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Phishing Detected At NCUA

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA said fraudsters have been sending e-mails asking for individuals' financial information that appeared to be from NCUA in classic phishing attacks.

The phony e-mails asked for the recipient to click on a link to verify his or her account registration. If the recipient proceeded to do so, the link directed the person to a false website and asked for his or her credit union account number and PIN.

NCUA is urging recipients of the e-mails to notify their credit unions and also change their accounts' PINs. They may also contact the NCUA Fraud Hotline at 1-800-827-9650.

Bid To Freeze Personal Data

NEW YORK-The recent rash of large-scale identity thefts has given momentum to a bid to allow individuals to lock down their credit information if they believe their personal information has been compromised.

Lawmakers in 18 states are considering legislation that would allow a person to freeze his personal credit card information. The proposals would force credit bureaus to give consumers the right to block their accounts to keep anyone from instantly opening a new credit card or account in their names.

The bids come as several retailers and credit card companies have reported major online security breaches, including HSBC, which warned 180,000 customers of its General Motors-branded MasterCard earlier this month to cancel their cards in the face of possible theft from retailer Polo Ralph Lauren.

Additionally Lexis Nexis recently reported that hackers had broken into its database, possibly gaining access to customers' data. And last year, 163 credit unions were forced to recall their credit/debit cards because of a security breach at BJ's Wholesale Club.

'Captain Cash Flow' To The Rescue

HAMMOND, Ind.-Regional FCU employees wore "super capes" to work while middle school students invented names like "Debt Beat Debbie," "Sir Investalot," and "Captain Cash Flow" as part of the credit union's Savings Superhero Contest.

Students in three age categories won $50 cash prizes during the credit union's Savings Superhero Festival as part of National CU Youth Week.

Hundreds of credit unions across the country celebrated the annual youth savings promotion with programs aimed at financial education, opening accounts, loan discounts, and developing financial acumen among young people.

Chartway FCU Charts A New Way

HOUSTON-Chartway FCU marked a major expansion into The Lone Star State with the opening of four new branches, part of an ambitious plan to add as many as 30 branches throughout the Houston area over the next five years.

Chartway, based in Newport Beach, Va., was originally sponsored in 1959 to serve the Naval Air Station but has branched out over the past decade to add hundreds of select groups across the country. And over the past three years the credit union has been authorized to serve large populations in Houston, St. Petersburg and Providence, R.I., through NCUA's underserved program.

CU Bandit Mentally Fit For Retrial

WAUKESHA, Wis.-A 29-year-old man convicted with his father a decade ago of a crime spree that included two credit union heists and culminated in the murder or a local police officer was declared mentally fit for his retrial, despite his lawyers' claims that he is delusional.

State Judge Kathryn Foster agreed with a court-appointed psychologist that Ted Oswald is able to take part in the court proceedings, although he might have some unusual beliefs about numerology and might suffer from "severe personality disorder."

"I find nothing delusional about the writing of Mr. Oswald," Judge Foster declared. "His writings are clear to the court."

Oswald, then 19, was convicted along with his father James Oswald in 1995, of a crime spree that included 1993 armed robberies at Medical Systems CU, in Waukesha, and Landmark CU, in Brookfield, and ended with the shooting death of Waukesha Police Captain James Lutz after the father and son robbed a Bank One branch.

Brinks Worker Charged With Armored Car Theft

MILTON, Fla.-An employee with Brinks Armored Car Service was charged with stealing $70,000 after workers at Okaloosa County Teachers CU discovered the cash missing from a plastic delivery bag that was supposed to contain $127,500 that had been opened and resealed with clear tape before delivery.

Tony Simmons, 26, of Milton, was freed on $25,000 bond after turning himself in and returning the money.

Simmons told police he needed the money for sick relatives because his mother and cousin have cancer. Authorities could not confirm if the relatives do have cancer.

Ex-Teller Convicted Of Looting Member Accounts

MANITOWOC, Wis.-A former teller at Two Rivers Community CU pleaded guilty to embezzling $60,000 from four member accounts.

Dawn Mohn, 36, of Twin Rivers, pleaded guilty to a single count of embezzlement. Mohn allegedly altered members' home addresses in the credit union's computer records to prevent them from receiving their regular account statements.

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