Your Protection is Our Highest Priority
PA Central is committed to maintaining the security of your personal information, and the protection of your accounts. Please review the following information pertaining to some common scams as well as security measures PA Central continues to enforce.
NCUA operates an online Fraud Prevention Center that offers additional information about avoiding frauds and scams on its MyCreditUnion.gov website.
Tips On How To Protect Yourself:
- Never provide your password over the phone or in response to any unsolicited requests. PA Central FCU will never call you to ask you for your password
- Do not reply to suspicious emails or respond by clicking on a link within the email message. PA Central FCU will never ask you to provide any kind of confidential or financial details via an email request.
- Treat these kinds of emails with suspicion. Never provide your personal information in response to an unsolicited request, whether it is over the phone or through the internet. Emails and internet pages created by phishers may look exactly like the real thing. They may even have a fake padlock icon that is used to denote a secure site. Do not provide any personal or financial information. PA Central FCU will not request information in this manner.
Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Identity theft occurs when your personal identification information is obtained and used by an imposter to access your financial accounts, open new financial accounts under your name, or otherwise acquire similar benefits using your identity. While PA Central’s branch banking, Virtual Branch Online Banking, and and free Mobile App are safe and secure, it’s still important to be cautious with your personal information and to protect it from fraudsters, because in today’s electronic age, criminals have more means to acquire individuals’ personal information than ever before.
Awareness of identity theft and other scams will help you keep your money safe. Read on to learn more about identity theft, scams and the precautions you can take to prevent fraud from occurring.
Phishing, Vishing and Smishing Scams
Phishing scams are email scams that attempt to acquire your personal information for fraudulent purposes through email communications. These emails, which appear to be from known and trusted entities (such as your credit union, online payment processors, auction sites or social websites) ask you to confirm or provide personal information by clicking on a provided link. This link then directs you to a fake website that also appears to be from the same trusted entity. Once this information is acquired, criminals can use the provided information to access your financial accounts or open new financial accounts under your name.
Vishing and Smishing are scams very similar to phishing, however these scams are carried out using telephone or text message communications, respectively.
Fake Check Scams
There are many versions of a fake check scam. However, the result is the same. Scammers lure consumers into depositing a cashier’s check, money order or other checking instrument from someone that they don’t know and wiring or sending money to the scammers.
When the check is discovered to be fraudulent, the damage may already have been done. Once a victim wires or sends funds from such a check, he or she may be responsible for reimbursing the financial institution for that amount. Typically, the financial institution will not cover the financial loss and expects the victim to pay the difference.
The Federal Trade Commission issued a fake check scam alert (January 2021). These checks can be hard to recognize. They may be printed with the names, addresses and logos of legitimate financial institutions. Consumers are reminded to be on the alert and to not be pressured into wiring funds or sending money after depositing a check.
If you think you or someone you know was the victim of a fake check scam, consider taking the following steps:
Contact your local law enforcement agency to report the scam.
Contact your state’s attorney general. Contact information for each state’s attorney general can be found on the National Association of Attorneys General website.
File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Your complaint will be filed into a secure online database, which is used by many local, state, federal and international law enforcement agencies. Complaints from consumers help detect patterns of fraud and abuse.
If you or the victim is an older adult or a person with a disability, contact your local adult protective services agency. You can find local support resources using the online Eldercare Locator or by calling 800-677-1116.
Tips to Avoid Identity Theft and Scams
- Never provide your account numbers, PINs or other confidential information by phone or e-mail unless you initiated the contact and you’re sure know who are speaking with. Remember, PA Central will never contact you and ask for your account number or PIN by phone, e-mail or fax.
- Sign up for PA Central’s free E-Statements and cancel paper statements. This reduces the amount of your personal information that’s documented in print, therefore limiting your exposure to identity theft. If you absolutely must receive paper statements, shred them before discarding.
- Sign up for PA Central’s free Online Bill Pay to limit your exposure to identity theft.
- Shred any documents containing personal and financial information, including pre-screened credit card offers sent in the mail.
- Do not carry your social security card in your wallet and do not have your social security number printed on your checks.