Trojans

  • What do I do if I receive a hoax email?
    • Beware of fraudulent emails
    • Beware of hoax emails designed to look like they've come from Firefighters First Credit Union, they are fraudulent.
    • Remember that Firefighters First Credit Union will never ask you to update, verify or correct your Internet banking details directly into an email reply.
    • Send e-mail that requires you to enter personal information directly into the e-mail
    • Send e-mail threatening to close your account if you do not take the immediate action of providing personal information
    • Send e-mail asking you to enter your user ID, password, account numbers into an e-mail or a non-secure Web page
    • Do not click on any links or open any attachments within the content of the email.
    • Do not respond directly without verifying the legitimacy of the request either by checking the information on our website or by calling Firefighters First Credit Union at 1-800-231-1626.
    • Reporting scams is really important as it allows us to quickly investigate the information you've sent and use it to minimize the chance of others being affected.
    • Just email details to onlinehelp@firefirstcu.org.
    • If you are using a computer in an office/corporate environment it is good practice to inform your systems administrator of any suspicious emails.
  • Simple questions to help spot a hoax email:
    • Does it instruct you to click on a link, open an attachment or call a number?
    • Does it ask for your account or other personal information?
    • Does the email have poor grammar and punctuation?
  • What do I do if I've opened a link or attachment in a suspicious email?
    • Perform a scan for possible Trojans using your security software
    • If you do not have security software, we suggest you use one of the many free tools available online.

Sign Up for Online Banking

Ready to sign up for OnLine Banking? Follow these instructions or give us a call at 800.231.1626

  • Log in to Online Banking at the top of the page by using your member number and the last four digits of your SSN, or if it is a business, the last four digits of your tax ID as your temporary password. You will be prompted to change your PIN through this process.
  • Confirm personal account information and accept the disclosure agreement.
  • Create a secure Username and Password for OnLine Banking.
  • Verify your identity by receiving and entering your One Time Passcode.
  • Select "Yes, register my private computer" if you are using a private home computer, or "No, this is a public computer" if using a public or shared computer (work, library, internet café).
  • Keep your personal User Name and Password private and confidential for future use.
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Having trouble accessing your accounts?

Try these troubleshooting tips:

Still having trouble accessing online banking? Give us a call at 800.231.1626.

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Protect Yourself

What You Should Do If Your Identity Is Stolen

If your name, account number or any form of personal identification has been used in a fraudulent scheme or transaction, you may wish to contact the appropriate agency.

Report Bank Account Fraud

Help protect yourself and others by reporting any instances of:

  • Bank Account Fraud
    -Report any fraudulent activity on your deposit account, such as lost or stolen checks, and other unauthorized transactions found in your statement.
    -Seek the assistance of from your friendly Firefighters First Credit Union by calling us at 1-800-231-3557.
  • Scams
    -File a complaint regarding internet-related fraud with the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
    -Report scams to your state Attorney General.
    -To learn more about these and other types of scams, please visit this FBI affiliate website.

Credit Bureaus

Request a copy of your credit bureau report and look for unknown inquiries or approved credit. Request a statement be placed on your record that no further credit be approved unless you are contacted directly before approval is granted.

Equifax
P O Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30349-5069
http://www.equifax.com
To order a report: (800) 685-1111
To report fraud: (800) 525-6285

Experian
P O Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013-0949
http://www.experian.com
To order a report: (888) 397-3742
To report fraud: (888) 397-3742

Trans Union
P O Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
http://www.transunion.com
To order a report: (800) 916-8800
To report fraud: (800) 680-7289

Report any bank account set up fraudulently under your name to:

Telecheck (800) 366-2425
National Processing Company (800) 526-5380
SCAN (Deluxe) (800) 262-7771
CheckRite (800) 766-2748
CrossCheck (800) 552-1900
Market Block List (888) 567-8688

These agencies will place information in their system about checks that are reported as stolen or lost. They will also make note of accounts that were opened for the purpose of true name fraud. This information is then made available to merchants who subscribe to their service.

Social Security Services
Report victimization and improper use of your Social Security number to:
Social Security Hotline at (800) 269-0271
The Social Security Hotline allows a victim of identity theft to report misuse of a Social Security number. You may also visit your local Social Security Office to obtain further information.

U.S. Postal Inspectors Office
Victims of fraud should contact their local post office to report any crime involving stolen mail or use of the mail in furtherance of a fraud scheme.

Local Police Departments
It is recommended that victims of identity theft file a police report with their local police department. Victims should keep a copy of the report for their records.

Department of Motor Vehicles
If your driver’s license is stolen, report the theft immediately to your local Department of Motor Vehicles. Ensure that a duplicate license was not recently issued in your name to an imposter.

Other Support Agencies

Federal Trade Commission
The FTC Consumer Response Center (877-FTC-HELP) maintains a program to assist victims of identity theft. The Center logs complaints and provides assistance and information to victimized consumers to rectify damage to their credit and personal reputation.

Fraud

Phishing – scams that request your account information
Phishing (pronounced "fishing") is the fraudulent process of attempting to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords or credit card details by pretending to be a trustworthy organization or person in an electronic communication like email.

  • Find out more about hoax emails.
  • To learn more, read Internet Pirates are Trying to Steal Your Personal Financial Information.

Identity theft - Identity theft is where your personal details are obtained to get some sort of financial or other benefit
Identity theft works in a range of ways, from crude methods to well organized scams. Be suspicious if anyone asks you for your personal information. Scammers use convincing stories to explain why you need to give them money or personal details.

Your information can be obtained in many ways:

  • Theft, including theft of mail from your mailbox at home
  • By going through your garbage bins
  • Telephone, Fax and Mail scams
  • Internet.

The following can be used to assume your identity:

  • Date of birth
  • Utilities bills (phone, gas, water and rates notices)
  • Address.

Always take your time to check whether a request is genuine. You can verify a request by calling Firefighters First Credit Union at 1-800-231-1626.
To learn more, read OCC's Answers about Identity Theft, If You Become a Victim of Identity Theft, and Identity Theft on the FTC Web site.

Viruses and Trojans
Viruses and Trojans are harmful programs that are loaded onto your computer without your knowledge. The goal of these programs may be to obtain or damage information, hinder the performance of your computer, or flood you with advertising. Viruses spread by infecting computers and then replicating. Trojans appear as genuine applications and then embed themselves into a computer to monitor activity and collect information. Using a firewall and maintaining current virus protection software can help minimize your chances of getting viruses and inadvertently downloading Trojans.

Spyware and Adware
When clicking on pop-up advertisements – ones that "pop up" in a separate browser window – it's possible you are also downloading "spyware" or "adware". These programs often come bundled with free programs, applications or services you may download from the Internet. Spyware or Adware software covertly gathers your user information and monitors your Internet activity, usually for advertising purposes. Be cautious about clicking on Internet banners and pop-ups or downloading free programs. Maintain current security software to detect and remove spyware.

Card skimming
Card skimming is the illegal copying and capture of magnetic stripe and PIN data on credit and debit cards. Skimming can occur at any bank ATM or via a compromised debit/credit card machine. Captured card and PIN details are encoded onto a counterfeit card and used to make fraudulent account withdrawals and transactions. Fraudsters can attach false casings and PIN pad overlay devices onto genuine existing ATMs, or they can attach a camouflaged skimming device onto a card reader entry used in tandem with a concealed camera to capture and record PIN entry details.

Examples of suspicious merchant activity

  • Your card is taken out of your sight to process a transaction
  • You card is swiped more than once
  • Your card is subsequently swiped through a second terminal

How to spot an ATM Skimming Device
Before you insert your card into any ATM, take a moment to check for evidence that the ATM has been compromised with a skimming device. Areas to inspect are:

  • ATM casing
  • Card reader entry where you insert your card
  • PIN pad buttons you use to enter your PIN
  • Foreign objects attached
  • Evidence of damage or tampering
  • Panels that don't fit snugly together
  • Holes in the casing panel may indicate that a camera has been inserted
  • Card reader entry (A skimming device is often "piggy backed" onto the existing card reader.)
  • Keypad (Keypad is loose and not fitting flush with the rest of the ATM)

What is check fraud?
Check fraud is the use of a check to get financial advantage by:

  • Altering the check (payee/amount) without authority
  • Theft of legitimate check and then altering them
  • Duplication or counterfeiting of cheques
  • Using false invoices to get legitimate cheques
  • Depositing a check into a third party account without authority
  • Depositing a check for payment knowing that insufficient funds are in the account to cover the deposited cheque.

How to protect yourself from check fraud

  • Reconcile your accounts promptly and regularly
  • Never sign blank cheques, and only sign cheques after all details have been completed.
  • Limit the number of signatures to your account to ensure control.
  • Ensure that your signature is not with documents that can be accessed by the general public.
  • Keep all cheques secure when not in use to deter theft.
  • Don't leave any gaps in the completion of the payee name, amount in words and in figures.
  • Ensure that any invoices are valid before payment.
  • Consider using electronic means of payment (if possible) for high value payments.
  • Ensure that your mailbox is secure to protect your inward cheques.

Scams

Top tips to avoid scams

  1. If it looks too good to be true—it probably is.
  2. ALWAYS get independent advice if an offer involves significant money, time or commitment.
  3. Remember there are no get-rich-quick schemes: the only people who make money are the scammers.
  4. NEVER send money or give credit card or online account details to anyone do not know and trust.
  5. Check your bank account and credit card statements regularly. If you see a transaction you cannot explain on your account, contact Firefighters First Credit Union immediately at 800-231-1626.
  6. Keep your credit and ATM cards safe. Do not share your personal identity number with anyone. Do not keep any written copy of your PIN with the card.

Job Scams

Job and employment scams (Work-at-Home Scam)
Job and employment scams target people looking for a new job or a change of job. They often promise a lot of income (sometimes they even guarantee it) for not a lot of work.

  • Be wary of various job scams advertised via the Internet. Bogus overseas companies have been targeting American consumers to act as 'money transfer agents' in the sale of goods and services via methods such as fake job advertisements, unsolicited emails and online chat rooms.
  • 'Employees' are asked to use their own bank accounts to transfer money overseas made from 'sales' in Australia. In fact, they will be transferring stolen money. In most cases, employees are instructed to send these funds to Eastern European countries. Employees are promised a percentage of the transfer as their commission.
  • The fake job advertisement websites look very professional and convincing. Some job advertisements contain malicious software that allow the job advertiser to access the person's computer and collect their personal details, including bank account details. Exercise extreme caution if you receive an email from any person or company asking for your personal and banking details.
  • If you have received a work from home offer that you think could be a scam, or if you have responded to a job advertisement that you now realize is a scam, you can report a scam through the SCAMwatch website.

Mystery shopper scams
You might apply for a job as a mystery shopper and are sent some money to purchase a few small goods. Then you are asked to mystery shop the services of money transfer companies like Western Union and send money overseas. This money is from Internet Banking Fraud, counterfeit Traveler's checks or business checks.

Personal Scams

Online Romance/Dating/Friendship Scam

  • Dating and Bogus Friend scams aim to appeal to your romantic or compassionate nature. It may start as a friend request on Facebook from someone you don't know or via Internet dating sites.
  • Scammers will attempt to build your trust over what could be a number of months, revealing personal information to you, sending you gifts or promising to visit you.
  • Once they've gained your trust, they'll ask you for money either directly or subtly by telling you of an ill relative that needs the funds for medical treatment or how they're enduring financial hardship and need some funds. You could lose your money doing this, and many Americans have.
  • In other cases they may ask you for your banking/credit card details because they need to get some money out of the country or want to share some with you. This may be money laundering.

Sales and Service Scams

Classified ads scams

  • Sellers are posing with genuine classified ads for all sorts of things including pets, rental properties, cars and bikes with real pictures and details offering goods at low prices to get your interest. Once you've responded the seller usually claims to be travelling or moved overseas and that an agent will give you the goods once they get your payment. A professional looking email receipt for payment is then sent to you. After you've paid them you won't get your goods and you won't be able to contact the seller anymore.
  • For rental properties they also claim to be away overseas and cannot be there to do inspections. They may ask you for a deposit to secure it and even documents proving your identity and bank details which are then used for identity theft.

Overpayment scams

  • Other scams include overpayment for goods you're selling, paying you for example $9000 instead of $900. The buyer tells you've they've made a mistake entering the information and asks you to send the difference to them overseas via Western Union. This is another way scammers are laundering money.

Award Scams

Lottery scams

  • This is when you get a phone call, email or letter letting you know you've won an online lottery or a lottery draw overseas. But before you can get your prize money you are asked to send them money to claim your prize. There is no prize money and the money you send is lost.

Genealogy site scams

  • These happen when you are contacted by someone letting you know that you are the last living relative of a wealthy person who has passed away. For you to inherit their fortune you need to pay some legal fees. Again there isn't any inheritance and the money you send goes to the scammers.

Government Grant Scam

  • Description: A phone call from a "government agency" congratulates you on being awarded a free grant for paying your taxes on time. The caller asks for your checking account number so the grant can be deposited and "one-time processing fees" automatically withdrawn.
  • Tips: Government agencies do not spontaneously award free grants. Typically, individuals must apply for government grants. Do not give your bank account information to individuals, companies, or agencies if you are unable to verify the request is legitimate. Be especially cautious if you did not initiate the call.

Calling scams

Cold calling scams

  • You may be contacted by phone with someone offering investment opportunities. They may have professional looking websites showing their success. Often your first smaller investment receives a good dividend like 50% over a few months. You will be given this money making you feel confident that the investment is legitimate. Then you may be asked to invest again and having built your trust this is usually a larger amount. But this time you don't receive any returns and your money is gone.

Software upgrade calls

  • Becoming more common are calls offering free software upgrades like anti-virus. To be eligible for the upgrade they claim you have to provide your credit card details. Once you provide this the fraudsters used the details to do transactions with your money.

Refund bank charges

  • Customers have fallen prey to another calling scam where a caller claiming to be from the Office of Fair Trading lets you know that you're eligible for a refund of bank charges. To be able to start the refund process you're asked to send a small amount of money via a money transfer service like Western Union. The fraudsters are also providing a contact number that seems to look like an American phone number. However they're using VoIP (Voice over Internet protocol) from an overseas location to take enquiries and appear as though they are legitimate. There is no bank charges refund and the money you sent is lost.

Hoax Emails and Trojans

  • What do I do if I receive a hoax email?
    • Beware of fraudulent emails
    • Beware of hoax emails designed to look like they've come from Firefighters First Credit Union, they are fraudulent.
    • Remember that Firefighters First Credit Union will never ask you to update, verify or correct your Internet banking details directly into an email reply.
    • Send e-mail that requires you to enter personal information directly into the e-mail
    • Send e-mail threatening to close your account if you do not take the immediate action of providing personal information
    • Send e-mail asking you to enter your user ID, password, account numbers into an e-mail or a non-secure Web page
  • Simple questions to help spot a hoax email:
    • Does it instruct you to click on a link, open an attachment or call a number?
    • Does it ask for your account or other personal information?
    • Does the email have poor grammar and punctuation?
  • What do I do if I receive a hoax email?
    • Do not click on any links or open any attachments within the content of the email.
    • Do not respond directly without verifying the legitimacy of the request either by checking the information on our website or by calling Firefighters First Credit Union at 1-800-231-1626.
    • Reporting scams is really important as it allows us to quickly investigate the information you've sent and use it to minimize the chance of others being affected.
    • Just email details to hoax@firefightersfirstcc.org.
    • If you are using a computer in an office/corporate environment it is good practice to inform your systems administrator of any suspicious emails.
  • What do I do if I've opened a link or attachment in a suspicious email?
    • Perform a scan for possible Trojans using your security software
    • If you do not have security software, we suggest you use one of the many free tools available online.