E-mail fraud alert issued

Kauai Community Federal Credit Union was targeted in a “phishing” e-mail attack this week.

Phishing is the practice of sending an e-mail that appears to be from a financial institution with the goal of persuading online banking users to share sensitive information that can be used to commit fraud or identity theft. Kauai Community Federal Credit Union was made aware of a recent phishing scam by fraudulent e-mails received, as well as phone calls and forwarded e-mails from members and non-members.

“The criminals that sent out this e-mail copied our logo and imitated the ‘look and feel’ of our messages to try and persuade online banking users that the e-mail was genuine,” said Charles Carveiro, vice president of loans and informational technology, in a press release. “We cannot prevent this type of fraud from being attempted again in the future, therefore only through education and awareness can we hope to protect ourselves from identity theft and phishing. We want our online banking users to know that we did not send this message, nor would we ever ask them to submit this type of information by e-mail.”

Online banking or e-mail users who responded to the message by sharing personal financial information about their accounts at Kauai Community Federal Credit Union are encouraged to contact KCFCU as soon as possible by calling 245-6791 or by visiting a branch office.

Carveiro said KCFCU is using its Web site, branch employees and materials to provide instructions for online banking users who were “hooked” by the phishers. Important precautions include changing online banking passwords and monitoring account activity.

KCFCU has also reported the phishing attack to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov). IC3 is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center. It analyzes Internet crime complaints and refers complaints to other law enforcement agencies as needed.

KCFCU officials say online banking Web sites never ask consumers to click on an e-mail link to share sensitive financial information.

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