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As a nonprofit, full-service financial institution, part of our mission is to provide financial education so you can feel confident that you're making informed financial decisions.

 

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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.

 

 

Aug 22

2013

Great news! You asked and we listened. eCommunications is here. Now you can get away from the cost and clutter of paper and elect to receive communication via email.

 

The safe, fast and environmentally-friendly option of email communication now includes tax forms, disclosures, statements and select notices.

 

When new statements, forms or notices are available, we’ll send you an email notification, instead of paper. It’s that simple.

 

Even if you’ve already elected to receive your statements electronically, you must also elect to receive eCommunications.

 

Enroll now with two easy clicks.

 

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

 

by Nannette, Vice President, Technology

Jun 18

2013

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These days, your smartphone probably carries more confidential information than your wallet. Phones often have password vaults or stored passwords, banking information, your contact information and more. Now that your phone is more important than your wallet, phone theft is the new purse snatching. So, how can you keep your personal information safe?

 

Password
The first step is to lock your phone with a password. It’s basic and not foolproof; however, it’s the easiest deterrent for thieves that want quick access to your personal information. If they can’t access your information quickly after stealing your device, you will have time to report the loss and the thieves may move on.

 

Password Storage
Don’t store critical personal data in accessible applications, like notes, calendars or email. If you want to use your device as a password vault, consider a password and data vault app, like Secure Wallet, eWallet or Google Wallet, to safely house your secure data.

 

Remote Access
Use remote access like wi-fi and Bluetooth only when you need it and only from trusted sources, especially if conducting financial business. Don’t opt to have your phone automatically connect to nearby wi-fi networks and be sure to turn your Bluetooth availability off when not in use.

 

Applications
Instead of using your mobile browser, download an application, or “app,” instead. As long as you download from your device’s official store or marketplace, applications are safer than simply shopping or accessing websites online because they can help protect you from fraudulent phishing sites. You should also consider installing antivirus protection on tablets and notebooks. Be sure to download from your official app store or marketplace.

 

Logout
When accessing personal or financial information online, don’t skip the important step of logging out. Logging out closes your session and shuts down access to someone trying to access the site or app after you.

 

Additionally, don’t let your browser or device save your passwords. Enter your password for access every time.

 

Delete
When you get rid of your phone, be sure to wipe it clean of all data. Typically, phones have an option to erase the content or return it to the original factory settings.

 

As always, we encourage you to stay informed about current scams. We regularly post scam alerts and risks associated with banking on our blog.

 

If you suspect that you have been a victim of fraud or your account has been compromised, immediately call a member service representative at (888) 858-6878. We can cancel compromised Pacific Service CU cards, change your account number or add a password to your account for future transactions.

 

You may also be interested in:
The Keys to Passwords
Mobile Fraud – The Rumors Dispelled
Using online channels to prevent fraud

 

by Nannette, Vice President, Technology Solutions Group

Oct 23

2012

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As mobile banking adoption increases, so does the risk of fraud.  Compared to other types of fraud, the risk of mobile fraud is still comparatively low; however, we encourage you to stay informed about fraud risks as they develop.  Here’s a little bit about the most common mobile threats.

 

Mobile Hacking
Mobile hacking is still a fairly uncommon crime, however, if you are targeted, fraudsters could potentially record your keystrokes, control your apps or steal your information.  To protect yourself, don’t connect to unknown wi-fi networks, don’t download unknown apps, and don’t click on links via text or email if they seem suspicious or are from unknown people.

 

Mobile Malware
Although this is possible, it’s not probable at this point.  Experts do warn that mobile malware attacks are on the rise and will continue to increase in the coming years as users move more toward the concept of a mobile wallet.  However, for now; the technology is very new and fraud attempts are very low compared to the more common malware attacks on your desktop or laptop computer.

 

Text Messaging
The risk of text banking involves sending secure information over a very lightly secured wireless channel.  Companies typically caution consumers to minimize what they share via text; however, users often still send account numbers and personal information.  We recommend that you opt for a more secure mobile banking channel like a native application that you download to your phone, like the one we offer.  Search for your financial institution’s app at an official app store like the Apple App store or the Android Marketplace.

 

Fraudulent Applications
Fraudulent applications must be downloaded to infect your phone.  Often these downloadable apps claim to offer additional security for your phone or offer a protected login to other accounts.  Lower the risk of downloading fraudulent apps by shopping at official app stores like the Apple App Store or the Android Marketplace.

 

Theft
The most realistic and common threat right now is that your phone is physically stolen.  You can start by protecting your phone with a password.  It’s not foolproof, but it is a deterrent.  Second, most smart phones offer remote access.  Your phone provider should be able to tell you if your device offers GPS.  If you can’t find your phone, you may be able to track it from a computer or another device to see its location.  You can also ask your phone provider to see if you can remotely erase your phone.  In the event your phone has been permanently lost or stolen, you may be able to remotely clear your phone’s contents.

 

Most importantly, don’t store any personal information on your phone like passwords or social security numbers.  If you do use your phone for private data, consider a password and data vault app, like Secure Wallet,  eWallet or Google Wallet, to safely house your secure data.  Again, lower risks by only downloading apps from official app stores like the Apple App Store or the Android Marketplace.

 

Don’t underestimate the importance of strong, unique and varied passwords.  Using the same password on your financial apps that you use on your more common apps could make login information easily accessible by a fraudster.

 

Protect Yourself
As always, we encourage you to stay informed about current scams.  We regularly post scam alerts and risk associated with banking so stay tuned.

 

If you suspect that you have been a victim of fraud or your account has been compromised, immediately call a member service representative at (888) 858-6878.  We can cancel compromised cards, change your account number or add a password to your account for future transactions.

Aug 21

2012

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eStatements are a win-win for everyone.  Here are some reasons that savvy members choose “e.”

 

Reduce Waste
Receiving statements electronically is a great way to “go green” by eliminating the paper waste.

 

Speed
You’ll receive your statement several days sooner.  No more waiting for the mail, your email notification is sent as soon as statements are available.

 

Safety
Using eStatements can protect your account information.  Since there’s no paper, you can prevent mail tampering and the risks of maintaining paper records in your home.

 

Organization
You don’t have to file away your paper statement just in case you may one day need it and then search your house when you do.  We’ll store them for you clutter-free.  Whenever you need to reference your financial history, simply login to BranchLine.

 

Cheaper
eStatements are a cost savings for the Credit Union.  As a cooperatively-owned financial institution, when we save money, we put that money back into the organization for our members’ benefit.  We provide lower fees, lower loan rates and higher savings rates.  We also invest in ways to better serve our members, like home banking improvements, the shared branch network and mobile banking.

It’s easy to cancel your paper statements.  Simply login to BranchLine, click eStatements and change your preference to “Cancel Paper.”

 

by Kristin, Vice President, Marketing

 
   
 
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