UPDATE: AG urges MSUFCU customers to protect their accounts

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LANSING, MI (WILX) -- Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is urging customers of MSUFCU to "protect their accounts and promptly respond to any fraud notices they may have received regarding suspicious activity of their MSUFCU credit cards," according to a statement released from Nessel's office.

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The credit union said it notified affected customers via phone, email, or text Wednesday, Jan. 1 about the suspicious activity on members cards, which has been reported as unauthorized international transactions.

Nessel's office said she became aware of the suspicious activity through media reports and social media postings late in the day Wednesday. The office said it is unclear how many Michigan residents were impacted by this.

“This is another example of how fragile our information infrastructure is, and how vulnerable all of us are to cyber hacking,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel. “Unfortunately, here in Michigan, my office is forced to rely on media reports that alert us to these terrible situations because – unlike most other states – we have no law on the books that requires our office to be notified when customers are compromised. I am determined to get information quickly and accurately to take more proactive measures to protect our residents.”

On Wednesday, an MSUFCU member posted on Facebook that his "13-year-old daughter, who never had swiped her card, ever, had an international charge on her account."

News 10 reached out to the credit union.

In a statement to News 10 on Jan.1, MSUFCU Chief Marketing Officer Deidre Davis said the credit union's "fraud systems are notifying members of suspicious activity that is not typical to the members' account behaviors."

Davis said members should respond "no" to the message of unusual activity when the transaction is not theirs.

Another MSUFCU member who reported the fraudulent charges said she was shocked that this happened to her.

"$66 is not a small amount to me, but I mean it was okay, but it's still something that concerned me," Kelli Pavley said. "The card has always been in my possession. I had it this morning so it wasn't a situation where somebody got a hold of my debit card -- nothing like that has happened to me before with [MSUFCU], they've always been really wonderful."

“Stolen credit card information is on the ‘more sensitive’ category for compromised personal information,” said Nessel, "And it may result in fraudulent charges. If your credit or debit card number is stolen, immediately contact your card issuer.”

Davis said the credit union has been made aware of the transactions and are actively working with card processors to block the transactions before they are attempted on the cards.

The credit union said if people have a fraudulent transaction post, they are not liable for the transaction. MSUFCU staff said they will contact victims of the fraudulent charges on Thursday to reissue a new card and finalize any necessary details.

The credit union said they print cards at their location so members will be able to get it immediately.

Members may receive text, email, or phone notifications to validate unusual transactions and they can monitor their accounts via alerts and through the mobile app, Davis said. Members can also lock their cards in the mobile app to prevent any unauthorized transactions and can unlock their card before they make a transaction.

If you do notice unusual activity on your account, you can call 517-333-2424 or 888-393-1172 to report it.

If you believe your information has been compromised, Nessel urges you to do the following:
• Find out what information was compromised and act accordingly.
• Pull your free credit report at annualcreditreport.com or by calling 877-322-8228.
• Put a fraud alert on your credit file. The Federal Trade Commission provides a checklist for this.
• Consider a security freeze on your credit file.
• Be alert to unsolicited calls or emails appearing to be from Capital One. Hang up, do not reply, and instead call the number on your card. “Phishing” scams—calls, emails, or text messages that appear to offer protection—may actually be trying to get more data from customers.
• Take advantage of any free services being offered as a result of the breach. In this case, free credit monitoring and identity protection will be made available for everyone affected.
• Use two-factor authentication on your online accounts whenever it’s available.

For more information on what to do when your information has been compromised, click here.

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