At first, when members hear about online bill payment fraud, their initial thought may be, “Who is going to steal my bill and actually pay that bill on my behalf?” In reality, the fraudster’s goal is to access your personal information in order to steal money from your checking account.
The two most prevalent types of fraud, keylogging and phishing, occur from malware, or malicious software, on your computer and result in the fraudster capturing your login credentials.
Fraudsters use malware, such as spyware or Trojan horse software, that secretly records keystrokes and changes security settings. Phishing can include setting up a fake financial institution web site and then sending an email to you asking you to verify your user name and password on that site. In both cases, this provides them access into your online banking account that they can then use to set up and/or siphon funds from a bill pay account.
While theft by fraudulent activity is not completely preventable, keeping your computer’s virus protection software up-to-date and running regular virus scans can help minimize potential losses. Making sure you have the most current version of your computer’s Web browser installed can help decrease your vulnerability to malware. Educating yourself on different types of Internet fraud and scams will also help protect you.
Please visit the Web sites below for more information:
- Consumer Advice: How to Avoid Phishing Scams
- Protecting Yourself from Online Banking Fraud
- Protect Yourself from Fraud and Scams
If you need more information, or you believe you are the victim of a scam and your PSCU account information has been compromised, please contact us immediately.