Protecting Your Identity
Protecting our members is one of our main priorities.
In today's world, it is important to take all the necessary steps and precautions in order to keep yourself and your personal information safe and secure. We have provided some tips on protecting your identity/personal & financial information:
- Never carry your social security card around on a daily basis. If you need to take it somewhere specific, make sure you carry it in a secure place.
- Password protect your smartphone with an unusual password (combination of upper/lower case letters, symbols, numbers). That way, if your smartphone gets lost/stolen, it is more difficult for someone to get into the phone where you could have personal information stored.
- Never write your debit card PIN #s on your actual debit card. If you lose your debit card, whoever finds it will have immediate access to your funds through an ATM possibly before you have a chance to cancel your cards.
- Shred all old documents. Never throw anything in the trash with your name, address, social security number, birth date, etc. Make sure everything is shredded securely.
- Be careful of who you give personal information to. If someone is contacting you out of the blue for your information, keep your guard up. If it feels like a scam, it probably is.
- Be wary of what sites you are using credit/debit cards on.
- Going along with that, be sure to check your bank statements regularly and identify all of your charges.
- NEVER respond to a text message with any personal or financial information. As a credit union, we would never text you to verify any of your information.
- Keep an eye on your credit report.
- Never save login information on computers, smartphones, or tablets.
Common scams occurring today:
When you answer the phone, and an automated system is asking for your personal or financial information, this should immediately raise a red flag. An automated system calling to verify the consumer's personal information is a scam! Never give out information over the phone unless it is a credited source you are familiar with. If you aren't sure, hang up right away, and call the company they are claiming to be.
Phishing is the illegal attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. If you receive an email where you aren't familiar with the sender/subject, delete it immediately before opening it. Protect your computer/laptop with spyware and anti-virus protections. Be aware of the websites you are entering payment information into. Never enter payment information in an email.
Smishing is a fairly new scam that some could be unfamiliar with. It is very similar to phishing, however, the scammers communicate with their consumers via text message (SMS - hence the name of the scam). You may receive a text message to "claim your prize" or "you won a cruise", don't open the text message and take any further action, delete the text right away. Never text anyone your personal or financial information.
Some tips to keep your finances safe:
- Never give your credit/debit card number to an unreliable source.
- Never leave your PIN # attached to your debit card.
- Never leave your checks unattended, as that is easy for someone to steal and write large dollar amount checks to themselves.
- Be sure to make your debit card pin # something unusual, never use your birth date or social security #.
- Shred all financial documents with account numbers, check numbers, personal information etc.
- Be wary of the businesses you give permission to come into your account and take funds out automatically. Remember, they now have your account number and routing information.
- Keep your debit/credit cards in a safe place. Don't make it easy for someone to steal or copy down your card information if you leave it visible.
- Make sure you are familiar with any websites that you are shopping on where you would be entering in credit/debit card numbers.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Robbers are looking for ATMs that are on sides of buildings, in darker corners, surrounded by shrubbery, and just generally in more deserted areas. Make sure the ATMs that you regularly use are in well-lit locations.
- Do not count your cash at the ATM. This is keeping you there longer than you need to be. You could get so caught up in counting that you may not realize someone lurking nearby. Wait until you are back in the car with the doors locked.
- Be sure to complete all financial paperwork before going to the ATM; make sure you know exactly what transaction you are making. This reduces your time at the ATM.
- Do not turn your car off if you are at a drive-up ATM; keep your engine running and keep your doors locked.
- Be aware of a technique called "skimming". Skimming devices can be attached to ATMs and capture your debit card information upon use. If the ATM looks unusual or bulkier, do not use it!