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.
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.
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.