How to Protect Yourself from Fraud
Card skimming and merchant data breaches have cost consumers and financial institutions millions of dollars over the past few years. The credit union has implemented several behind-the-scenes fraud prevention and loss mitigation programs that run 24/7. We also have an entire department dedicated solely to fraud and security.
However, it's very important to keep your debit and credit cards safe and secure. Also make sure we have your most current phone number and e-mail address in case we need to contact you. In the event that your debit or credit card is lost or stolen, compromised, or you see unauthorized charges on your account, here’s what to do:
- Visa debit cards.
For debit cards during normal business hours, call the credit union immediately at (800) 388-3000. You may also visit a local branch location. After normal business hours call (866) 664-9364.
To file a fraud claim for unauthorized transactions, call the credit union during normal business hours at (800) 388-3000.
- Visa credit cards.
For credit cards during and after normal business hours, call cardholder services at (800) 449-7728.
- Visa gift cards.
For gift cards during and after normal business hours, call the credit union immediately at (800) 388-3000.
ATM Safety & Security Tips
Because of the variety of ATMs, the unique characteristics of each installation and crime considerations at each location, no single formula can guarantee the security of ATM users. Therefore, it is necessary for ATM users to consider the environment around each ATM and various procedures for remaining safe when using an ATM.
Criminals select their victims and targets, focusing on the unaware or unprepared. Criminals are also drawn to environmental conditions that enhance the opportunity to successfully complete their crime. The attitude and demeanor you convey can have a tremendous effect on potential assailants. There are a number of things you can do to increase your personal security and reduce your risk of becoming an ATM crime victim.
The following crime prevention tips can help make the use of ATM’s safer for everyone.
- Walk purposefully with confidence. Give the appearance that you are totally aware of your surroundings
- Be aware of your total environment and what is going on around you. Criminals tend to avoid people who have this type of demeanor
- Perform mental exercises and think out what you would do in different crime or personal security situations
- Follow your instincts. If you feel you are in danger, respond immediately. Remember that your personal safety is the first priority
Beware of Tax Scams!
Now that we are in the heart of tax season, “tax scams” are in full force! It is highly important that you know about the various ways scammers may attempt to steal your information and money. The more you know, the better you can spot red flags and avoid these tax scams.
You need to be extremely critical of ANY emails or phone calls from someone claiming to be an employee of the IRS or state tax authority, especially those that demand immediate payment. These governing bodies will NEVER:
- Initiate contact with you by phone, email, text, or through social media outlets to ask for your personal or financial information.
- Require that you pay your taxes with a certain payment type, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Call you and demand immediate payment. The IRS or State will not call about taxes you owe without first mailing you a bill.
What do tax scams typically look like?
- In these types of attacks, the scammer usually presents themselves as an employee of the IRS or State in a call/email to the targeted individual, falsely stating they want to “help” with tax filing.
- In more cases than not, this type of tax scam involves an unsolicited, bogus email regarding a tax refund or bill, or threatening an audit if the bill is not paid right away.
- Tax scam emails typically include the tax service’s name and official seal, and often link to a phony website – in order to appear to be more official.
How can you remain protected against tax scams?
1) If an email is received regarding federal or state tax returns/bills:
- Don’t reply to the message.
- Don’t give out personal or financial information.
- Forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete the email.
- Don’t open any attachments or click on any links, as they may contain a malicious code or virus that will infect your computer.
- For tax scams involving a state’s filing office, check the office’s website to see how they recommend reporting an attempted attack.
2) If a call is received regarding federal or state tax returns/bills:
- Ask for a contact number and an employee badge number and then call back to verify its legitimacy.
- Call the IRS or state tax authority to inquire further and verify the accuracy of the call.
- Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Use TIGTA’s IRS Impersonation Scam
- Reporting web page to report the incident.
- Report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission through the FTC Complaint Assistant on their website (add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments section).
For more in depth information on how to detect or report tax scams, visit https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-scams-consumer-alerts.