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Jun 26

2014

by Michelle

by Michelle, Assistant Vice President, Operations

by Michelle, Assistant Vice President, Operations

Being prepared is key when traveling out of the state or out of the country. Using your card is a safe and convenient way to pay for purchases while on vacation.  However, there are precautions that should be taken when traveling with plastic – for both debit and credit cards.

 

Call and let us know your travel plans. This can prevent our fraud monitoring systems from viewing your charges as suspicious and blocking further charges. Our computer programs that monitor your transactions can be tailored to fit your travel schedule. If our system spots unusual charges outside your normal spending profile – for example you live in San Francisco and you’re checking into a hotel in London– it might assume your card information has been stolen.

 

If we are not able to get in touch with you to verify charges, your card may be blocked until we can verify that it’s really you using the card. Remember, we will never ask for your credit card number or account number. You will be asked to verify ONLY the last four digits of your Social Security Number.

 

Here are a few phone numbers to take with you when you travel:

Pacific Service CU
(888) 858-6878 (925) 609-5288

 

After Hours
(866) 692-8669 – service center

 

(800) 543-5073 – report lost or stolen cards
(888) 241-2440 – declined transaction (using your PIN)

Outside US call collect (909) 941-1034
(800) 890-5097 – declined transaction (using signature)

Outside US call collect (727) 556-9000

 

Your pre-departure communication with us is also a good time to discuss any questions you may have regarding foreign transactions and provide us with the best way to reach you to verify spending.

 

By taking the time now to enable and protect your card, you can ensure that your travel plans will have no interruptions and you will receive all of the benefits your card has to offer.

May 1

2014

by Nannette, Vice President, Technology Solutions Group

by Nannette, Vice President, Technology Solutions Group

The use of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets has become commonplace for today’s consumer.  These devices may store passwords, banking information, contact information and other sensitive data.  With this information at your fingertips, it is important to keep your device up-to-date with the most current versions of virus protection and system software to ensure that your personal information is protected from unintended use.  Here are some ways to protect your mobile devices.

 

Software Updates From time to time, service providers will discover vulnerabilities that could pose a threat to the security of the information stored on or accessed from a mobile device.  The issue may be with the software that runs the operating system or with specific apps that you have downloaded to your device.

 

When a deficiency or defect is discovered, the provider usually develops a patch or an update for the issue and sends a message or indicator to the device that an update is available.  Software updates for Apple users appear as a number in the upper right corner of the Settings App.  Similar notification alerts are used for Android and other providers.

 

We recommend that you download any updates as soon as possible after notification to ensure that your device is protected from vulnerabilities and risks.  In addition, you should only perform updates from a secure Wi-Fi network.  Do not use an open, unencrypted network like those found at public coffee bars, hotels and airports.   Updates may take a long time to load, so make sure you have a stable internet connection and that you have enough battery life to complete the update.

 

Here are additional ways to protect your mobile devices and personal information:

 

Secure Networks and Websites Do not perform sensitive transactions through open, unencrypted Wi-Fi networks and NEVER provide your log-in and password information unless the connection and the website are secure.  In addition, you can determine whether a website is secure by looking for https:// at the beginning of the web address.

 

Applications To access sites that require a user name and password, we recommend downloading an official app from the store to your device.  The two most common provider stores are the Apple App Store and Google Play for Android.  Experts recommend that consumers should not download apps from any location except the official store.

 

Best Practices Although it may seem like common sense, here are a few final tips to help protect your personal information using mobile devices or desktop systems.  Do not store website passwords or log-in information.  Be sure that you log out of the app or browser session after each use.  Do not click on links through text or email if they seem suspicious or are from an unknown user.  Do not connect to unknown Wi-Fi networks.  Do not store sensitive information in accessible applications like notes, calendars or email.  Be sure that you perform all updates, stay current with software releases and keep your firewall active.

 

If you suspect that your account has been compromised, call a member service representative at (888) 858-6878.

Apr 9

2014

A new bug has infiltrated the internet. Heartbleed is a flaw in OpenSSL, the open-source encryption standard used by the majority of websites that need to transmit data users want to keep secure. It basically provides a secure connection when interacting with websites or sending email.

 

The bug opened the opportunity for hackers to access encrypted passwords, messages, and possibly other sensitive information.

 

The credit union has checked all of our online processing systems for this vulnerability and are pleased to report that we have NOT been impacted by the Heartbleed Bug. All of our online systems are secure and regularly tested to ensure they have NOT been breached or compromised.

 

Tips for protecting yourself:

Change your passwords for important sites – but, be sure to confirm with the service provider that they have not been compromised or that they have a fix in place BEFORE you change your password. Since we were not affected, you do NOT have to change your password for BranchLine or mobile banking, but you may do so if desired.

 

Keep a close eye on financial statements from all providers – because attackers may be able to access a server’s memory for credit card information, it is a good idea to watch for unfamiliar charges on your statements. You can view current PSCU transactions through BranchLine.

 

Check with other businesses that have your data – to make sure they are secure. While large companies know about the problem, smaller companies may not be aware, or as proactive as large companies to implement a fix.

 

Read more

 

For more information, please call a member service representative at (888) 858-6878.

Mar 26

2014

by Michelle, Assistant Vice President, Operations

by Michelle, Assistant Vice President, Operations

A recent scam affecting consumers involves fraud artists gaining access to your home computer to steal private information, data and files.

 

Here’s how it works.

A fraudster calls you on the phone claiming to be a Microsoft technical support employee. They may offer to speed up your computer, troubleshoot any performance issues or help you upgrade your software. With your cooperation, they dial in to your computer, which gives them access to your files.

 

Once they are logged into your computer, they can:

Install malicious software or spyware to capture personal and financial information, including user names and passwords.

 

Control your computer remotely, even after they claim to have logged off and after your phone call has ended.

 

Instruct you to access fraudulent websites that collect personal and financial information.

 

Additionally, at the end of the call, these scammers may attempt to collect your credit card information to charge you for their time and services.

 

In response to these scams, Microsoft has stated, “Neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes.”

 

Do not trust unsolicited callers claiming to provide computer services. If a caller claiming to represent Microsoft contacts you, do not purchase any software or services from them. Most importantly, do not give them control of your computer.

 

As always, we encourage you to trust your instincts and never provide personal information to strangers.

 

If you suspect that your account has been compromised, immediately call a member service representative at (888) 858-6878. After hours, for debit or credit card fraud, please call (800) 543-5073 to block your card.

 

We can cancel compromised cards, change your account number or add a password to your account for future transactions if it becomes necessary.

 

 

Feb 11

2014

The IRS has issued a warning to consumers about fraudulent charity scams.  Fraudulent scams capitalize on the goodwill of the public with the intent to steal money or identities.

 

The IRS warns that scams of this nature are most rampant following major disasters, like recent devastating tornados or typhoons.  Disasters are the most popular times for this type of fraud because of the surge of good will surrounding a catastrophic event, and suspicious circumstances are more likely to be overlooked because of the immediacy of need.

 

The scammers pose as a legitimate charity using several different methods.  They may claim to be an employee or volunteer of a legitimate charity.  They may use company names that sound similar to real charities.  They may use email that link respondents to fraudulent websites.  Or, they may use phone calls or emails to solicit donations requiring personal or financial information in attempt to commit identity theft.

 

You can protect yourself in several ways:

 

Verify that the charity is legitimate. 
The IRS and FEMA both offer online tools to search for qualified tax-deductible organizations.

Don’t share your personal financial information.
Never share your Social Security Number, credit card numbers, your credit union account number or your passwords with anyone.  Often these donation attempts are a way to access much more than your intended donation amount.

Don’t send cash.
Cash isn’t a traceable way to record donations for tax purposes, but it’s also not very secure.  Use a check or other payment method to properly document your transaction.

 

If you think you may be a victim of charity-related fraud, report the incident to the IRS using the Reporting Phishing link.

 

If you suspect that your account has been compromised, immediately call a member service representative at (888) 858-6878. After hours, for debit or credit card fraud, please call (800) 543-5073 to block your card.

 

We can cancel compromised cards, change your account number or add a password to your account for future transactions if it becomes necessary.

 

by Michelle, AVP, Operations

 
   
 
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SECURITY NOTIFICATION
For website security purposes and to ensure that access to the Pacific Service Credit Union (PSCU) website remains available to all users, PSCU may enable the use of software programs to monitor and record network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or otherwise cause damage. Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this website and any other illegal activities are strictly prohibited, may be reported to law enforcement agencies and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and Title 18 U.S.C. Sec.1001 and 1030.
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