Spoofing & Phishing Scams:
May 13, 2020: Update on this post. The cyber "bad actors" continue....we were able to have the fake website taken down earlier this week and they have created a new one. Please be aware that our genuine website is www.firstcitizens.org. We continue to work with the proper authorities to take down the new fake website. They are using other website URL's or web addresses that look similar to ours. Please read our original post from May 8, 2020 for more details.
May 8, 2020: Please be aware that recently there have been incidences of hoax e-mails fraudulently using the First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union name and directing customers to a fake website. These scams from cyber “bad actors” (any individual or group with malicious intent to gather data or access an information system unlawfully) involve an email purporting to be from First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union. The recipients of these emails are directed to access a spoof (fake) website and enter their details, such as user ID and passwords used in banking transactions.
These emails and the fake website use the First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union logo and similar colors requesting for you to take action on their fake website. By clicking on the link, the customer is taken to a website that appears similar to the genuine First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union website. Customers are required to enter their information in an attempt to fraudulently obtain personal information.
We take information security very seriously and ask that you also be vigilant in order to prevent fraud and to help protect your information. First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union’s genuine website address is www.firstcitizens.org.
If a suspicious email is received, we ask customers to heed caution and not access links or enter their user ID and passwords in the accessed fake website. To protect yourself from responding to these emails, you can follow some simple rules:
- Know what First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union won't ask in email: First Citizens’ will not ask you for the following information in an email communication: Your bank account information, debit card number, PIN number, or security code (including "updates" to any of the above), the answers to security questions such mother’s maiden name.
- Review the email for grammatical or typographical errors: Watch for poor grammar or typographical errors. Many phishing emails are translated from other languages or are sent without being proof-read.
- Check the return address: Genuine emails from First Citizens’ always will come from an address ending in "@firstcitizens.org" or “@firstcitizens.us” (for example, firstname.lastname@example.org). Check the email's header information. If the "received from," "reply to," or "return path" for the email does not come from "@firstcitizens.org” or “@firstcitizens.us," it is not from First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union. Most email programs let you examine the source of the email. The method you use to check the header information varies depending upon the email program you use.
- Check the website address: Cyber bad actors will setup spoof websites that contain the words "firstcitizens" somewhere in the URL. The genuine First Citizens’ website will always contain "firstcitizens.org" and shows as a secure connection in the browser URL.
When in doubt, go directly to our website at www.firstcitizens.org or call our Contact Center at 1-800-642-7517.
If you have given any personal or account information, please contact us at 1-800-642-7515 IMMEDIATELY, so we can protect your account information.
Here are some tips to help you keep the scammers at bay:
- Hang up on robocalls. Don’t press any numbers. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam Coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it might lead to more robocalls, instead.
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits. Scammers are trying to get you to buy products that aren’t proven to treat or prevent the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores. At this time, there also are no FDA-authorized home test kits for the Coronavirus. Visit the FDA to learn more.
- Fact-check information. Scammers, and sometimes well-meaning people, share information that hasn’t been verified. Before you pass on any messages, contact trusted sources. Visit What the U.S. Government is Doing for links to federal, state and local government agencies.
- Know who you’re buying from. Online sellers may claim to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and health and medical supplies when, in fact, they don’t.
- Don’t respond to texts and emails about checks from the government. The details are still being worked out. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.
- Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
- Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.