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Fraud Prevention & Management

We are here to help you.

If you suspect you might be a victim of identity theft or that your account/profile has been compromised or that you have been a victim of account fraud please call us today at 800.548.5465.

Accordion Section

Follow these recommendations if you suspect or know that you have been a victim of identity theft.

Contact the Credit Bureaus

Place a fraud alert on your credit report by notifying the credit bureaus (listed below) of any identity theft incidents. You only need to contact one credit bureau as the agency you call is required to contact the other two. When you place a fraud alert on your credit report, any new credit requests or changes to existing account information will be reviewed very carefully to verify the requestor.

Equifax: 800.525.6285
Experian: 888.397.3742 
TransUnion: 800.680.7289


Contact ChexSystems

Contact ChexSystems at 888.478.6536 to place a security alert on the compromised checking and savings accounts when a deposit account has been impacted.


Report ID theft to the Federal Trade Commission

Call 1.877.IDTHEFT (877.438.4338) or TTY 1.866.653.4261 to report ID theft so that law enforcement across the country can use the information to help with its investigations. You can also report ID theft to the FTC online at identitytheft.gov.


Contact the Social Security Administration

If you think your identity or Social Security Number has been compromised, call the Social Security Administration Fraud hotline at 1.800.269.0271.


Order a credit report

Review your credit reports by carefully looking for any inconsistencies. If you find information on your credit report that you think is the result of identity theft (personal information or accounts), you can request the credit bureau to remove that information from your credit report. Continue to check your credit reports periodically, especially for the first year after you discover identity theft, to make sure no new fraudulent activity has occurred.


Close fraudulent accounts

If you find accounts have been opened in your name without your knowledge, contact the company directly and ask to have them closed. Inform the company that the account was opened fraudulently. Keep detailed notes of your conversation and ask for documentation showing the account has been closed.


File a police report

Contact your local and state law enforcement agency to file a report to help you with creditors who may need more information. A police report will be useful and is often required to close out fraudulent accounts.


Other Resources:

http://ftc.gov/idtheft

If your account information or login credentials have been compromised please call us at 800.548.5465.

Lost/Stolen Checkbook: Notify us so that we can take measures to protect your account. File a police report, if necessary.

Lost/Stolen Mobile Device: If you’ve lost your smartphone or tablet:

  • Alert your mobile carrier, if necessary
  • Contact PFCU and all other financial institutions accessed with the device
  • Change any usernames and passwords that may have been stored on your mobile device
  • Sign in to cloud based services (if applicable) and disable remote access and alerts for any mobile apps you have linked to your missing phone or device
  • File a police report, if necessary

Lost/Stolen Credit Card: To report lost/stolen credit cards please call 800.548.5465.

Mail Compromise: When mail is intercepted by a third party, account information such as names and balances may be at risk as a result of tampered mail. PFCU masks account numbers on statements and receipts, however, transaction history, names and other account information could be exposed if mail is compromised. Any exposed information can be used against you. If you suspect that your mail may be compromised contact the United States Postal Service. We recommend that you set up your account to receive statements electronically.

Debit Card Compromise: Often debit card data can be exposed in data breaches. If your card has been compromised, we'll deactivate the card and send you a new one. If your card has been lost or stolen please call 800.548.5465.

Online Service Compromise: These compromises may lead to fraudulent transactions through online/mobile channels. If your Online Banking credentials have been compromised we recommend for you to change your email address as well as changing your login credentials and ensuring that your account is enabled for multi-factor authentication. Call us as soon as possible so that we can review your account.

In addition, if a device has been compromised we recommend that you install antivirus software and/or scan your system for suspicious programs, and that you review your firewall. Please ensure that you have conducted all software/operating system updates.

If you suspect that any of your accounts with PFCU have been compromised, please notify us immediately. Together we will review your account and account history to flag fraudulent activity. In most cases, fraudulent transactions may be covered as long as you report them promptly. The most common methods of fraud being:

  • ATM/Debit Card Fraud 
  • Unauthorized ACH 
  • Wire Fraud 
  • Check Fraud 
  • Credit Card Fraud 
  • Online Service Fraud

Our security systems do monitor debit card transactions on your account and you may be contacted if we detect any suspicious activity. To verify transactions on your Power Financial Credit Union Visa Debit Card, please call 800.548.5465.

You can follow these easy steps to prevent compromises and fraud on your accounts. Protecting your information and monitoring your accounts is crucial for mitigating risks and for providing you with peace of mind. The sooner fraud is detected, the lower the financial impact.

 

Monitor your accounts online

Check your online account activity frequently for anything unusual. View your accounts via Online Banking or the Mobile App to detect fraud earlier and contact Power Financial Credit Union or other financial institution immediately if you see anything suspicious. Also, keep an eye on accounts that you share with your children, parents or other family members. If you suspect that any of your accounts with Power Financial Credit Union have been compromised, please notify us immediately at 800.548.5465.

 

Use online alert tools and services

Whenever possible sign up for email or text alerts via Online Banking that notify you. Enable push notifications via our Mobile App to receive alerts on your mobile device. It’s also helpful to set up threshold alerts that notify you of low account balances or unusually high account transactions. Alerts like these can help signal fraudulent spending, so you can put a stop to it quickly.

 

Use a credit monitoring service

Consider signing up for a credit monitoring service that notifies you when changes are posted to your credit report. This is one of the fastest ways to find out if someone has opened new accounts or loans in your name.

 

Warning signs of fraud

  • Financial institutions freeze accounts unexpectedly
  • Receiving credit cards without applying for them
  • Unreasonable denial of credit
  • Notification that you’ve been denied credit that you didn’t apply for
  • Debt collectors contact you about merchandise you didn't buy
  • Notifications about address, password or information changes that you did not make
  • Unexpected charges on your account
  • Unrecognizable accounts on your credit report or inaccurate information
  • Bills or statements unexpectedly stop arriving by US mail. (This could mean an identity thief has taken over your account and changed your billing address.)
  • Checks are significantly out of order on your bank statement
 

Know the popular scams

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Scams are not only limited to the Internet. Criminals also use phone, text, social media and email scams to gain personal information and commit fraud and identity theft. Here are a few typical identity theft and fraud scams.

 

Watch out for wire transfer email scams

Criminals are actively using email schemes to defraud financial institutions and their customers by deceiving them into conducting wire transfers that appear legitimate.

These schemes often target individuals purchasing real estate or other parties involved in the transaction (broker, title agent, attorney, buyer/seller), for the purpose of altering the payment instructions and diverting funds used to close the deal. To avoid falling victim to these wire transfer scams, make sure to:

  • Verify wire instructions independently with the intended recipient before sending any funds.
  • Be cautious when conducting any transactions online or with unknown third parties.

Other resources:

Federal Trade Commission 
Public Service Announcement 
Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

 

Too good to be true

  • You don't remember entering a lottery or contest, but are notified by phone, text, email or letter that you’ve won.
  • You’re promised to make extra money working at home in return for using your bank account to send or receive money.
  • You’re promised to receive a huge sum of money in return for transferring funds, often internationally.
 

Requests for money

  • You're asked to pay money in advance for "administration fees" or "taxes" prior to receiving a prize or winnings.
  • A friend sends an urgent request for money via email or a social media site. One common scam scenario leads you to believe that your friend is traveling in a foreign country and needs money wired to them immediately.
  • You get an email notification that you are entitled to a long, lost relative's inheritance, but you must send money to claim your portion.
  • An advanced fee is required to stop foreclosure, modify a loan or receive advice from a company or individual to stop paying your mortgage.

Other Resource:

FTC provides an informative video on this subject.

 

Shady sellers or buyers

  • While buying or selling a car online, you're asked to transfer funds or pay by mail via cashier’s check or money order.
  • The buyer overpays you with a check and asks you to refund the difference. Then the check bounces when you try to cash or deposit it later.
  • Always make sure checks have cleared before paying off loans and delivering items to a buyer.
  • Never trust a buyer or seller who refuses to talk on the phone or meet in person.
 

Do your homework

Take the time to verify any calls or emails that you receive about your finances by contacting your financial institution directly. Locate the contact information from their company website, your online statements or other materials from the company.

Prevent Mail Compromise

Sign up for online statements to reduce your chances of having your identity stolen through the mail. Power Financial Credit Union offers free online statements, for easy access to review of all your accounts. This will also allow for electronic delivery of your eNotices. Reviewing your transactions is the easiest way to catch unknown activity.

 

Don't respond to "phishing" emails

Criminals send out fake emails that appear to be from real businesses, hoping to reach customers. These emails are called phishing emails. It's one of the ways criminals try to trick customers into giving personal information like account numbers and passwords. Phishing emails don't just target bank account holders. Be on the lookout for fake emails from fraudsters pretending to be online retailers, utility companies and other businesses that use secure login systems.

If an email appears to be from Power Financial Credit Union but looks suspicious, forward it to us at listening@powerfi.org then delete it immediately from your inbox. Do not open email attachments or click links in emails if you do not personally know the sender. Instead of clicking a link in an email, type the URL directly in your browser or use favorites/bookmarks to access the website.

 

Protect your debit/credit card information

Power Financial Credit Union will never contact you by phone or text asking for sensitive debit card or credit card information. If something seems suspicious, call Power Financial Credit Union at 800.548.5465 to report your concerns.

 

Keep in mind

We may need to verify your identity when you call us directly at 800.548.5465. To verify it’s you, we might ask questions or send a code to read back to us over the phone. This is the only time we’ll ask for a code over the phone.

 

Watch out for "smishing" texts

Just like phishing emails, criminals send out fake SMS text messages with a link to a fraudulent website or a phone number to try and collect personal information. Power Financial Credit Union will never ask you to confirm or provide personal information in an unsolicited text. Text messages from Power Financial Credit Union will always include one of these short codes – 454545 or 25845.

Do not reply to any suspected smishing texts or click on any links in the text message. If a text appears to be from Power Financial Credit Union but looks suspicious, forward it to us at listening@powerfi.org.

 

Listen up for "vishing" phone calls

Fraudsters aren't just using new technology for scams. They still resort to tried-and-true tactics like vishing – an email or voicemail request asking you to call and provide personal information that can be used to access accounts or open new fraudulent accounts. If you suspect vishing, you should look up the organization and contact them directly to ask if the request is legitimate.

 

Verify online requests for money by friends or contacts

Be extremely wary when people you're connected to on social networks ask for money through instant message (IM) or email. Fraudsters have been known to hack social networks and assume the identity of real users, then send messages to their contacts stating the person has been robbed or is stranded somewhere and needs you to wire money in order to get home. If you receive one of these requests, contact the person by phone and verify the request is real.

Password protect your mobile device

Set your device to lock when it's not being used. This will help prevent someone from getting access to your personal data. We recommend that you do not share your mobile device with others.

 

Manage your privacy settings

Monitor how apps use your personal information. Make sure you feel comfortable with the way they use these details. For example, some apps share your location and phone number with other people in your vicinity.

 

Install software to find and remotely wipe your mobile phone

This software can help you locate your phone via GPS or remotely remove all data from your device, if it’s lost or stolen. There are a variety of security apps available that offer this feature.

 

Protect your personal information

Before responding to any request for personal, financial or account information, make sure you know who is asking and why they need it. Be extra careful if a request is made with an urgent or threatening tone. Criminals use this trick to get personal information to access your accounts or commit identity theft.

Power Financial Credit Union will never send you an email asking for personal information, account information, a username or password. If you receive an email that appears to be from Power Financial Credit Union requesting this information, please forward it to listening@powerfi.org.

Power Financial Credit Union serves members across South Florida with 8 full-service branches and offers convenient account access from anywhere using its secure Online Banking and highly-rated Mobile App.