Fraud Prevention Tips
Protect Your Card Number
NEVER give your card number over the phone unless you initiated the call. Unsolicited calls are almost always fraud. If you have any doubt about the call, hang up.
Keep track of your account and report unauthorized charges immediately.
Tech Support Scam
The refund scam works like this: Several months after a purchase, someone calls to ask if you were happy with the service. If you say “No”, the scammer offers a refund. Or, the caller says the company is going out of business and giving refunds. The scammer eventually asks for your bank or credit card account number, or asks for access to your bank account to make a deposit. But instead of putting money in your account, the scammer takes money from your account.
Trapped Family Scam
Don’t believe emails from friends or family that state the loved one is “trapped” in a foreign country and needs money. Before withdrawing funds from your account, contact that friend or family member. You’ll likely discover that they are safely at home and that their email got hacked.
ATM Skimming: Protect Yourself
Protect Your Pin
Hidden cameras are often used to steal your PIN. Covering the keyboard as you enter your PIN is a simple way to help avoid theft. Never give your PIN to anyone. And, do not use any ATM with a card reader that appears altered.
Stay Away From Unfamiliar ATMs
The safest ATMs are those with the logo of your credit union and COOP ATM and Shared Branching.
Check Your Balances Frequently
…And if you notice something wrong, use the contact number on the back of your debit card to report any fraudulent withdrawals.
Never Share Your Password
Never give out your password to anyone. Never give it to friends, even if they’re really good friends. A friend can – maybe even accidentally – pass your password along to others or even become an ex-friend and abuse it.
Don’t just use one password. It’s possible that someone working at a site where you use that password could pass it on or use it to break into your accounts at other sites.
Create passwords that are easy to remember but hard for others to guess. One is easy way is to use the first letter of each work in a phrase that’s easy for you to remember. i.e. To be or not to be, that is the question. 2Bon2BEtitq
Long Passwords are Better
Make the password at least 8 characters long. 10 or 12 characters is even better. Longer passwords are harder for thieves to crack.
Capitals and Symbols
Include numbers, capital letters and symbols. Remember that $1ngle is NOT a good password. But Mf$1avng (short for “My friend Sam is a very nice guy”) is an excellent password.
Don’t use dictionary words. If it’s in the dictionary, there is a chance someone will guess it. There’s even software that criminals use that can guess words used in dictionaries.
Don’t Post Your Password
Don’t post it in plain sight: This might seem obvious but studies have found that a lot of people post their password on their monitor with a sticky note. Bad idea. If you must write it down, hide the note somewhere where no one can find it.
Consider using a password manager. Programs or Web services like RoboForm (Windows only) or Lastpass (Windows and Mac) let you create a different very strong password for each of your sites. But you only have to remember the one password to access the program or secure site that stores your passwords for you.
Consider using multi-factor authentication. Many services offer an option to verify your identity if someone logs on to your account from an unrecognized device. The typical method is to send a text or other type of message to a mobile device registered to you with a code you need to type in to verify it’s really you.
Don’t fall for “phishing” attacks. Be very careful before clicking on a link (even if it appears to be from a legitimate site) asking you to log in, change your password or provide any other personal information. It might be legit or it might be a “phishing” scam where the information you enter goes to a hacker. When in doubt, log on manually by typing what you know to be the site’s URL into your browser window.
Make sure your devices are secure. The best password in the world might not do you any good if someone is looking over your shoulder while you type or if you forget to logout on a cybercafe computer. Malicious software, including “keyboard loggers” that record all of your keystrokes, has been used to steal passwords and other information. To increase security, make sure you’re using up-to-date anti-malware software and that your operating system is up-to-date.
Password Protect Phones
Use a “password” or fingerprints for your phone. The information we have on our phones is too important to not protect it.