With hacking and scams on the rise, each year more and more Americans have their identities stolen. By being careful and vigilant, you can minimize your risk of fraud or catch it quickly enough to prevent damages.
Tips & Resources
Monitor your accounts and transactions
Be sure you receive your card and receipt after completing each transaction and always check the total dollar amount on the transaction receipt before signing. Save your receipts to compare them with your statement. If you notice any unfamiliar transactions, call the number of the back of your card immediately.
Be cautious when giving personal information
Don’t give your debit/credit card number or social security number over the phone unless you initiate the call and know the firm is reputable. Before you share information at your workplace, a business, a school, or a doctor’s office, ask why they need it, how they will safeguard it, and the consequences of not sharing.
Learn more about how to keep your personal information secure on the FTC website.
Be wary of fraudulent emails or websites
Just because a website or email claims to be associated with a company or person doesn’t mean it is true. Scammers may use fraudulent emails, texts, or website to access your personal information in a practice known as phishing. Be especially careful when opening links or attachments in emails and do not provide any personal information such as account numbers or passwords via email or text message. If you receive a suspicious email that appears to be from us, please immediately report it to us by forwarding the message to MemberServices@FSCU.com.
To learn more about email phishing scams, visit the FTC website.
Stay safe online
There are number of precautions you can take to keep your information safe when shopping or banking online, including:
- Avoid using public computers or networks to access any sensitive financial information
- Don’t give any of your personal information to any websites that do not use encryption or other secure methods to protect it
- When logging in on any website, always make sure you have secure browsing enabled by checking for a lock icon or a URL starting in “https.”
- Create difficult passwords which include letters, numbers, and symbols when possible
- Don’t use personal information for your user names or passwords like your birthdate or social security number
- Never share your username or password with anyone
- Use a different password for each website
For more tips to stay safe and secure online, visit the FTC’s OnGuard Online page.
Watch out for scams
Crooks use clever schemes to defraud millions of people every year. They often combine sophisticated technology with age-old tricks to get people to send money or give out personal information. They add new twists to old schemes and pressure people to make important decisions on the spot. One thing that never changes: they follow the headlines — and the money.
To find out about reported scams and sign up for email alerts from the FTC, visit the FTC Scam Alerts page.
Staying Safe At The ATM
ATMs are a great convenience, but depending on the ATM you choose to use, your safety could be at risk. You can avoid being a victim by using some good old common sense and by planning your ATM transactions in advance.
Here are some important security tips to remember:
- Treat your card like cash. Keep it in a secure place to prevent it from being lost or stolen.
- Memorize your PIN. Never write it down, write it on the card, or store it with your card.
- Always pay close attention to the ATM and your surroundings, especially after dark. Use another location or return at a later time if anything suspicious is noticed. If you are at an ATM when you see something suspicious, cancel the transaction, put your card in your pocket and leave immediately.
- Minimize the amount of time you spend at the ATM. Prepare your transactions (ex: endorse check, utilize online banking to check your balances or transfer funds) before your arrival at the ATM.
- Don’t select an ATM at the corner of a building. Corners create a blind spot. Use an ATM located near the center of a building.
- Use ATMs that are located in a public, well-lit location that is free of shrubbery and decorative partitions or dividers.
- Be accompanied by a person you trust after dark.
- Refrain from displaying cash, or counting your cash while at the machine or in public. Wait until you are in your car (doors locked) or in a secure place to count your cash.
- Check your ATM receipts against your monthly statements to guard against fraud.
- Be alert for the presence of a card skimmer on the ATM. A skimmer is a device that reads the magnetic data on your card as you insert or swipe your card into the ATM. Look for glue or tape residue, something that wasn’t there the last time your used the ATM.
- Immediately report any suspicious or criminal activity to the police and/or operator of the ATM.
- Maintain an awareness of your surroundings throughout the entire transaction. Be wary of people trying to help you with ATM transactions. Be aware of anyone sitting in a parked car nearby. When leaving an ATM make sure you are not being followed. If you are, drive immediately to a police or fire station, or to a crowded, well-lit location or business.
- Report a lost or stolen card at once. Even though your card cannot be used without your PIN at an ATM, remember that a debit or credit card could be used to make purchases with merchants. It is important that you notify your card issuer as soon as you notice the card missing; this can prevent or reduce any loss on your account and a new card can be issued to you promptly.
- If you notice fraudulent charges on your monthly statement or online banking account history, notify your financial institution immediately.
Safeguarding Your Information Online
In today’s high tech world, we are able to do things more quickly and conveniently electronically whether it is to send a letter via email, pay bills, or even go shopping online. With this increase in speed and convenience comes an increase in risk. Every day, unscrupulous individuals are busy developing new scams targeting the unsuspecting public.
One of the best ways to avoid fraud is to become an educated consumer, and we would like to help you in this endeavor. Please take a moment to read this important information on how to keep yourself safe when conducting business online.
How to Keep Yourself Safe in Cyberspace
An important part of online safety is knowledge. The more you know, the safer you’ll be. Here are some great tips on how to stay safe in cyberspace:
- Set good passwords. A good password is a combination of upper and lower case letters and numbers and one that is not easily guessed. Change your password frequently. Don’t write it down or share it with others.
- Don’t reveal personal information via email. Emails and text messages can be masked to look like they are coming from a trusted sender when they are actually from someone else. Play it safe, do not send your personal information such as account numbers, social security numbers, passwords etc. via email or texting.
- Don’t download that file! Opening files attached to emails can be dangerous especially when they are from someone you don’t know as they can allow harmful malware or viruses to be downloaded onto your computer. Make sure you have a good antivirus program on your computer that is up-to-date.
- Links aren’t always what they seem. Never log in from a link that is embedded in an email message. Criminals can use fake email addresses and make fake web pages that mimic the page you would expect. To avoid falling into their trap, type in the URL address directly and then log in.
- Websites aren’t always what they seem. Be aware that if you navigate to a website from a link you don’t type, you may end up at a site that looks like the correct one, when in fact it’s not. Take time to verify that the web page you’re visiting matches exactly with the URL that you’d expect.
- Log out from sites when you are done. When you are ready to leave a site you have logged in to, log out rather than just closing the page.
- Monitor account activity. Monitor your account activity regularly either online or by reviewing your monthly statements and report any unauthorized transactions right away.
- Assess your risk. We recommend periodically assessing your online banking risk and put into place increased security controls where weaknesses are found, particularly for members with business accounts. Some items to consider when assessing your online banking risk are:
- Who has access to your online business accounts?
- How and where are user names and passwords stored?
- How strong are your passwords and how often are they changed? Are they changed before or immediately after terminating an employee who had access to them?
- Do you have dual controls or other checks and balances with respect to access to online banking transactions?
What to Expect From First Service Credit Union
- First Service will NEVER call, email, or otherwise contact you and ask for your user name, password or other online banking credentials.
- First Service will NEVER contact you and ask for your credit or debit card number, PIN, or three-digit security code.
Rights and Responsibilities
With respect to online banking and electronic fund transfers, the federal government has put in place rights and responsibilities for both you and the credit union. These rights and responsibilities are described in the Member Service Agreement you received when you opened your account with First Service. Ultimately, if you notice suspicious account activity or experience security-related events, please contact the credit union immediately at 1-800-678-5197.