Social Engineering

Social engineering (in the context of information security) is the use of deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes. To put that into a perspective that everyone can understand, social engineering is the art of criminal manipulation. Criminals try to manipulate you into giving up sensitive information like passwords, account information or access to your computer to install malicious software. (Alternatively, this software can give criminals access to your accounts, passwords and control of your computer.

Criminals use this tactic because it works. Humans tend to see the good in everyone. It is usually easier to use a person’s natural inclination to trust than it is to discover other ways to hack your software or computers.

Experts agree that the most vulnerable part of any security system is the human operating it. No amount of locks, deadbolts, alarm systems or guard dogs will protect you from that pizza delivery guy you are trusting at face value. If you let him in without first checking to see if he is legitimate, you are exposed to whatever threat he may represent. The Energy Credit Union would show our members more about how to help protect yourself from social engineering risk and notice common red flags that can help you to determine what to look for when dealing with criminals who are potentially attempting to manipulate you through a fraudulent email. Lets look at how scammers can manipulate an email to catch you!

Who is the email from?

  • I don’t recognize the sender’s email address as someone I ordinarily communicate with.
  • This email is from someone outside my organization and it’s not related to my job responsibilities.
  • This email was sent from someone inside the organization or from a customer, vendor, or partner and is very unusual or out of character.
  • Is the sender’s email address from a suspicious domain (like micorsoft-support.com)?
  • I don’t know the sender personally and they were not vouched for by someone I trust.
  • I don’t have a business relationship nor any past communications with the sender.
  • This is an unexpected or unusual email with an embedded hyperlink or an attachment from someone I haven’t communicated with recently.

Who is the email to?

  • I was cc’d on an email sent to one or more people, but I don’t personally know the other people it was sent to.
  • I received an email that was also sent to an unusual mix of people. For instance, it might be sent to a random group of people at my organization whose last names start with the same letter, or a whole list of unrelated addresses.

When was the email sent?

  • Did I receive an email that I normally would get during regular business hours, but it was sent at an unusual time like 3 a.m.?

What is the subject of the email?

  • Did I get an email with a subject line that is irrelevant or does not match the message content?
  • Is the email message a reply to something

Are there any attachments?

  • The sender included an email attachment that I was not expecting or that makes no sense in relation to the email message. (This sender doesn’t ordinarily send me this type of attachment.)
  • I see an attachment with a possibly dangerous file type. The only file type that is always safe to click on is a .txt file.

Are there any hyperlinks?

  • I hover my mouse over a hyperlink that’s displayed in the email message, but the link-to address is for a different website. (This is a big red flag.)
  • I received an email that only has long hyperlinks with no further information, and the rest of the email is completely blank.
  • I received an email with a hyperlink that is a misspelling of a known web site. For instance, www.bankofarnerica.com — the “m” is really two characters — “r” and “n.”

 What is the content of the email?

  • Is the sender asking me to click on a link or open an attachment to avoid a negative consequence or to gain something of value?
  • Is the email out of the ordinary, or does it have bad grammar or spelling errors?
  • Is the sender asking me to click a link or open up an attachment that seems odd or illogical?
  • Do I have an uncomfortable gut feeling about the sender’s request to open an attachment or click a link?
  • Is the email asking me to look at a compromising or embarrassing picture of myself or someone I know?

Here is a PDF  for quick reference. Remember to stay vigilant and safe!

Holiday Closure

Please be advised that all Energy CU branches will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, Monday October 9th, 2017. Branches will re-open Tuesday October 10th, 2017

Did you know? You can bank when and where you like!

You can access your account 24/7 with our Mobile App (for iOS and Andriod), online through our Cyber Teller or our Telephone Teller. We have Remote Cheque Deposit through your Smartphone too! If you are not yet signed up for these free services give our offices a call! For more information: dial 416-238-5606, reach us toll free at 1-888-942-2522 or please visit us online at www.theenergycu.com .

Are you travelling with your MemberCard outside of Canada?

If you’re planning on taking a trip outside of Canada, please contact us at 416-238-5606 prior to leaving. Our ongoing monitoring programs have identified increased levels of fraud in certain countries recently. As a result, debit card transactions may not be processed in those countries effective 1 November 2016. If you are a frequent traveler to the US, you can sign a Bond of Indemnity which would allow you to have full access of your card without having to notify us each time, for the states you specify. Some conditions apply. For more information please contact us at 416-238-5606.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but the security of our Members and their funds is very important to us.

Credit Union Prime Rate Change

Attention all members. Effective 06 September 2017, the Credit Union’s prime rate will increase by 0.25% to 3.5%. This rate increase may affect some Credit Union member’s variable loan and deposit rates. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call our offices and speak with a lender at 416-238-5606.

There will be no change to our wonderful TFSA rates. The TFSA variable rate is still 2.15% with no minimum and without locking in your funds. If you want an even better rate of return you can choose to lock in your TFSA funds for 3 years for 3.15%. If you have any questions about TFSAs and how you can take advantage of these great rates please let us know by dropping in a branch or calling us at 416-238-5606.

Holiday Closure

Please be advised that all Energy CU branches will be closed for Labour Day, Monday September 4th, 2017. Branches will re-open Tuesday September 5th, 2017.

Did you know? You can bank when and where you like!

You can access your account 24/7 with our Mobile App (for iOS and Andriod), online through our Cyber Teller or our Telephone Teller. We have Remote Cheque Deposit through your Smartphone too! If you are not yet signed up for these free services give our offices a call! For more information: dial 416-238-5606, reach us toll free at 1-888-942-2522 or please visit us online at www.theenergycu.com .

It’s not PC… CIBC, what are you really doing?

Low fee banking customers of PC Financial are feeling the sting of an announcement released this August stating that PC Financial will be soon no longer offering banking services, and starting November 1st, 2017 all current customer accounts will be transferred to CIBC’s newest offering, “Simplii”. PC Financial is popular with people who prefer the ease and security of doing their banking online while taking advantage of the lower fees associated with handling your finances this way. You couldn’t go into a branch if you wanted to do your banking with a teller, but you could have 24-7 access to your accounts electronically.

CIBC says don’t worry! You don’t have to do anything! Everything will be exactly the same. They are hoping to prey on your complacency. Think it’s too much trouble to change the account that you have had active for years? Well, now might be the time for you to really evaluate what this could cost you. Moving your account to the Credit Union might be your best bet. Easy one on one interaction through Skype and the telephone as well as 24/7 electronic access to your account through our free telephone teller, online access and our mobile app.

According to the letter sent to PC Financial Customers, if you do nothing and “continue to use or hold your banking product or service after the changes take effect, you are accepting these changes.” “If you choose to cancel, you remain responsible for repaying all amounts outstanding on your accounts on the date of cancellation and for any tax or other amounts which may become due with respect to your accounts.”  We see red flags! Do nothing and accept the changes, wait and see what these changes really are and be bound to them. This wording seems to imply that there will be fees associated with the closure of your account, moving TFSAs, RRSPs and other investments. These registered investment accounts of course could have tax implications for you if you don’t pay special attention.

Let us next look to what this also could mean. When the Big Guys are involved it usually comes down to dollars. Oldest trick in the book. Start off free and once you’re hooked in, start raising the fees. But it will likely go slowly, so you don’t feel it. It might be just a matter of time until this new venture from CIBC becomes “financially nonviable” and everyone is converted to a regular CIBC customer from this “low fee” model. Yesterday CIBC announced that dividends were increased, as they posted a third quarter net income of  $1.1 BILLION. Remember how the banks make their money… from YOU! The customer. Where does this money go? Shareholders of course, and as bonuses to those big executives. Which you are NOT. You, are a customer.

The Energy Credit Union returns it’s profits to the shareholders too. But therein lies the difference, our shareholders are YOU! Our members are owners and the profits we make go right back where they came from… you! Free products and services. Competitive interest rates on loans and deposits (like 3.15% on our 3 year TFSA term, 2.15% on our TFSA variable). Our subsidized events are popular and sell out over and over. With trust, loyalty and compassion we care about making your financial position better. Don’t wait to see exactly how the banks will make their next BILLION from you. Switch to the CU, with ClickSwitch to easily transfer their Direct Deposit, Bill Payments or pre-authorized Withdrawals service its even easier than ever before. We also offer MasterCard and insurance through the Personal Home and Auto Insurance.

We are here for you! Please call us today at 416-238-5606 to find out just how easy it can be to enjoy all the benefits that membership brings!

The Energy Credit Union welcomes federal government review of common banking terminology

The Energy Credit Union is pleased with the recent decision by the federal government to review Bank Act restrictions around the use of the terms “bank, banker and banking” by credit unions as part of its ongoing review of the federal financial services framework.

The review follows a decision by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) to issue an advisory on June 30 outlining its interpretation of the Bank Act restrictions.  These restrictions contemplate the possibility of criminal charges and millions of dollars in fines against credit unions and other non-banks that use the term “bank,” “banker,” or “banking”.

The Energy Credit Union is pleased that Finance Minister Morneau’s office has decided to review a rule that if interpreted in the way outlined by OSFI in June, would have made it very challenging for credit unions to compete fairly with banks.  Throughout the process we have been looking for a common-sense solution that would allow credit unions to speak in a language familiar to Canadians, without anyone confusing us with banks.

Following the release of the consultation paper, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) said it was “suspending the compliance expectations set out” in the June 30 advisory  pending the Department of Finance’s review of the Bank Act restrictions. OSFI will revisit the issue once the Department of Finance has announced the completion of its review.

At this time we would like to sincerely thank all members who have voiced their concerns regarding this issue with their local MP’s.

 

Together we truly can make a difference!

Are you travelling with your MemberCard outside of Canada?

If you’re planning on taking a trip outside of Canada, please contact us at 416-238-5606 prior to leaving. Our ongoing monitoring programs have identified increased levels of fraud in certain countries recently. As a result, debit card transactions may not be processed in those countries effective 1 November 2016. If you are a frequent traveler to the US, you can sign a Bond of Indemnity which would allow you to have full access of your card without having to notify us each time, for the states you specify. Some conditions apply. For more information please contact us at 416-238-5606.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but the security of our Members and their funds is very important to us.

Be Alert about your Alerts!

Scammers will try many different ways to trick you out of your hard earned cash. There have been reports of other customers of large financial institutions falling victim to fraud. This time with the account alert systems. If you enjoy getting our alerts please remember that The Energy Credit Union would not solicit any personal information from you via these alerts. Do not reply to these alerts if you are prompted in any way. If you are unsure please contact the branch directly at 416-238-5606 with any questions.

The Energy Credit Union does not send text messages or emails that ask you for your password for online and mobile banking, Personal Identification Number (PIN) for either your Member Card or credit cards, account numbers for any type of account, answers to your security questions, or access code for adding payees.

Here is a link to an article that tells how a couple in Nova Scotia got scammed when they replied to a text they received from what they thought was their financial institution.

Stay safe!

Credit Union Prime Rate Change

Attention all members. Effective 12July2017, the Credit Union’s prime rate will increase for the first time in 7 years by 0.25% to 3.25%. This rate increase may affect some Credit Union member’s variable loan and deposit rates. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call our offices and speak with a lender at 416-238-5606.

There will be no change to our wonderful TFSA rates. The TFSA variable rate is still 2.15% with no minimum and without locking in your funds. If you want an even better rate of return you can choose to lock in your TFSA funds for 3 years for 3.15%. If you have any questions about TFSAs and how you can take advantage of these great rates please let us know by dropping in a branch or calling us at 416-238-5606.