NEWS Stay Safe from Fraud and Scams
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Stay Safe from Fraud and Scams
Stay Safe from Fraud and Scams

Fraud is on the rise, and we want to help you stay safe and keep your accounts secure.

Fraudsters like to prey on our emotions, and use fear and urgency to con us into giving them sensitive information or money. Sophisticated tactics and creative scams can dupe even the most fraud-savvy person. Being extra diligent and thinking before you act will help keep your guard up and protect you and your money.

Never share your personal or account information over email, text, or by phone when you did not initiate the call
Scammers use legitimate looking texts, emails, and even phone calls to try to scam you into giving up your personal or account information.

We, along with all legitimate financial or government institutions, will never email, text, or call you asking for your personal or account information, such as account numbers, PIN, Social Security Number, your one-time authentication passcode, your login and password credentials, or your 3-digit CVV code on the back of your debit/credit card.

Text messages from SchoolsFirst FCU will always be sent from a short-code, not a phone number
We will only send you account or fraud alert text messages if you signed up for them in Online or Mobile Banking. Alerts are sent from a short-code number, this is shorter than a regular phone number usually five to six digits long. Remember, we will never ask you for your personal or account information, such as account numbers, PIN, Social Security Number, your one-time authentication passcode, your login and password credentials, or your 3-digit CVV code on the back of your debit/credit card.

Account alerts are customizable and notify you of activity such as available balances, suspicious debit card activity, payment due dates and more. Fraud alerts warn you when a suspicious debit card transaction is identified or when your debit card has been blocked after a suspicious transaction is declined. To sign up for eAlerts, visit Online or Mobile Banking.

Protect your Login Information
Never share your username or password. Cybercriminals have many tricks up their sleeves when attempting to hack into your account. They steal, guess, or even trick you into sharing your username or password. And, if you use the same username or password across multiple sites, they now have access to many of your accounts.

  • Create a unique Online Banking username
    • Don’t use the same username for multiple accounts
    • Avoid using parts of your email address
    • Don’t use your full name or parts of your address, phone or Social Security Number
    • Choose something that is simple enough to remember, but hard to guess
  • Update your Online Banking password often
    • Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts
    • Make it complex (consider using a phrase or string of words that contain a combination of letters, numbers and special characters that are easy to remember)
    • Avoid common words or phrases

When making a donation or a payment to someone you don’t know, never use gift cards, Zelle, or wire money
Scammers will ask you to pay this way because it’s like cash and hard to trace back to them. There is no way you’ll be able to recoup your money after it’s sent.

Only cash checks for people you know and trust
Scammers will ask you to cash a check for them and let you keep some of the money in return. While you may have immediate access to the deposit, the check will bounce and you will owe the full amount of the bad deposit.

Trust your instincts
When in doubt, check it out! If something doesn’t feel or sound right, or if it seems too good to be true, it may not be legitimate. Before you’re rushed into making a payment or providing information, take a step back, don’t panic and do some research or cross check what they’re telling you.

If you ever receive a phone call saying it is SchoolsFirst FCU, and you’re unsure, hang up and call us directly. If you’re asked to call a number saying it’s us, check the number first. Our phone number can always be found on our website or on the back of your ATM/debit card.

Be proactive

  • View and monitor your accounts 24/7 with Online and Mobile Banking; if you notice any suspicious activity, contact us right away
  • Sign up for eAlerts in Online or Mobile Banking to get account and/or fraud notifications
  • Don’t share personal information over the phone, email or text
  • Keep your Social Security Number in a secure location and don’t carry it in your wallet
  • Shred all paper documents with personal information
  • Check your credit reports regularly

Being aware and taking a proactive approach to keeping your personal information and finances safe will help protect you from becoming a victim.

For more information on current scams and how to report them, visit the FTC website. Or, visit Extra Credit on our website for more ways to stay safe.

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