You work hard for what you have, why leave your account to chance? Protecting your information, your computer and even you are critical. Our team wants you to be aware of scams and fraudulent activities, but you need to be an active participant. To improve your safety net and minimize the chance of becoming a victim, we’ve prepared some helpful resources to keep yourself protected. Our team is here to help if you feel you have been a victim of fraud on one of your accounts. Remember it is a good idea to check your credit report to make sure nothing looks suspicious. At Zeal Credit Union we provide a FREE credit report – just stop by one of our branches to request your credit review. We’ve prepared some helpful resources below to make you aware of how to keep yourself protected.
fraud – prevention
A lot of fraud victims don’t take the necessary steps to protect themselves. Below are a few easy things you can do that will go a long way towards keeping your accounts protected.
READ YOUR MONTHLY STATEMENTS
Make sure there are no suspicious transactions on your monthly statements and report them right away if there are. Our Member Service Department is available Monday – Friday from 8am-6pm at 800-321-8570 ext. 7400.
SIGN UP FOR PURCHASE ALERTS
Purchase alerts allow members to set up email and text message notices every time a transaction is processed to your card. You can choose if you are notified by email, text or both, and you can set transaction limits as to when you receive notices. These alerts will help make sure your account activity is accurate, and that you’re quickly notified of unauthorized transactions in the event of a card breach.
HOW TO SET UP PURCHASE ALERTS
It’s as simple as visiting www.visa.com/purchasealerts and following the instructions on the screen. If you ever notice there is an unauthorized transaction on your card you should contact us immediately at 800-321-8570 ext. 6400. We will deactivate the compromised card and have a new card reissued.
READ YOUR CREDIT REPORTS
You have a right to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. Order all three reports at once, or order one report every four months. To order, go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228.
fraud – how to avoid scams
With fraud and online scams more common than ever, Zeal Credit Union works hard to raise awareness about your security online. Our world is more connected than ever before, and our goal is to educate people about the dangers that exist online and regarding fraud. Whether banking, shopping, social networking, tracking your health or downloading the latest app, practicing effective security is critical. All digital consumers must learn to be safe in their digital lives by preventing and responding to identity theft and scams, ensuring that your computers are secure, managing the security of mobile devices and teaching your children to use the Internet safely, securely and responsibly. Look below at some helpful tips to prevent you from becoming a victim.
HOW TO AVOID COMMON SCAMS ONLINE
- Never share your user names, passwords, or PIN numbers. There is NO reason any legitimate person or business will ask for this information.
- Create strong passwords. Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
- Make sure your antivirus software and operating systems are up to date on your computer and phone. When operating systems and antivirus programs are not up to date your devices become vulnerable.
- Delete Unsolicited Emails. One of the best ways to avoid email scams is to delete unsolicited emails. If you didn’t initiate the contact, there’s a good chance you’re being targeted for fraud. Legitimate companies will never send you pertinent information by email.
- Don’t Believe Promises of Money or Prizes. Any email or social networking link that promises free money or prizes should be dismissed, as these are almost always scams.
- Question Requests for Donations. Whenever there’s a national disaster, con artists have a field day sending bogus requests for donations.
- Never Disclose Sensitive Personal Information. Any person who sends you an email asking for sensitive information, such as your bank account number or Social Security number, is up to no good. No matter what they promise you, mark the email as spam and move on.
- Hover Before You Click. Whenever you receive an unsolicited email asking you to “click here,” beware – even if it sounds like a legitimate company. The same goes for social networking links that take you to what appear to be login pages. These may be, in fact, sites designed to steal your information.
fraud – helpful fraud resources
MY IDENTITY IS STOLEN – NOW WHAT?
What Should You Do if Your Identity is Stolen?
If you ever have your identity stolen, figuring out how to handle it is the first step you need to take, and that’s often a big step. You will first want to make sure you report the crime. Report it to your local police and to your financial institution. These groups can work together to try and shut down further criminal activity. Once you report the crime you will need to establish a recovery plan. Below are links to a few helpful websites that assist you in filing a complaint about an internet crime, reporting identity theft and establishing a recovery plan.
- FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) – www.ic3.gov
This site helps you file a complaint with the FBI about an internet crime
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – www.identitytheft.gov
This site helps report identity theft and establish a recovery plan
Once you have completed filing these, there are other steps to take:
- Contact all your financial institutions immediately so they can protect your existing accounts by closing them or by adding security measures. Be sure to do this for all your accounts that may be at risk, including bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts and social security.
- Contact the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file. The alert requests that creditors contact you before opening any new accounts. You can also order a credit report to identify any additional fraudulent activity.
- Contact every company that has an account in your name (including, if necessary, phone companies and other utilities) and alert them to what is happening. They should have protocols to protect your account from being used fraudulently.
- Keep good records, including copies of every communication with creditors and credit reporting agencies, as you try to repair the problem.
- File a police report. Get multiple copies of the report to submit to your creditors and others that may require proof of the crime.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC maintains a database of identity theft cases that law enforcement agencies use for investigations. Trained counselors are available to help victims.
EDUCATIONAL FRAUD RESOURCES
Keeping your personal information protected is very important. If someone gets their hands on your identity there can be negative consequences for you that can be difficult to reverse. We often see that fraud victims aren’t always aware of how to protect themselves from criminals. We have prepared a few resources below that will help make you aware of fraud scams and how to keep yourself protected. Take a look!
- National Cyber Security Alliance – www.staysafeonline.org
This site helps educate people on how to stay safe online
- OnGuard Online – www.onguardonline.gov
This is a consumer information site on how to stay safe online
fraud – atms
One of the most common financial scams today is ATM skimming. Hundreds of millions of dollars are lost in this scam each year. As you use your ATM and debit cards at swipe terminals, including ATM machines and retail outlets, please be aware of what skimming is and how it can affect you.
ATM skimming is a type of fraud which occurs when an ATM machine or card processor is compromised by a skimming device. A skimming device is a fraudulent card reader which is disguised to look like a real part of the machine. A criminal will affix the skimming device to the card terminal, and once the card is swiped through a skimming device the card reader saves the users card number and pin code. Once the criminal has this info, they replicate it into a counterfeit ATM or debit card that can be used to fraudulently remove funds from your account. It is important that you always keep a close watch on your accounts to make sure there are no unauthorized transactions.
When you are at an ATM terminal or paying with a card at a retail store, look at the card terminal before you swipe. Ask yourself if it looks like it could be fake and look at the machine closely for anything that appears suspicious. Look for unusual wiring outside of the machine. To protect our members from losses, Zeal Credit Union will deactivate any cards that we suspect have been skimmed, and we will immediately issue a new card.
If you suspect a card reader is a skimming device, contact your local police department. If you know you have swiped your card through a skimming device, contact us immediately at 800-321-8570, ext. 6400.