Financial Safety Tips
Safeguard Your Account Information
Use your debit and credit cards online and in-person only with trusted retailers and shield your plastic cards from view when using them in public. Never relinquish your account or card information (account number, card number, expiration date, or security code) in response to an unsolicited e-mail, text message or phone call. Even if the solicitation appears to be generated from a reputable retailer or financial institution, do not respond and do not click on any links within the email.
UECU protects the privacy of its members and will NEVER request personal information such as usernames, account numbers, PINs, or Social Security numbers in an email, text message, or voicemail. If you ever receive a message that APPEARS to be from UECU asking for this information, please contact us immediately by calling our main number, 800-288-6423.
Monitor Your Accounts for Suspicious Activity
You can monitor your accounts through your account statements or online via Internet Banking. If you notice anything suspicious, contact your financial institution immediately, so they can block the account from future fraudulent purchases. In the event that your credit or debit card information is lost or stolen, it is extremely important that you act quickly. This reduces the potential that your card information could be compromised. As soon as you notice the card is missing, you should contact the retailer or financial institution that issued the card to you. This is why it is necessary to write down or store the 1-800 numbers that are printed on the back of each of your debit/credit cards.
Protect Your Credit; Review Your Credit Report Annually
You can obtain a free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, once per year. To access a free copy of your credit report, visit AnnualCreditReport.com or call the toll free number 877-322-8228. While reviewing your credit report, look for credit cards or lines of credit that you did not apply for, requests or inquiries for credit that you did not make, and information on your credit report that is inaccurate, such as addresses or account information. If you notice incorrect information, immediately report it to the creditor that issued the loan, credit card, or line of credit and the credit bureau that issued the credit report.
Shred Documents that Contain Sensitive Information
Identity thieves can retrieve your personal information from your trash, if you do not properly shred documents that contain personal and bank-related information. Be sure to shred checks, bank statements, invoices, receipts, insurance forms, credit card applications, as well as credit card offers, and expired credit/debit cards.
Protect Yourself at the ATM
Check out your surroundings as you approach the ATM; make sure that nothing looks suspicious. Look at the machine to make sure that it appears to be well maintained and up to date. Also, be aware of anyone who could be approaching you to obtain your card information, such as someone reading over your shoulder. Touch the card reader before you insert your debit card, if it feels loose or as though it has been tampered, do not insert your card. If the card reader appears to be intact, complete your transaction, remove your card and be sure to retrieve your receipt. Never leave the receipt behind at the ATM; receipts should always be shredded as they may contain confidential account information.
Protect Your Computer and Mobile Devices
Since most banking transactions are now done through a computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device, it is very important that you protect access to these devices. Be sure to update your virus protection software regularly. Use caution when reviewing email; do not open attachments, click on hyperlinks, or download programs sent to you by unknown individuals or companies, as they may contain a virus. Protect your computer with a firewall program; firewalls help to guard your computer from hackers attempting to gain access to personal information stored on your computer. Update your browser, make sure that you are using the most up to date version; this helps to ensure that information shared over the Internet is encrypted and secure. Do not store personal or bank-related information on your computer. Create strong online passwords; include capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Always remove all personal information from your devices before you dispose of them.
If You Become a Victim of Identity Theft, Act Quickly
Notify all of your financial intuitions and credit card companies. Also, contact one of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian or Transunion) and place a fraud alert on your credit report. Continue to monitor your accounts closely. If you are concerned about identity theft, protect yourself with LifeLock®. They back their clients with a $1 million service guarantee‡. UECU is currently offering LifeLock to members at a discount rate. For details, visit uecu.org/LifeLock
‡ Service Guarantee benefits for State of New York members are provided under a Master Insurance Policy issued by State National Insurance Company. Benefits for all other members are provided under a Master Insurance Policy underwritten by United Specialty Insurance Company. Under the Service Guarantee LifeLock will spend up to $1 million to hire experts to help your recovery. Please see the policy for terms, conditions and exclusions at LifeLock.com/legal.