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Four Ways to Protect Yourself from Fraud

Posted in
Updated December 23, 2020 3:05 PM
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By taking steps to protect yourself from fraud, you can help keep your personal information safe. Minimize the risk of someone accessing your personal information by following the four steps below.

Set up Fraud Alerts and Purchase Alerts

When you have alerts set up, you’ll be the first to know when there's activity on your card(s). Alerts are easy to set up and you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re being proactive with monitoring your account.

If you’re a CCU member, you can set up Automated Fraud Alerts to receive a notification whenever there’s suspicious activity on your cards. You can also set up Visa Purchase Alerts to stay up-to-date on all of your purchases. We also encourage you to check out our Fraud Prevention Services.

Shred Documents with Sensitive Information

Shredding documents makes it less likely for dumpster divers to steal any information on sensitive documents containing your name, address, credit card info, and more. Learn more about how long to hold onto certain documents and when it’s time to shred them here.

Don’t Give Out Your Personal Information

A reputable business will never ask you for your personal information. It’s important to be cautious about who you give your information to – no matter how convincing it may sound – because it could be a scam. Always ask why someone needs the information and what happens if you do not provide it. If you are speaking with someone over the phone and have a feeling it may be suspicious, hang up right away and call the business directly to speak with someone who works there.

It’s important to make sure you’re also cautious about the information you are sharing online. If you receive an email or a deal that is too good to be true, it probably is. These types of scams are usually referred to as phishing scams, and the scammers always try their best to be as convincing as possible. That’s why it's important to pause, check to see if the communication or offer is legitimate, and keep your information out of the wrong hands.

Also, be sure to think twice before sharing on social media. By oversharing information about yourself on the Internet, a fraudster could figure out your password or answers to your security questions just by knowing your pet’s name, where you were born, or what kind of car you drive. To learn more about phishing scams and how to keep your personal information even more safe, click here.

We will continue to share information on the most recent scams so you can stay up-to-date and protected. We also encourage you to check out this page for additional information and resources.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords make it less likely for fraudsters to hack your accounts and steal your information. Make sure you are creating a unique and strong password for every account using a variety of characters and symbols. We recommend using a passphrase and password generator and storing these passwords in a safe place where you are the only person able to access them. As an extra layer of protection, we also recommend setting up login alerts when given the option, so you always know if there is suspicious activity on the account. To learn more about building strong passwords, click here

Think You’ve Been a Victim of Fraud?

At a minimum, you should do the following:

  • Place fraud alerts with all three credit bureaus
    • Experian: 888-397-3742
    • Equifax: 800-525-6285
    • TransUnion: 800-680-7289
  • File a complaint with the ID Theft Hotline: 877-ID THEFT
  • Check credit report information and review accounts
  • Alert your financial institution of the situation
  • Close accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently
  • File a police report (and keep a copy of the report for your records)