WSECU members have been targeted for phishing scams more and more frequently in recent weeks. Scammers are becoming more and more adept at deceiving recipients and tricking them into clicking a malicious link or downloading a malicious attachment designed to steal personal information.
Here are some examples and pointers on what to look out for. Below is an actual fake WSECU email sent by scammers to phish our membership as well as a fake WSECU webpage. We've called out the most common things to help alert you that you're being phished.
Additional things to look for in an email:
Subject lines: These usually have a sense of urgency – in this case “Banking Alert.”
Scare tactics: Phishing emails often contain threatening and directive language; e.g., “You are expected to validate” and “Your Online Banking Access will be restricted.”
Salutations: To reiterate, we don’t call our members “customers.” If there is a salutation in a legitimate WSECU email, it contains the first name or a general greeting such as “Hello!” Often there is no salutation at all.
Malicious Links: If you receive an email that looks like this and it has a link, don’t click on it – it will lead to trouble. If you’re uncertain, call our Contact Center for assistance.
Missing Footer: Emails that come from the credit union (vs. an individual employee) contain footers with our logo and contact information. Note that the one above has no footer. If the email is coming directly from a WSECU employee, it will contain an email signature with the employee's name, title, department, WSECU's mailing address, website and phone number with extension.
Even though the quality and appearance of the fake website is poor, it was “brutally effective” in the words of our Information Security VP Aaron Robel. Though there are enough similarities to the real WSECU website to make it seem legitimate, taking a few extra steps to look for the items pointed out above will help keep you protected.
If you’re ever in doubt about the legitimacy of communications you receive from us, stop by a branch or get in touch with our Contact Center.
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