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10 ways you can protect yourself from fraud

10 ways you can protect yourself from fraud

We've heard it so many times. "I don't do anything on the internet because it's not safe". The reality is, whether you bank online or avoid it altogether, you will never be 100% immune to fraudulent activity. And since more and more people are making the switch to e-banking, financial institutions and their vendors are putting more of an emphasis on e-security. If you are still hesitant to make the switch, we've compiled a list of ways you can keep your money and identity safe:

  • Online Banking – View all of your account activity right away rather than waiting on a monthly statement. You can even see pending charges and set up activity alerts for your accounts. 
  • CardValet – This app lets you know as soon as a transaction occurs with your debit card. Turn it on or off, set parameters for card usage, or set up specific alerts for your card.
  • e-Statements – Don't send account information through the mail and risk it getting in the wrong hands. Get your statement right away through Online Banking. Statements are available sooner than if you would get them in the mail and stay available for 16 months. You can print them or save them to your computer.
  • Mobile Banking – instant access to your accounts without needing to logon to a computer. The Mobile Banking app syncs to your Online Banking account and includes most of the same features.
  • EMV/CHIP Cards – Each Point-Of-Sale transaction generates a new code connected to your debit card but without using your actual card number. If a merchant is ever breached, your card number will not be compromised. Note: for online purchases, it is recommended to use a credit card rather than a debit card because there are more consumer protections in place.
  • Use strong passwords - Never use a word that can be found in the dictionary as a password. Instead, change letters in that word to symbols or numbers. For an even stronger password, think of a sentence and use the first letter of each word in that sentence, changing some of the letters to numbers or symbols. Don’t store passwords or other confidential items on your phone. If you do, make sure the file you store the information in is encrypted with a password.
  • Monitor your credit – Consumers can check their credit report for free every 12 months. For more information visit
  • Shred it – Magazines, solicitations/offers you receive in the mail, anything with your name or other identifying information on it.
  • Think before you click - Online fraud has evolved into organized crime. Hackers spend their days working for their organization like it's a regular job. They will make attempt after attempt to get you to fall for an email or internet scam and all it takes is one wrong click for them to gain full control of your device. Stop and take a second before you click on anything. Look for signs that the email isn't legit. Consider whether or not you were expecting an email from this person and if the email looks like something they would send. Be extra safe and contact the person or company directly to see if they sent the email. For more information about Cybersecurity threats, click here
  • Phone Scams - Your financial institution will NEVER call you and ask for your debit/credit card number, social security number, PIN number or other confidential information. They may ask for this when you contact them as a way to verify you, but not if they initiate the call. Should you receive an automated call or a call from a live person asking for this information, hang up the phone. Scammers use urgency and fear to convince their victims to provide them with personal information. Don't take the bait.

To learn more about fraud prevention, schedule a financial review with one of our Member Service Representatives

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