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Protect Your Account

Identity thieves are smart, but you can outsmart them by keeping an eye on your accounts and reporting anything fishy right away.

ATMs

When you head to the ATM, use your common sense and follow these tips.

  • Do not agree to cash a check for someone else.
  • Keep your Personal Identification Number (PIN) confidential.
  • Memorize your PIN; do not write it on your card or keep it in your wallet.
  • Leave an ATM if someone approaches you directly.
  • Choose an ATM in a well-lit area.
  • Have your card ready before approaching an ATM.
  • Take your card, money, and receipt with you.
  • Check your transaction and count money privately.
  • Have someone accompany you when using an ATM at night.
  • Lock your car, close the windows, and leave the engine running at
    a drive-up ATM.
  • Shield the keyboard and display so others cannot see your transaction.

Phone

Scammers can be persuasive when they call but be smart about providing personal information.

  • Do not reveal personal information if you did not originate the phone call.
  • Be careful about revealing your Social Security number.
  • Take precautions when talking about personal information in public or when others are present.
  • Never reveal your PIN or account numbers to anyone.
  • Verify phone numbers through a trusted source, such as the phone book, before revealing confidential information.
  • Hang up on robocalls.

CEFCU does not send emails asking for personal financial information or directing you to call and reveal that information. Delete unsolicited emails immediately. If you receive a request for personal information, and it appears to be from CEFCU, contact CEFCU.

Cramming

When charges are added to your phone bill for a service you didn't order, it's known as cramming. These charges are small, so they are easy to overlook, or may appear to be a fee you owe.

Cell Phones

Fraud can happen with cell phones, too.

  • Use a passcode to help guard your phone.
  • Keep track of your phone to protect it from unauthorized calls.
  • Be wary of free ringtones and other offers that may contain viruses.
  • Download apps only from reliable sources.
  • Take precautions when revealing personal information in public.

Find information about security apps on the PC Magazine website and check out cell phone protection tips.

Mobile Banking

What a great convenience Mobile Banking is, but just like other financial transactions, you need to work to stay secure.

  • Store your mobile device in a secure location.
  • Lock your device when you are not using it.
  • Choose a strong password.
  • Don't disclose personal information through email or text messages.
  • Download apps only from reputable sources.
  • Keep your apps up-to-date.
  • Set your device to automatically lock after inactivity.
  • Avoid using non-secure wireless access in public places.
  • Use your personal network to conduct financial transactions.
  • Install security software and enroll in a data wiping service.

Resources

If your phone is lost or stolen, contact CEFCU. Be sure to contact your cellular carrier to report your loss.

Credit/Debit Cards

Shopping in stores and online is so much easier with your credit and debit cards, but you have to protect them.

  • Protect your purse/wallet.
  • Shred preapproved credit card offers so thieves cannot use them.
  • Never reveal your PIN to anyone.
  • Check credit/debit card statements against receipts.
  • Do not provide your credit/debit card number as proof of identity.
  • Understand your credit/debit card's liability program.
  • Never send payment information by non-secure email.
  • Keep cards in sight at all times to avoid someone getting the number or skimming the card's magnetic strip to capture its coding.
  • Beware of people shoulder surfing, looking over your shoulder to get personal information.
  • Report even small discrepancies on statements. Thieves run small test transactions before charging more expensive items.
  • Pay at the register, not at the table if possible.

Mail

Thieves can steal your identity by taking financial statements and preapproved credit card applications from your mailbox. They may divert your mail, then they have access to anything that goes to the new address.

  • Retrieve your mail quickly. If that is not possible, get a locked mailbox.
  • Send mail only through secure locations.
  • Opt out of preapproved credit card offers.
  • Make sure you receive your financial statements each month. When possible, sign up for eStatements.
  • Review bills and statements when you receive them.

Home / Work / Other Locations

Identity theft can even happen anywhere. Keep papers with personal information in a safe place, such as a locked filing cabinet.

  • Create secure passwords but do not use:
    • A portion of your Social Security or phone number
    • Birth date
    • Your mother's maiden name
    • Consecutive series of numbers
  • Shred unneeded papers that include personal information.
  • Keep your Social Security card and birth certificate in a safe place.
  • Protect your wallet/purse in public or at work.
  • Put away your personal belongings and papers at work.
  • Do not include your Social Security number, phone number, or driver's license number on checks.
  • Never reveal your PIN to anyone.

Wire Transfers

Wiring money is like sending cash, so con artists often request wire transfers, and wire transfer fraud continues to increase. When you’re wiring money, don’t:

  • Send it unless you know the individual or business is reputable.
  • Give your account information to someone you don't know.
  • Respond to unsolicited email job offers or business opportunities.
  • Agree to deposit a check from someone you don't know, then wire back money.
  • Wire money to strangers, including:
    • A seller who requests a wire transfer payment.
    • An online love interest who asks for money.
    • A person advertising an apartment or vacation rental online.
    • A new employer or for a new online job.
    • Someone who claims to be a relative or friend in dire straits.

Contact CEFCU for more information, to report a lost or stolen card for a CEFCU account, or to report a suspicious email.