Security Center

Stay Aware of Tax Scams

IRS Phone Tax Scams
During this tax season, individuals fraudulently claiming to be IRS officials can make unsolicited calls and automated calls to taxpayers, demanding that they send them cash or gift cards. They can be very aggressive in their tactics; do not fall victim to these scams. The best thing to do, if you receive one of these calls, is to simply hang up the phone. You can also call the IRS at (800) 829-1040; IRS workers can assist you with your questions.
Email Download Link Tax Scams
MHV Members were recently notified that their 1098 and 1099 tax forms are available online; please remember, you must first login to Home Banking to securely receive your 2015 tax forms. MHV will never send you an e-mail asking you to click on a link, to download any tax forms. We remind our members to stay vigilant against fraud during this tax season.


Protecting Your Identity Overview

At MHV Safety and Soundness are our top priorities, here are just a few ways we protect our members:
1) VISA Fraud Text Alerts- MHV will text you if we suspect your card has been compromised for immediate action! Learn more. Please note that VISA Fraud Text Alerts will never ask you for your account information. A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response in order to verify the legitimacy of your transaction will be required.
2) Secure Online Home Banking & Mobile App- MHV utilizes cutting edge security protection to verify your identification and account information including text identification if you sign on from a new location or device.
3) Identity Verification-All staff are trained to verify your identification before any transactions are completed at the branch or over the phone including valid photo ID, signature verification, out of wallet questions and many more!

If you receive any kind of communication claiming to be from Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union and you are suspicious or unsure of the call, please call us at 845.336.4444 first before responding. We are always willing to help you verify whether an email, link, text or call you receive is valid. Always be vigilant and be sure to continually monitor your accounts.

Learn about the different types of a Fraud, Scams, and Cyberthreats that exist and what you can do protect yourself in this two part video series released by the NCUA (National Credit Union Administration). 


Internet Scams

(updated August 28, 2015)
Are you trying to sell something over the Internet? If so, beware… a common scam is targeting internet users selling items online.
Here's the scenario... You post your car (or other expensive item) for sale on the internet and strike a deal with a prospective buyer. You work out the details and the buyer sends you what looks like an official check from a bank or a credit union; but the amount of the check is for much more than your agreed upon sale price. When you contact the buyer, they state a mistake was made cutting the check, or they were buying more than one item online at the same time and the checks were switched... and they then ask you to deposit the check, and wire them back the difference. You do so, and assume that all is well; perhaps at this point you may have already released the item to someone representing the buyer. Unfortunately, a couple of days later, the check is returned as counterfeit and you are out the money that was wired back (and quite possibly the item you were selling!)
  • Please take extra precautions when selling something over the Internet. If you receive a check for more than your sale price, there’s a very good chance the check you’ve received is a counterfeit check and you're dealing with someone who is trying to "scam" you. 
  • If you do deposit the check, don't do anything with the "overpayment" until the check clears and we know the check is good. If you're concerned, ask one of our MHVFCU Member Service Representatives to verify the funds with the issuing bank. 
  • … or if you know after reading this that you are being "scammed", please bring it to our attention so that we can collect all your information and turn it over to the authorities to investigate. Always exercise caution in any transaction to protect your identity and your assets. 
  • Remember this very important rule: if you are asked to deposit a check and then wire money to someone... It's a SCAM. 
In yet another online scam, payments are made with counterfeit Travelers Express MoneyGrams or Postal Money Orders. Please be alert to such forms of payment; they may not be what they appear.

Be Aware of Recent Card Phone & Email Scams

(updated August 1, 2014)

Recently it has been reported that members are receiving automated calls, from a blocked phone number, telling them that their 'MasterCard' has been 'deactivated' or 'robbed'. The call then prompts the member to press #1 and then enter their card number into the phone. Other members have reported receiving e-mails telling them their 'Visa' has been 'suspended', and the e-mail directs them to click on a link and provide their card information.

Both of these are Scams. Please understand that MHV will NEVER call or e-mail you and ask you to enter your card number and/or divulge any personal information.
If you receive one of these fraudulent calls, please terminate the call immediately.
If you receive one of these e-mails, do not click on any links and delete the e-mail immediately.
As always, you may come into your closest MHV branch and see one of our member service representatives, or call us directly, with any questions or concerns.

Tax Return Email Scam

If you receive emails that appear to be from TurboTax stating that “Your State Return Has Been Rejected,” please be aware that these are not from MHV or TurboTax. Please do not open the attachment and do not forward the email, be sure to immediately delete the email.

When Identity Theft Happens

Have You Been a Victim of Identity Theft?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides an Identity Theft Affidavit that includes forms and procedures that you can use to report identity theft to your creditors and to credit reporting agencies. A useful link provided by the FTC contains checklists and resources to help you recover from identity theft:

How does Identity Theft happen?

When someone uses your identity to open accounts and commit fraud and theft, the results can be devastating. Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union wants to help educate its members on how this occurs, and what members can do to help prevent it from happening to them.

Identity theft is defined as “when someone appropriates your personal information, without your knowledge, to commit fraud and/or theft”. Surveys show that nearly 1 in 10 people have been ID fraud victims. Identity thieves can get your personal information in a variety of ways:

  • When a wallet or purse is lost or stolen, thieves usually have everything they need. Take a look in your wallet or purse right now; ask yourself how much information someone would have about you if they found your wallet or purse. These are some things you can do to protect yourself if this happens:
  • Don’t carry every credit card you own with you all the time. Often times when a purse or wallet is lost, people cannot recall everything that was in it; this makes it difficult to remember what accounts need to be cancelled.
  • Along these same lines, some people make a photocopy (front and back) of all the cards they carry in their wallet; so that in the event that your purse or wallet is lost or stolen, you’ll still have the account / card numbers and customer service phone numbers of all of your accounts. This will make it easier to call and cancel them; keep these copies in a safe place (not in your purse or wallet with the originals).
  • DO NOT carry PIN numbers (personal identification numbers) in your purse or wallet with the cards that they correspond to. Keep this information in a separate place.
  • If you use personal checks to pay bills in the mail, be sure that none of the personal information on the check is viewable through the address window on the envelope.
  • NEVER give out your personal information to anyone who calls you on the phone. In many cases, scammers will claim to be from your credit union or credit card company and will ask you to verify personal and financial information over the phone; this is known as “phishing”. Please note that MHVFCU will never ask you for confidential information over the phone. If you are not certain you are speaking with MHVFCU, please ask for the representative’s name and then call us directly at 1-800-451-8373.
  • Similar to what’s described above with phone calls, scammers will also send e-mails that can look like they are from your credit union, or from a credit card company; they can also send e-mails that appear to be from online auction or payment websites. They can look very real, and can say things such as:

    • “due to a security upgrade, we need you to verify your account information”; or
    • “due to a computer malfunction, we’ve lost your account information…”; or
    • “we’ve noticed some suspicious activity on your account, and we need you to enter your account information and password”;

Some will even ask you to re-enter your account number, bank account number, routing number, passwords, etc.; do not give out or enter any of this personal information. Again, if you suspect anything, do not hesitate to call MHVFCU or the financial institution directly.

Common ATM / Phishing Scams

While MHV is diligent in monitoring our ATM's, many members utilize out of network machines. Listed below are the top 10 ATM scams, and what YOU can do to protect your accounts… and your money.

1. The 'Loop'
A thief inserts a device into the card slot of an ATM machine; without knowing, you place your card into the machine and enter your PIN; but your card does not come back out. Once your ATM card is trapped, a 'Good Samaritan' may appear and try to assist you in the hopes that they can watch you enter your PIN, then retrieve your card after you leave.

How can you protect yourself?

  • Always look over an ATM before you use it. Does it look funny? Is anything missing?

    • If you feel this is the case, DO NOT USE the particular ATM and contact the financial institution directly to report it.
  • NEVER accept help when using an ATM.

    • As described above, a "Good Samaritan" can very well be a person working in connection with those who are conducting criminal activity. DO NOT re-enter your PIN in the presence of anyone else.
  • If your ATM card is "captured", call immediately and report it lost.

2. Card 'Skimming'
Unlike taking the actual physical card as described above, 'skimmers' are devices added to ATM machines to capture your card's information, including your account number, balance, and PIN number. These devices can be mounted right over top of where you normally insert your card, or can be mounted alongside a machine and labeled as a 'card cleaner'. You're actually not 'cleaning' your ATM card; you're giving away the information contained in the magnetic strip.

How can you protect yourself

  • Always look over an ATM before you use it. Does it look funny? Is anything missing?
    o If you feel this is the case, DO NOT USE the particular ATM and contact the financial institution directly to report it.
  • NEVER use any additional devices attached to an ATM.

3. 'Shoulder Surfing', Fake PIN Pads, and Even Fake Machines
In this scheme, thieves mount a wireless video camera inside the ATM area with the intention to capture an image of your card number and an image of you entering your pin. It can look as harmless as a brochure holder. Thieves have also designed fake PIN pads they place on top of the original ATM PIN pad. This also the thief to obtain your PIN number and your transaction will occur as normal. Thieves have also gone so far as to set up fake ATM's. These machines collect your ATM card number and PIN but do not dispense cash.

How can you protect yourself?

  • Always look over an ATM before you use it. Does it look funny? Is anything missing?
    o If you feel this is the case, DO NOT USE the particular ATM and contact the financial institution directly to report it.
  • If you've used a machine that says it's out of order or out of money after you entered your card/PIN immediately contact your financial institution and report your card stolen.

4. Cash Trapping
Similar to the 'Loop' where a thin sleeve traps your actual card, this type of scam actually traps your cash before it is dispensed from the machine. Thieves have been known to insert a 'sleeve' or device inside the cash dispenser area. Your transaction will operate normally, but you won't receive the cash you've withdrawn; and the thieves can then walk up, remove the device, and take your cash.

How can you protect yourself?

  • Always look over an ATM before you use it. Does it look funny? Is anything missing?

    • If you feel this is the case, DO NOT USE the particular ATM and contact the financial institution directly to report it.
  • If your money does not dispense, contact the financial institution immediately.

5. 'Phishing'
Falsely identifying themselves from your credit union or other financial institution, a scammer can send you an email with a notice asking you to click a link to confirm your account information. The link takes you to a fake site designed to look like your credit union or financial institution where they can collect your information.

How can you protect yourself?

  • NEVER click on links in emails
  • Always type the website of any financial institution or credit union directly into the browser.

Traveling Abroad

Don't forget to contact our Visa department if you plan to use your MHV Visa Credit or Debit Card. Security restrictions are in place to protect you from fraudulent activity on your card. By contacting us before you go, we can remove the restriction so you have use of your card while traveling. Please note there may be transaction and amount limitations in some areas.