Eight Ways to Keep Your Financial Information Safe

Jul 15, 2015 ​
We take your financial security seriously, and we proactively monitor and protect your data to prevent you from becoming a victim of identity or account theft.

But you play a role in your identity protection, too. Learn more about the top ways you can prevent fraud.

 

  1. Never give your ATM card or password to anyone, for any reason.
    Recent scams involve people loaning their ATM cards, even temporarily, to people they consider to be friends but don’t know well. Or they go to the ATM with a friend and deposit checks (which turn out to be counterfeit) on behalf of the friend and give the friend cash. Don’t do it! Keep your ATM card private.
  2. Never give your member number, Social Security number, or account information to anyone over the phone.
    Your credit union will not contact you to request this information. If someone calls and asks for it, hang up and call your credit union for advice.
  3. Beware of checks from strangers online.
    If you’ve sold something online and the purchaser sends you a check for more than the sale amount, and they ask that you send the remainder to them or someone else, don’t cash their check, and don’t send them any money.
  4. Verify work-from-home opportunities before committing.
    Some work-from-home setups are legitimate; some are not. Any entity that sends you a check before you’ve earned commission or pay should be thoroughly investigated. These scams can include letters inviting you to become a Mystery Shopper.
  5. Don’t be hoodwinked by online relationship site acquaintances.
    Some thieves use online dating sites to locate, befriend, and defraud unsuspecting people. They can be very persistent and persuasive. If you haven’t met them in person and you don’t know them well, avoid all financial interactions.
  6. Protect your postal mail, incoming and outgoing.
    If you have checks to mail, drop them off at the post office. Thieves break into group mailbox sites, individual mailboxes, and more. It’s far safer now to pay your bills electronically or automatically, to avoid mail theft. Your credit union offers free Bill Payer through Internet Banking.
  7. Use creative, detailed passwords, and change them often.
    One way to create useful, safe passwords is to use a sentence: Mydogisagoodpup1! They don’t have to be complicated. If you use numbers, capitals, letters, and symbols, you enhance the security (some sites require a mix of symbols). Or you can mix them up, like so: M1yd0gisAgoodpUp!
  8. Check your credit report yearly.
    Keep a close eye on your credit history to see if new accounts are being opened in your name, or whether forgotten or overlooked accounts are dragging down your score.

It’s very important to take precautions. You cannot recover your losses if you are defrauded in one of these ways, so it’s beneficial to investigate or find out more before you conduct business with someone you don’t know well.

If you ever suspect you might be a victim of fraud, contact your credit union immediately at 505-889-7755 (800-347-2838 outside the Albuquerque area). Here are other security sources for what to do if you think you might have inadvertently become involved in a scam.

Download a PDF of this document.

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