Tips for Fraud Protection

Cell phone fraud

Protect yourself from fraud by being aware. Here are a few tips.

Put a password on your accounts. When you call in after a password is set up, you'll have to know that password for the Member Service Representative to help you with account information.

Keep your contact information updated with us. If we detect fraud on your account, we will try to contact you with the phone numbers and email addresses you have on file. Make sure we have your current cell phone, home phone, email, and home address.

Get alerts - inside our Online Banking system, you can set up text alerts for your account. You set the amounts and your phone will alert you if a large withdrawal has occurred or if your account has dropped below a certain dollar amount.

ATM Skimming - skimming devices come in different shapes and sizes, but they pull off the machine easily. Before inserting your card, try jiggling the slot and see if it pops off. Skimming devices also need a camera pointed at the key pad, so look around or on the ATM for something that looks like a camera. Skimming devices have been found on ATMs inside and outside of buildings so always be diligent. They can also be found on gas pumps. If you find a skimming device, report it to the police immediately.

Watch out for Phishing. Synergy FCU will never call your home or cell number and ask you to reveal personal information. If you get a call and they ask you for your social security number or account access, just hang up!

Don't believe all those computer pop ups! If you get a computer pop up that says your computer could be infected and suggests you call a certain number (even if it's from a well known company), don't call it. Turn off your computer and contact your IT support immediately. Your IT person should be able to scan your computer for any potential virus that could have already been administered from an infected website and clear it off your computer before too much damage is done.

Don't open unknown attachments. If you get an attachment in an email that you aren't expecting or from someone you don't recognize, don't open it. If it's a zipped file, don't open it. If it's quarantined by your computers anti-virus program, don't try to open it. A lot of these will come from companies you may recognize - so be on alert and really think about if you are currently doing business with that company. If you are unsure, the safest thing to do is contact your IT support before clicking on anything.

Use strong passwords. Set up difficult passwords for your sensitive information. Use different passwords - if your password gets compromised from one site, the fraudsters will try that same password on other sites to gain access. It's also a good idea to change your passwords on a regular basis. Never share your password with anyone.

Read the fine print. If you get something in the mail, like a check you can cash, be sure to read the fine print. If it's from your primary financial institution, you can call the member service team and ask questions about it. If it's from someone you don't do business with, be wary! For example, people are getting checks in the mail encouraging them to use the money to get their kids ready for school. If you cash that check, it's considered a loan and the interest rates are outrageous, meaning you'll have to pay back way more than you are actually cashing.