Security Center

Security Alerts

 

Fraudulent Electronic Check Deposits

Now that depositing a check is as easy as taking a picture with your mobile phone, scammers are learning to take advantage of this new technology.

Using social media channels such as Facebook, scammers endeavor to connect to individuals in order to gain trust and ultimately personal information. Many pose as recruiters for work at home jobs that offer attractive earnings, while others attempt to gain your account credentials so they can access your account(s) and funds directly.

One version of the work at home scam requires you to deposit a check for an amount greater than what you are owed, together with a request to return the over payment back to the sender. The original check ultimately is returned and the account holder loses the over payment amount they provided to the fraud artist.

Another version requires credentials such as account number, social security number and password to be provided as part of the work at home application process. The fraud artist then uses the deposit capture capability on their mobile phone to take a picture of a bogus check, and deposit it to your account. They subsequently make a withdrawal from your account through an ATM or other source. The counterfeit check is then returned and the deposit reversed.

There are numerous fraud scams involving social media. You can protect yourself by following these simple tips:

  • Never share your personal or account information with anyone and never store sensitive information in a location where it could easily be accessed.
  • Know who you are doing business with and verify any requests or solicitations before responding.
  • Only click on links or download files (video and advertisements) that you are absolutely certain are from trusted sources. Scammers can download viruses, Trojans, and other programs designed to steal your information or track your activity.
  • Trust your instincts. If you suspect something may not be right, do not proceed.

Remember that we will never contact you and request personal or account information. 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.

Telephone Scams

It is an on-going effort to keep our members up-to-date on the latest scams and ways to protect your personal information and accounts. The following are two of the latest scams and some tips to keep in mind:

Automated Calling Services

There are many scammers using automated calling services requesting a call back to collect personal information from you.  Pacific Service CU does not use an automated calling service to notify you of issues with your account or to request personal information.  However, we may contact you through an automated calling service when our state-of-the-art credit and debit card monitoring system detects a suspicious transaction. In this case, you will only need to confirm the last 4 digits of your social security number.  If you have concerns, call us directly at (888) 858-6878.

Remember that Pacific Service CU will never contact you via phone, email or text message asking you to provide passwords, login names, social security numbers, or other personal information. If you receive a message asking you to call back with personal information like this, do not call the number provided in the message.  Personal information should only be disclosed by phone if you initiated the contact directly with the company you are doing business with.

Convincing Phone Calls

Scammers may sound very convincing over the phone. They use fake names and usually have done a lot of homework on their targets. Do not fall victim to these clever thieves.

The IRS has recently reported a phone scam where the caller is pretending to be an employee of the IRS.  Read more about this scam alert.

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. After hours, for debit or credit card fraud, please call (800) 543-5073. We can cancel compromised cards, change your account number or add a password to your account for future transactions.

Charity Scam Following Disasters

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, and 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.

Unauthorized Card Access

As a valued Pacific Service CU member, we want you to know that it is our top priority to maintain the privacy and security of all of our cardholders. When there are data breaches at retailers such as Target and Home Depot, we work with Visa Inc. to determine the number of cards which were impacted by this unauthorized access. If we determine that any card is at risk, you will be notified and your card will be blocked and replaced. However, the card will be available for use until the new card is activated.

Your Pacific Service CU Visa debit or credit card features Visa’s Zero Liability policy which provides added security against fraudulent activity. In addition, our fraud monitoring systems work 24/7 and are designed to recognize suspicious charges and fraud on your accounts.

We encourage you to monitor your accounts for unauthorized activity. You can check transaction history and set up email alerts in BranchLine. We strongly caution you not to provide any information to those calling you claiming to be Pacific Service CU. These scams are intended to gather more information about you and your account in an attempt to use your old or possibly your new Pacific Service CU card(s). If you notice anything suspicious, please call a member service representative at (888) 858-6878 as soon as possible.

Online Photos, Dating, and Employment Scam

As part of our commitment to protecting members and their finances, we post current scams and provide tips on how to protect your personal information and accounts. Three new scams are making headlines and have even affected some Pacific Service CU members.

Online Photo Sharing Scam
The FBI has put out an alert about cyber criminals using online photo sharing programs to gain access and harm victims’ computers. The scammer advertises a product online. To see photos of the sale item, the buyer must provide an email address. The scammer sends either an attachment or a link to a gallery of photos, both of which infect the recipient’s computer with malicious software.

There are several ways you can protect yourself from a scam of this nature. First, keep your computer software, anti-virus software, anti-spy software, firewalls and operating system up to date and set your anti-virus software to scan files before downloading them.

Additionally, when shopping online, stick to reputable retailers. If an item price seems much lower than it should be, the retailer may be fraudulent. Use extra caution when contacted directly by the seller after losing an online auction claiming that the original buyer fell through.

Dating Scam
Online dating continues to rise in popularity. Although this can be a great way to meet someone, unfortunately, it can also attract fraudsters. Here’s how the scam usually works. The fraudster reaches out to the victim online. Over the course of weeks or even months, the communication continues and the two form a connection. Victims may even receive flowers or gifts. Ultimately, however, the fraudster will ask for money or ask the victim to perform a favor by cashing a check for them. The money borrowing continues until the victim realizes they have been scammed.

The FBI reports several common threads in scams of this nature. The scammer professes instant feelings of love, sends photos that look too professional, claims to be traveling or working abroad, or asks to leave the dating website to communicate using personal email. Stories often include a personal tragedy, financial hardship or the inability to cash checks where they’re working or traveling.

To protect yourself, stick to nationally-known, reputable dating sites. Do not cash checks for someone else, wire money, provide your account number, or setup automatic transfers to strangers. Above all, trust your instincts. If a situation seems suspicious, it probably is.

This type of crime is often underreported because the victims are embarrassed. If you think you’ve been a victim of a dating scam, the FBI recommends that you file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Employment Scam
Online employment scams are a common type of fraud. Here’s how the scam usually works. A job seeker applies online and after an email exchange, is hired. The employer may ask the prospective employee to provide personal information to set up employee benefits. Or, in order to receive paychecks via online, to set up an automatic transfer to their account, the employer then asks to verify automatic transfers, which often give the fraudster access to the employee’s account.

Employment scams, although often intricate and authentic in their appearance, are simply an attempt to gain personal information and commit identity theft. To protect yourself, keep your personal information private. Never provide account numbers, account access, social security numbers or any personal information to strangers.

If you suspect you have been a victim of fraud, or that your account has been compromised, immediately call a member service representative at (888) 858-6878. The sooner we know about fraud attempts, the sooner we can act to protect you. We can cancel compromised cards, change your account number, or add a password to your account for future transactions if it should become necessary.

Lottery: Sweepstakes Scam

As part of our ongoing commitment to informing and protecting members, we post details about current scams and provide tips on how to protect your personal information and accounts.

Lottery and sweepstakes scams continue to affect consumers worldwide. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) listed this type of fraud as the fourth largest complaint category in 2012, with nearly 100,000 filed complaints.

Last month, the FTC and a federal court stopped a massive sweepstakes scam that amounted to an estimated $11 million in fraud.

Here’s how the scams work:

Intended victims receive letters in the mail telling them they’ve won large amounts of money. All they have to do to receive the money is mail in a small fee, typically $20-$50, right away. The letters appear very official, including stamps, seals, bar codes and financial routing numbers. Targeted victims are often older individuals who are very trusting.

To protect yourself from these types of scams, remember that legitimate sweepstakes do not require you to pay any money to receive a prize. You should never disclose your personal information, including checking account numbers, debit card numbers or credit card numbers to unknown people over the phone, online or by mail.

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

 

Account Security

Credit and Debit Card Monitoring

We use state of the art security to identify purchases outside of your normal spending pattern.  If a suspicious transaction is detected, the transaction may be denied until we can contact you to verify the transaction.  If you are contacted by a fraud specialist, you will be asked the last four digits of your social security number.  You should not be asked for nor should you supply any other personal information.

Additionally, if Visa, Inc. notifies us that your ATM, debit or credit card account number was obtained by unauthorized sources and your card or personal information may have been compromised, we may take immediate action.  Meaning, we may block your card and reissue you a new card and PIN to protect you from potential fraud.

Visa’s Zero Liability Coverage

When you sign for your purchases instead of using your PIN, you are automatically covered by Visa’s Zero Liability coverage. That means you pay nothing in the event of fraudulent activity provided you let us know within 60 days. Furthermore, Visa’s cardholder protection policy requires all financial institutions issuing Visa products to extend provisional credit for losses from unauthorized card use within five business days of notification of the loss, which means you won’t have to wait for resolution on a dispute before you get your money back.

Transaction Alerts

Transaction alerts notify you about activity on your account. It’s easy to set up alerts. Using BranchLine, online banking, click on “Manage Profile,” then “Manage Alerts.”  You can elect to receive email notifications for most account activity, for example, when a check clears, when your debit card is used, or when your direct deposit is credited.

How We Protect You  

Pacific Service CU will never contact you via phone, email or text message asking you to provide passwords, login names, social security numbers, or other personal information.  Do not respond to any request to update your account or personal information. Please notify us immediately if you receive such a request.

Mobile and Online Banking Security


Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of protection and level of security for your BranchLine session.  It provides an additional verification step from your User ID and Password.

The second level of verification uses an image, a caption and three challenge questions selected by you.  Upon each login, BranchLine should display your correct image and caption assuring that you are on our legitimate site.

If your image and caption do not appear, do not enter your password because you may be on a fraudulent site. Call a member service representative at (888) 858-6878. If you’re accessing BranchLine using an unregistered computer, you may be asked your challenge questions.

Furthermore, if it is determined that your BranchLine transaction is a high risk transaction, an additional verification step may be required. This verification may include knowledge-based questions, a phone call to a selected phone number on file, or a text message to a text-enabled phone number on file.

Transport Layer Security (TLS) Encryption

When using our online or mobile banking services, all data is protected by 2048-bit RSA TLS encryption technology, providing one of the highest levels of security for protecting confidential transmissions of data.  However, as with any electronic banking service, you should still observe reasonable security precautions. Never access your secure information through an unsecure Wi-Fi service, like those available in airports or coffee shops.   Like any computer, your web-enabled mobile device is susceptible to viruses, malicious sites and applications. Please be sure to use caution when opening emails, clicking on links and surfing the web via your mobile device as you do with your computer.



Mobile Applications

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.

In order for your mobile device to be infected, fraudulent applications must be downloaded to your mobile device.  Often these downloadable apps claim to offer additional security for your mobile device or offer a protected login to other accounts.  We recommend that you opt for a more secure mobile banking channel like a native application that you download to your mobile device, like the one we offer.  Search for your financial institution’s app at an official application store such as Apple’s App store or Google’s Play store.

Online Channels to Help Prevent Fraud

Using electronic services can help keep your identity safe.  Pacific Service CU’s electronic delivery channels are free, easy to use and can be a crucial component in data protection and fraud prevention. Here’s how you can use eServices to stay aware of risks and help prevent being exposed to fraud:

  • Online Banking - Using online banking, BranchLine, you can securely access your accounts and view your up-to-the-minute balances.  That means you can easily monitor your account activity and identify suspicious or fraudulent activity.
  • eStatements - Receiving your statements electronically is  a great way to protect your account information.  Since there’s no paper, you can avoid mail tampering and the exposure of your paper records in your home or garbage.
  • Bill Pay - Paying bills electronically protects your personal information in several ways.  First, you don’t have to give other vendors your bank account number to debit your account. Additionally, most bills are paid electronically, meaning a paper check is not issued and sent through the mail – minimizing the risk of theft or loss.

Online Protection

We encourage members to be vigilant with their personal and account information. It is important to protect yourself and your computer while using the Internet. Protecting your computer from vulnerabilities includes keeping others out of your computer’s personal files, preventing attacks passed through your email to your contacts or inadvertently downloading malicious software. Here are great tips on how to protect the personal information on your computer:

  • Keep your computer’s firewall turned on.  A personal firewall is an application which controls network traffic to and from a computer based on a security policy. Encryption should also be enabled for your router firewall and your wireless network, if you have those set up.
  • Keep your operating system, anti-spyware and anti-virus software up to date.  When vulnerabilities are discovered, computer vendors develop software patches to address them.  However, it is up to you to obtain and install the most up-to-date fixes.
  • Passwords are important.  Create custom user IDs and passwords, even for your personal computer, router or wireless network.
  • Be cautious.  Avoid downloading files or attachments from websites or senders that you don’t know or trust.

Visit the Microsoft Online Safety page for more information and tips. 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.

Fraud Prevention Tips

Password Protection

In the wake of breaches of personal information, we are reminded about the timely importance of securing and updating our online passwords. Here are a few best practices to help protect your passwords.

  • Use a “complex” password with a series of capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.  Increasing a password’s complexity increases your security. Here’s a trick: Using a phrase, you can create a strong password that’s easy to remember. For example, A41&14a is an easy-to-remember acronym for “All for one and one for all.”
  • Don’t use the same password to access all of your online accounts.
  • Passwords should be updated every few months. It may be helpful to change your password-protected websites on a rotating cycle to be sure that you are always using an up-to-date, secure password.
  • Consider using a secure wallet to store your passwords. You would only have to remember one password. The secure wallet stores passwords securely and is encrypted.

If you suspect your Pacific Service CU accounts have been compromised, contact us immediately at (888) 858-6878 so that we can assist you in safeguarding your information.

Review Your Credit Report

Skilled identity thieves use a variety of methods to gain access to your personal information. The best way to protect yourself is to educate yourself against fraud such as identity theft and to be aware of common scams. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a great resource for consumer information about Identity Theft and Current Scams.

Another important way to combat fraudulent activity on your accounts is to get a credit report. New laws allow one free credit report per consumer per year. Credit reports will show any new account activity recorded in your name. If an identity thief has opened credit accounts in your name, they will show up on this report.

We encourage members to review their credit report annually. Here’s what you should look for and what it means to your credit:

  • Accuracy - Review the entire report for general accuracy.  If you see any accounts that you didn’t open or any errors with existing accounts, you should contact the credit bureau to initiate the process to correct them.
  • Inquiries - Your credit report will show who has been accessing your credit report.  Soft inquiries include inquiries made by creditors with whom you already have a credit account, inquiries where you’re monitoring your own credit, or when your credit is checked by a lender to make you a pre-approved credit offer.  Since lenders are not making a lending decision or guaranteeing approval, these inquiries are typically considered promotional and won’t affect your credit score.  Hard inquiries occur when a business has accessed your credit report in connection with an application for credit.  If you see any hard inquiries that you don’t recognize, it may be an indicator that someone is trying to use your credit score or is committing identity theft.  In that event, report the inquiry to the credit bureau.
  • Credit monitoring – Consider using a credit monitoring service. Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion all offer fee-based monitoring services. Other resources include LifeLock and Identity Guard.

You can access your free credit report here.

ATM Security

The simplest and most effective way to protect your ATM card and PIN is to cover the keypad from view when you enter your PIN. Developing this simple habit can prevent thieves from accessing your money.

If you’ve used an ATM in the past and you remember it being a motorized ATM (one that takes and holds your card during your transaction) and now it’s a “dip” ATM (one that you simply dip in and pull your card out), take caution. A skimming device may be attached.

Similarly, if the card swipe doesn’t match the color or style of the ATM machine, it might be a skimmer. Compare the card device to others at nearby ATMs or gas pumps. Gas stations that ask for your zip code instead of your PIN may be a safer option.

Above all, trust your instincts. If you suspect foul play, or if you’re in doubt about the authenticity of a machine, use a different machine or payment method.

PIN Security

Here are a few simple tips to help keep your personal identification number (PIN) number secure:

  • Do not write your PIN number down anywhere, not even on your card.
  • Treat your card like cash and checks.
  • Do not leave your card out in the open so someone may be tempted to use it.
  • If you suspect that someone knows your PIN, change it immediately.

Here are a few tips to help you choose a PIN Number:

  • Your PIN should not be a sequence of repeating numbers or something obvious such as 1234.
  • Choose a number that’s easy to remember, but add a fixed amount to each digit or pair of digits. So 1457 plus 2 would become 3679.
  • Possibly choose a date that means something to you, and only you.
  • Create a PIN from a series of letters or words. Use the initial letters of a short phrase or uncommon words. Most keypads on ATMs have letters as well as numbers.


Elder Financial Fraud

Here are a few preventive measures to secure your finances, detect the signs that someone is targeting you, and how to resolve an incidence of fraud should you find yourself a victim.

  • If you are unsure about how a financial product works, don’t buy it. If the financial professional cannot or will not explain the product clearly, find another company.
  • Just because the advice comes from an expert, it may not mean it’s a good recommendation for you. Take into consideration your specific situation and circumstances.
  • Don’t confuse acquaintance with trust. Just because a professional lives in your neighborhood or belongs to your networking group, it does not mean they are the best choice for what you need.

If you suspect you are being targeted for fraud, contact us immediately at (888)858-6878 so that we can assist you in safeguarding your information at Pacific Service Credit Union.

Report Fraud       

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. After hours, for debit or credit card fraud, please call (800) 543-5073. We can cancel compromised cards, change your account number or add a password to your account for future transactions.

Privacy Policy

Protecting Your Privacy

We know you value the protection of your privacy and so do we. Protecting your personal information is a top priority, please review our 2015 Privacy Policy.

Report a Problem

Suspicious Transactions

If you believe you have a fraudulent transaction on your account or have a grievance with
a merchant, please complete and return a Notification of Disputed Transaction.

Mail to:
Pacific Service Credit Union
P.O. Box 8191
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
or
Fax to:
Attn: Electronic Services
(925) 609-5159

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. After hours, for debit or credit card fraud, please call (800) 543-5073. We can cancel compromised cards, change your account number or add a password to your account for future transactions.

Suspicious Email

Phishing is a type of email deception used to obtain sensitive personal information.  An email is sent mimicking the appearance and identity of a company that you have done business with. It could be an online retailer, a financial institution or other company that you use like cable, phone, or utility. The email may request that you update your account information, a credit card number or a password. Or, the email might try to get you to visit fraudulent websites by clicking on links. A “spoofed” site could have malware or viruses that infect your computer, or they could encourage you to conduct transactions.

  • Protect yourself by staying alert and acting cautiously to any requests for your personal information.
  • Don’t respond to unknown solicitations and don’t give your personal information to unknown people or companies. If you’re suspicious about an email you’ve received, you should visit the company’s website directly by inputting the URL or using a bookmark. Do not click on the response link in an email. Better yet, call them if you’re concerned. Be sure to use a phone number not contained in the email.
  • Avoid downloading files, emails or attachments from unknown sources because they could contain malware, viruses or links to counterfeit or “spoofed” websites.
  • Protect yourself and your computer while using the Internet, by keeping your computer’s firewall turned on and keep your operating system, anti-spyware and anti-virus software up to date.
  • And finally, report suspicious activity and suspected phishing attempts to the company being impersonated.

The most important thing to remember is that Pacific Service CU will never contact you via phone, email or text message asking you to provide passwords, login names, social security numbers, or other personal information. If you receive an email from Pacific Service CU asking you to update or verify account information, do not respond. If you suspect you have received a suspicious email from Pacific Service CU asking you to verify account information, contact us immediately at (888) 858-6878 so that we can assist you in safeguarding your information.

Lost or Stolen Checks

During business hours, contact us immediately at (888) 858-6878. We will block and reissue your checks. Our business hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lost or Stolen Credit/Debit Card

During business hours, contact us immediately at (888) 858-6878. We will block and reissue your card. Our business hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. On evenings and weekends, please call (800) 543-5073 for assistance.

Identity Theft

If you think you are a victim of identity theft, use these tips.

  • Contact us immediately at (888) 858-6878 or visit your local branch.
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit file and request a credit report from the three major credit bureaus.  Placing a fraud alert is free and stays on your credit report for 90 days. The credit bureau you contact will automatically notify the other two bureaus.    

    Equifax: (800) 525-6285    
    Experian:  (888) 397-3742    
    TransUnion:  (800) 680-7289
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Complete the FTC’s online complaint form or call the FTC at (877) 438-4338. Make sure to print and save the Identity Theft Affidavit provided to you.
  • Go to your local police department and file a report. Make sure to bring a copy of your FTC Identity Theft Affidavit, proof of theft, government-issued photo ID, and proof of address.  Keep a copy of the police report and provide it to your creditors.

Browser Support

We recommend that you use the most current version of your preferred web broswer to maximize your online experience. Current browsers will display the website as intended, will include the most up-to-date technology to protect against vulnerabilities and will provide the greatest level of security for your online transactions. Use the links below to update your browser to the current version.

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

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