Vishing Podcast

June 23, 2008

 You’ve probably heard of phishing, but have you heard of vishing?  It’s one of the newest forms of fraud, utilizing phone and internet technology.

Listen to our latest podcast to find out what vishing is and what you can do to prevent being a victim.

Vishing Podcast

For other podcasts, check out the podcast section of this blog. 

To save the podcast to your computer, right click the above link and choose “save as”.  To listen right now, mouse over the above link and click on the play button in the blog podcast player.


Online Safety Podcast

May 23, 2008

In today’s electronic age, thieves are using that technology in an attempt at scamming money from unsuspecting consumers.

Our podcast talks about some common scams, how they work and what you can do to prevent them.

To listen to the podcast, click the play button in the blog podcast player, or right click the link and save the MP3 version to play later.

Online Safety Podcast

For other podcasts from First New York FCU, check out the podcasts section of this blog.

When is a ‘Free’ Credit Report, Not Really Free?

March 13, 2008

On the surface, it seems logical:  You type the phrase “free credit report” in a search engine to access the Web site that offers free reports–which you’re entitled to, by law.

But here’s the catch:  Your search results might not drive you to the one legitimate Web site operated by the Federal Trade Commission.

Q:  What’s the danger in going to the wrong Web site to get your free credit report?
A:  These sites hook you with offers of so-called free credit reports while aggressively marketing other services.  Go to any site other than and you may wind up paying needlessly for services you don’t want.  Or, you could pay $75 for a credit score that otherwise costs $8 to $12.  In one example, a site advertised a “free credit report” but failed to disclose adequately that, if you signed up, you automatically would be enrolled in a credit-monitoring program and charged $79.95.  Many disclosures are in the fine print and easy to overlook.

Q:  What are some sites to stay away from?
A:  The one most heavily advertised is  Other variations include,,,,, and

Q:  Which site allows access to free credit reports without trying to sell unnecessary services?
A:  Go to, which was established after the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 gave consumers the right to obtain–once a year–a free credit report from each of the big three credit reporting agencies:  Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.  Or, you can call toll-free 877-322-8228.

Q:  Should I order the three annual free credit reports all at once?
A:  You can order them all at the same time.  A better strategy is to stagger your requests throughout the year.  Order a free report from one agency, then wait four months and order a report from a different agency, then wait another four months and order the third report.  After a year, start the process over again.  That way, you’re more likely to detect errors–or even fraudulent accounts set up in your name–than if you wait a whole year to look at all three of your reports.

Another suggestion is to visit any branch of First New York Federal Credit Union.  We can help you understand your credit report and score, and make recommendations on how to improve your score – and it’s REALLY FREE!

Common Credit Report Mistakes Could Cost You

March 7, 2008

If you haven’t requested a copy of your credit report, there are many reasons why you should.

A 2004 study–the most recent available–by the National Association of State Public Interest Research Groups revealed that almost 79% of all credit reports contain some type of error.  One-fourth of credit reports contain such serious errors that those individuals could be denied credit or be charged a higher interest rate.

What are the common errors?

1.  Misspelled names
2.  Wrong Social Security numbers
3.  Inaccurate birth dates
4.  Inaccurate information about a spouse
5.  Out-of-date address
6.  “Closed” accounts listed as “open”
7.  The same mortgage or loan listed twice
8.  Absence of major credit, loan, mortgage, or other accounts that could be used to demonstrate creditworthiness

What should you do?  Review your credit report, at least annually, for accuracy.  If you uncover an error, contact the credit reporting agency to have it corrected.  On an annual basis you can get a free credit report at  In between, First New York members can have their credit report run at no charge, to make sure your credit report is accurate.  Visit any branch office for more information.

Smart Online Shopping

January 30, 2008

Using the internet can be a fast and easy way to shop for just about anything you need. But, shopping online can present potential problems.

Here are some tips on how to be a smart online shopper:
Smart Online Shopping

Check Fraud Scams

January 11, 2008

As long as checks have been around as a form of payment, crooks have been using them to swindle people.  Some fraud schemes have been around for years—and still are going strong—while others have evolved with technology, particularly with the advent of the Internet.
First New York Federal Credit Union, offers these tips for preventing check fraud:

* Store your checks, deposit slips, account statements and canceled checks in a secure, locked location. Unless needed for tax purposes, cross-cut shred canceled checks and statements.
* Don’t carry your checkbook with you unless you need it.
* Reconcile your bank statement promptly so you can detect any irregularities and report them within required time limits.  Otherwise, you may become liable for any losses due to check fraud.
* If you have online banking, monitor your account every few days to detect fraud sooner.
* Don’t mail bills from your unlocked mailbox. Take them to the post office.
* Don’t have your Social Security, driver’s license, or telephone numbers printed on your checks.
* When you write a check, don’t leave blank spaces on the payee and amount lines.
* Use gel pens which resist check washing.
* Never endorse a check until you’re ready to cash or deposit it.

Be smart – be safe!


November 26, 2007

You’ve probably heard about “phishing” – in fac
t, we just completed a podcast on the subject.  Here is an example of phishing which I received today:

National Credit Union Administration

Dear Credit Union customer,
In Order to maintain the integrity of entire FEDERAL CREDIT UNION SYSTEM and your CREDIT UNION, NCUA (National Credit Union Administration Inc) is running a data base update. This decision was taken by the High Executive Beaurau of NCUA and it should be followed by all CREDIT UNION customers.

Clicking on the link below will start the procedure to confirm your account details. apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your co-operation.

NCUA Account Review Department

In phishing attempts such as this, ID thieves send out e-mails, looking for information. Consumers are directed to click on a link, which is not legitimate, but one set up by the thieves to make it look like the real site.

Play it safe – DON’T give out ANY information! If you are in doubt, ask the business or organization that sent the e-mail if it is legitimate.