Security is a top priority at DFCU. Every year millions of Americans fall victim to fraud. In order to protect our members and their finances, it’s important to stay informed about the different types of fraud and ways to prevent becoming a victim.
Store important documents such as social security cards, unused debit/credit cards and financial documents in a secure location.
Be cautious when sharing personal information on social media or with unknown sources.
Monitor your bank accounts frequently (ex: via online banking or mobile apps). This allows you to catch and correct any unauthorized charges on your account quickly.
When mailing a letter that includes personal information, such as your bank account number or Social Security number, take it directly to the post office to avoid it getting lost or stolen.
Make sure you don’t leave mail in your mailbox for too long! If you know you’ll be away for a while, consider temporarily stopping your mail service or asking a trusted neighbor or friend to retrieve your mail until you’re back in town.
Account and Debit/Credit Card Security
Be cautious when paying at the store checkout or when utilizing ATMs. Try covering the pin pad to protect the privacy of your pin and card numbers.
When making transactions it is more secure to use the chip card transaction versus magstripe.
If you receive a new debit/credit card, cut up and dispose of the older one.
Choose strong passwords and do not put the same password for all of your accounts. Numbers or special characters in the place of letters are encouraged. (ex. $t4rbuck$)
Consider how you pay. Credit cards have significant fraud protection built in, but some payment methods don’t. Wiring money through third party services is risky because it’s nearly impossible to get your money back.
If you are unsure about whether a link is legitimate, without clicking it, hover over the link with your mouse to see what site the link is directed to. This reveals the true site.
If you have clicked on a link that you believe is malicious, be sure to report it to the FTC.
Do online searches. Type a company or product name into your favorite search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Or search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “IRS call,” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.
Spot imposters. Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, a family member, a charity, or a company you do business with. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request—whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email.
Never log in to your bank account from unsecured or public Wi-Fi. Always check to make sure it’s your bank’s legitimate website you’re logging into instead of a scam site built to look like the real thing.
Email and Text Messages
Verify email addresses and phone numbers before responding to any important messages.
If you receive a message or call that seems off, call the Credit Union using a reliable phone number (normally listed on their website - DFCU’s phone number is 562.862.8141) to verify any text messages or voice calls.
Check email addresses! Fraudsters may use an email that is similar to the real email address you would normally recognize. For example, they could use @downyfcu.org versus @downeyfcu.org.
Do not provide personal information over SMS text messages or over the phone unless you are speaking to a trusted source or individual.
Do not click on links included in text messages from unknown sources. Legitimate requests to validate card activity will request a simple response of YES or NO. They will not include hyperlinks to other websites or ask for any personal info.
Check and Mail Fraud
The best way to guard against mail fraud is to make sure a letter is legitimate before responding to it.
If there’s a phone number printed on what looks like a piece of official communication, use google to verify that it is actually the phone number of the company involved and not a fake one.
If an offer is too good to be true, then it is smart to be skeptical and do some additional research before accepting anything.
Checks that have been faked, stolen, or altered to commit fraudulent acts are Check Fraud. Fraudsters usually use counterfeit cashier’s checks bearing the name of a financial institution to provide the look and feel of a legitimate check. If you suspect a fraudulent check, report it right away to the FTC
Use security measures (such as passcodes and face recognition) on all your mobile devices to protect sensitive information stored onto them.
Do not access your financial accounts when using public Wi-Fi networks.
Always log out of your financial account apps when you are done using them.
Delete personal data from your phone before discarding or selling it.
Hang up on robocalls. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report it to the FTC. These calls are illegal. Don’t press 1 to speak to a person or to be taken off the list, this can lead to more calls.
Don’t believe your caller ID. Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, call back to a number you know is genuine.
Elderly individuals usually have significant assets and a regular source of income, such as Social Security or a pension, causing them to be attractive targets for financial abuse. Victims often feel silly or incompetent causing them to not want to reach out for help and often their cases go unreported.
In order to protect your elderly loved ones and their assets, it’s importing to stay aware of some of the following red flags:
a sudden hesitation to discuss financial matters, sudden, atypical, or unexplained withdrawals, wire transfers, or disbursements from your accounts
Unpaid bills or confusion about accounts, funds, and transactions
Sudden changes in legal documents
Signatures that seem suspicious or forged
It’s important to be aware of social, behavioral, and physical changes that revolve around your elderly loved one - fraudsters might use the following opportunities to strike:
Create a Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney can allow someone you trust to act on your behalf in financial matters such as filing taxes, selling property, refinancing a mortgage and depositing or cashing checks.
Plan ahead: While you are still healthy, decide whether you want to add a trusted family member or friend to your account to help manage your finances.
If you become concerned that you or an older family member or friend is being financially abused or is the victim of fraud, you should report it immediately to Adult Protective Services (APS).
You can ask us to add a security question to your account. This means that we will use this question to verify your identity when discussing your account details with you. To add this to your account, call us at 562.862.8141.
Data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords. The information is then used to access important accounts and can result in identity theft and financial loss.
It is a cybercrime where a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data (phishing.org) Attacks to obtain personal information from credit union members are known as SMishing (SMS text phishing) and Vishing (Voice phishing).
Fraudsters can spoof credit union phone numbers to fool members into thinking that text messages are actually from the fraud department of a particular credit union.