Bonnie, former PTA President.
Putting her first since 2006.
IDENTITY THEFT & FRAUD AWARENESS

Here to help protect you

Get the information and tools you need to stay one step ahead of identity theft.

Identity theft is the fraudulent use of personal identifying information. Identity thieves will use this information to open new credit cards, charge existing credit cards, open accounts, or obtain new loans.

These fraudsters are looking for information such as:

  • Social Security Number
  • Mother's Maiden Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Account Number

 

We're here to help you stay one step ahead of these thieves by making sure you're in the know. Below you'll find information on types of fraud, common scams, prevention tips, and what to do if you find yourself a victim of identity theft.

 


 

Types of Fraud

Below you'll find information on the most common tactics that scammers use. Scroll down or click on a topic to learn their tricks and beat them at their own game.

Phishing

Credit or Debit Card Fraud

Check Fraud

Elder Abuse


 

Phishing

 

Phishing attempts come in the form of emails that try to get your personal information.

How it works

Phishing attempts are often combined with spoofing attacks. Thieves send emails that appear trustworthy, and include links to websites.

How to protect yourself

Phishing emails are designed to make you panic or respond without thinking. They often contain a false sense of urgency. Be sure to take these precautions:

  • Never click on a link in an email. If you are not sure about the originating website address, Google it
  • Be wary of unexpected text messages reporting to include some variety of 'activation code'
  • Call first, but don't use the number in the email. It could be fake as well. Look up the contact info online
  • Be guarded, especially if you are asked to respond right away with your full Social Security Number or date of birth
  • Stay informed. Agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection offer news and information on what to do and how to report suspicious emails

 


 

Credit or Debit Card Fraud

 

Credit or debit card fraud happens when your card data are compromised at the point of sale, such as at a gas station or grocery store. Or when your personal information is hacked online.

How it works

  • Fraudsters steal your information from unsecured websites you visited
  • Scammers have a device capable of duplicating your card
  • Card skimmers are installed at gas pump or self-checkout machines

How to protect yourself

  • When purchasing online, buy only from a credible merchant
  • Take extra precaution when dealing with an overseas merchant
  • You may want to check online reviews about the merchant
  • At gas stations or self-checkout counters, make sure the card reader doesn't look tampered
  • Protect your mobile devices (phones, tablets) with a password

 

Check Fraud

 

Check fraud can happen in a number of ways, such as forgery, altering or reproducing checks.

How it works

  • Fraudsters forge your signature to take money from your account
  • Scammers intercept your mail that contains a check and cash it themselves
  • If they know your checking and routing numbers, scammers can reproduce your checks

How to protect yourself

  • Avoid having checks sent by mail
  • Set up electronic payments with trusted merchants
  • Shred your old checks. The Credit Union hosts Shred Days twice a year.

 


 

Common Scams

Below is a list of common scams fraudsters use. Click on a topic below to learn  more.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Scams

Click here to learn more about these scams.

ROMANCE SCAMS

Click here to learn more about these scams.

DELINQUENT BILLING SCAMS

Click here to learn more about these scams.

TAX FRAUD

click here to learn more about this scam.

FRAUDULENT APPLE PAY ACTIVATIONS

Click here to learn more about this scam.

CAR LISTING SCAM

Click here to learn more about this scam.

ONLINE SELLING SCAM

Click here to learn more about this scam.

TRAVEL SCAMS

Click here to learn more about this scam.

ELDER ABUSE

Click here to learn more about this scam.

SALES CALL SCAM

Click here to learn more about this scam.

SOCIAL MEDIA SCAM

Click here to learn more about this scam.

GIFT CARD SCAM

Click here to learn more about this scam.

HOLIDAY SCAMS

Click here to learn more about this scam.

Prevention Tips

Stay secure online and over the phone

 

  • Protect your PINS and Security questions. Avoid using information that can be discovered on social media such as your mother's maiden name, your birth date, your pet's name, ect.
  • Use strong passwords. Create passwords which are complex and unique from accounts held elsewhere. For example: instead of Pizza1, use [email protected]
  • Keep it personal. When resetting or creating new passwords, do so from your own personal computer, smartphone, or tablet
  • Do not share sensitive information. Account numbers or Social Security numbers should not be shared over the phone, through the mail, or online, unless you initiated the contact or know with whom you are dealing. Remember: SF Fire Credit Union will never contact you to obtain your account/credit card number

Safeguard your email accounts

Many people save sensitive information and documents in their email systems, which can be used by identity theft criminals to commit fraud.

  • Be wise about Wi-Fi. Before you send personal information over your laptop or smartphone on a public wireless network in a coffee shop, library, airport, hotel, or other public place, see if your information will be protected. If you use an encrypted website, it protects only the information you send to and from that site. If you use a secure wireless network, all the information you send on that network is protected
  • Avoid Phishing Emails. Don't open files, click on links, or download programs sent by strangers. Opening a file from someone you don't know could expose your system to a computer virus or spyware that captures your passwords or other information you type
  • Protect yourself. Use firewall software to protect computer information. Be sure to keep virus and spyware software updates and current

 


 

 

If You're a Victim

 

If you find out you've been a victim of identity theft, here's what you should do:

  • If your accounts have been compromised or if your wallet is lost/stolen, notify us as soon as possible. Our Contact Center can be reached at 888-499-FIRE (3473), or via Live Web Chat.
  • Place a verbal password on your accounts to prevent thieves from calling in and finding out more about your financial transactions
  • File a police report and maintain a copy in your file for future reference
  • Keep an eye out for future attempts. Identity thieves will often lay low for months and then strike again, hoping to catch you off guard.

Let's Talk

As a local credit union, we measure our success one member at a time. We want to get to know you and help you achieve your goals. Come into a branch or call us today. Our people are happy to serve you.

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*Please note that 'After Hours Phone Support' is available outside of regular Contact Center Hours.

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