Please Note: The Credit Union has noticed an uptick in the number of members reporting fraudulent text messages to our Call Center.
These texts state that the member has been the victim of fraud and should call a given telephone number immediately.
Please be aware that this is a type of identity theft scam called smishing, in which thieves try to lure you into giving them personal information.
If you receive a similar message, do not call the number given. The Credit Union does not contact members via text message or email regarding personal or financial information.
If you are uncertain about the legitimacy of a Credit Union communication, please contact us directly at 510-627-5000 or toll-free 800-232-8101 to verify its origin.
Beware of Voice Phishing
Members have also reported receiving scam voice mails claiming that their Debit and/or Credit cards have been blocked because charges need to be verified. When calling the supplied telephone number, members are prompted to enter their full card number and card expiration.
This identity theft scam is called Vishing (Voice Phishing).
The Credit Union does not use an automated outbound dialer system for the purpose of account activity verifications.
If you ever feel wary about the nature of a voice, text, or email message you receive, please contact us at 510-627-5000 or toll-free 800-232-8101 to verify its validity.
If you have fallen victim to this type of scam, please notify us immediately so we can take action to prevent and/or address fraudulent account activity.
Protecting Your Identity
One of the best ways to fight identity theft is to prevent it from happening in the first place. The following are suggested steps to take to prevent identity theft from occurring:
- Don’t put outgoing mail in or on your mailbox.
Carry only what you need.
Do not have your driver’s license, Social Security Number, or telephone number pre-printed on your checks.
Report lost or stolen checks or credit cards immediately.
Be careful with receipts that include ATM, debit card, or credit card information.
Do not provide credit card, account, or personal information to unknown callers, or in response to email requests. Only do so when you have initiated contact, and only to reputable entities.
Discard mail appropriately. Personal shredders can be purchased cheaply at office-supply retailers. At minimum, tear up, rather than just throw away, unneeded documents containing confidential personal information.
Guard PINs (Personal Identification Numbers). Do not write them on ATM, debit, or credit cards.
Monitor your bills. Make sure you receive them regularly, and check the information carefully for unauthorized charges.
Periodically review your credit report.
Periodically change on-line passwords.
No matter how careful you are about protecting your personal information, no one is completely safe from identity theft.
What to Do if Your Identity is Stolen
Contact the three credit bureaus. You can report identity theft to all three of the major credit bureaus by calling any one of the toll-free numbers below. You will receive an automated telephone system that allows you to flag your file with a fraud alert at all three bureaus. This helps stop a thief from opening new accounts in your name. As a victim of identity theft, you will be sent a free copy of your credit report by each of the credit bureaus. You will get the reports in about five days. Look through each one carefully.
Contact your local police. Filing a police report can help you deal with creditors. Keep a copy of the report.
Contact the Federal Trade Commission. Call the FTC Identity Theft Hotline at 877-ID THEFT.
Check your mail carefully. If you receive statements for accounts you do not have, contact those creditors. If you do not receive expected mail, contact the post office. A thief may have falsified a change of address.
Review all of your financial-institution and investment accounts. Immediately report any discrepancies.
Contact your DMV. If you suspect that a thief may try to get a driver’s license or DMV ID card, let the DMV know.
At CFCU, we will do everything possible to help protect you from identity theft. In the event you are a victim, please give us a call at 800-232-8101.
Schemes, Scams, and Fraud
Scam artists are constantly looking for new ways to trick you into giving them cash or access to your financial information. To help you avoid common tactics:
- Do not send money to someone you do not know.
- Do not play a foreign lottery.
- Keep in mind that wiring money is like sending cash: once it’s gone, you can’t get it back.
- Do not agree to deposit a check from someone you do not know and then wire money back.
- Give to established charities rather than ones that seem to have sprung up in response to a disaster.
- Talk to your doctor before buying health products or signing up for medical treatments.
- Know where an offer comes from and who you’re dealing with.
- Use high-traffic ATMs with surveillance cameras and be on the lookout for anything suspicious or out of place.
For more information and descriptions of specific scams, visit www.onguardonline.gov.