Fraudulent NCUA email alert
It's been brought to my attention that there is an email going around that looks like this:
Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2007 8:44 PM
Subject: Official information for all Federal Credit Union
National Credit Union Administration always look forward for the high security of our clients. Some customers have been receiving an email claiming to be from NCUA advising them to follow a link to what appear to be a NCUA web site, where they are prompted to enter their personal Online Banking details. NCUA is in no way involved with this email and the web site does not belong to us.
Actually, we are performing security improvements of our banking community and enforce customers to register their sensitive information for an additionally created free security service to prevent any fraudulent activity against their assets and savings. We, hereby ask you to respond within few hours of current notification and Confirm Your Credit or Debit Card via our SSL protected website to apply for this service absolutely for free, otherwise your account(s) may not process posted transactions correctly and on time.
Please visit us to Confirm Your Credit or Debit Card.
Hopefully, most people know this is an obvious scam. NCUA would never contact you about accounts you have at your credit union as they have no access to your accounts. In fact, I have never received any kind of email from NCUA as a consumer, only as a credit union employee. As far as I know, unless you've gone to NCUA's website and have proactively signed up with them to receive emails, you shouldn't be getting emails from them.
That being said, I understand how confusing it is when you're getting multiple emails from multiple financial institutions. I'll confess that I was once almost duped by a phishing attempt that appeared to be from Bank of America. I have a credit card with them and I go online about once a month to check my statement since I've opted out of getting paper ones (a brilliant idea, by the way). Almost monthly I'll forget my log-in information and will have to go through the whole process of resetting my password. So when I received an email from BoA telling me there was suspicious activity on my online account and that if I didn't take appropriate action they were going to lock me out of my account for good, I thought it was because I'd recently typed in about 10 incorrect passwords. I quickly remembered that I'd successfully reset my password and that there's no way they'd close my account without trying to contact me via phone at least.
Here's the rule of thumb I follow when it comes to email: never respond to email from a financial institution or strangers; never click links in emails from financial instiutions or strangers; when in doubt, pick up the phone (but don't talk to strangers).