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.


Target Stores Card Payment Breach

(updated January 29, 2014)

MHV continues to work diligently to protect our card holders from fraud with the recently identified breaches of Target, Neiman Marcus and the just announced, Michael's. To ensure your protection, we are utilizing the most up-to-date fraud prevention strategies based on ongoing reported fraud trends. While these protective measures may result in completely legitimate purchases being declined at point of sale, please understand that our intention is to protect your credit. If you have any issues using your MHV VISA debit or credit card, please contact us immediately utilizing the number on the back of your card. As always, please continue to diligently watch your card statements, and report anything unauthorized immediately.



(updated January 16, 2014)
Information continues to be released on the Target Stores and Neiman Marcus Card Payment Breaches. While you should continue to monitor your accounts using Home Banking, Mobile Banking and your statements, please rest assured that MHV and Visa are using cutting edge fraud detection tools to actively prevent and respond to detected fraud. For more information on this, and on your zero liability and how it works, please visit


Target Stores has announced that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been affected by a data breach between November 27 and December 15, 2013. The breached data includes names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the 3-digit security codes located on the back of the cards.

Protecting your personal account information is a top priority that we take very seriously. Please be assured that we continue to carefully monitor and prevent fraudulent debit and credit card transactions. We hope that you may find comfort and confidence in that you will have zero liability if a fraudulent transaction should occur on your MHV Visa Debit or Credit Card.

If you have shopped at a Target Store using a credit or debit card during the period noted, we recommend that you closely monitor your accounts using our many free services such as Home Banking and Mobile Banking, and if you notice anything unusual or unauthorized, please contact us immediately at 800.451.8373. At this time, we do not feel it is necessary that you close your card, however, if that changes, we will contact affected members.

If you are not enrolled in MHV's Perks Package, now might be a good time to consider it as it offers IDTheft Protection and you can register all of your credit cards for a $2,500 fraud loss benefit.


If you already participate in the IDProtect service, make sure that your cards are enrolled in the program by visiting




Text Phishing Scam- May 2013

A recent trend in financial fraud is a phishing scam that involves fraudsters sending text messages to their potential victims. The messages allege that credit and debit cards have been blocked or frozen, and the messages are made to look as though they are actually from the victim's credit union or bank.

Please understand that MHV will NEVER send you a text message that directs you to call a specific number and/or divulge any personal information. If you receive one of these fraudulent text messages, DO NOT CALL the number that is provided in the message. As always, 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- February 2013

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. For more information visit



Phishing for Credit Card Security Codes- December 2012

Officially called the VISA & MasterCard Telephone Credit Card Scam, this latest scam gets victims to provide their credit card security codes. The fraudulent caller already has the victim’s credit card information along with their name, address and telephone number. The only piece of information missing is the security code.


Please note that NO Credit Union or Credit Card Professional from a Financial Institution will EVER call and ask you for the three digit CVV number on the back of your credit or debit card. You should only share this with reputable vendors during a purchase.


The fraudulent callers claim to be from a “Security/Fraud Department” representing a major credit company like Visa or Mastercard. They inquire about supposed suspicious charges on your account that require your verification. They then request your security code (three digit CVV) from the back of your card to verify your identity. This final piece of information allows them to fraudulently use your account.


Visit for more information.


Be Aware of Utility Bill Payment Scam- December 2012

A nationwide phishing scam involving a false claim that President Obama, or another government entity, is paying off utility bills through a new federal program has been surfacing since Spring 2012. The phishers are using a variety of channels to make contact with potential victims including: telephone calls, mailed or hand-delivered letters/fliers, phony social media sites such as Facebook, and even door-to-door solicitation.


The information the phishers are requesting is Social Security numbers and/or monetary account information. In return, they give out fake bank routing numbers that misguided victims of the scam believe will pay off their utility bills.

Again, this is a scam and there are no new federal programs created to pay off utility bills or such related. The phishers are looking to steal your identity and take hold of your accounts.


If you are approached about this fraudulent program, immediately break off contact and call the police. Local utility companies NYSEG and Central Hudson, also encourage customers to contact them as well.


If you did fall victim to the scam, contact MHV immediately after alerting the police.

We strongly suggest adding on the MHV Perks Package with IDProtect to your MHV Checking if you haven't already. IDProtect includes unlimited 3-in-1 credit reports, monitoring and alerts. If you should fall victim you also receive dedicated case management and fraud expense reimbursement up to $10,000. As a benefit of being a MHV member, IDProtect provides full protection of your identity for much less than half the cost to purchase these services a-la carte. Click here to learn more about the MHV Perks Package with IDProtect.


The following are links to further information about the Utility Bill Scam:

Central Hudson Security Alert

NYSEG Security Alert Article with Real Examples


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.

Tips to Safely Conduct Financial Transactions Over the Internet


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.



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 web 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 check is for thousands of dollars more than your agreed upon sale price; when you contact the buyer, they state a mistake was made cutting the check. They ask you to deposit the check and return the difference by wiring it to an overseas bank account. You do so, and assume that all is well; perhaps at this point you may have already released the car 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 overseas AND your car or other item!


  • 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 no good 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.


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.


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 your 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 your 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 your 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 your 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.


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.

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