| 888.858.6878 | Email Us

Welcome!

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.

 

Browse our articles by category, author or date. If you don’t see what you want, simply comment here or email us and we’ll feature your question in an upcoming post.

 

We welcome and encourage your participation and comments. To keep the blog focused and professional, we’ve developed community guidelines.

Browse by Category

Browse by Author

Recent Post

 

Archives

 

 
 

Oct 23

2012

.

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.

Oct 17

2012

by Michelle, Assistant Vice President, Operations

As part of our commitment to protecting members and their accounts, we post current scams and provide tips pertaining to how to protect your personal information and accounts. Here’s the latest scam that has been reported by numerous sources.

 

Fraudsters are calling consumers about a “settled government lawsuit.”  The caller claims that your mortgage “bank” has lost a lawsuit.  The caller wants to offer you a lower rate and payment to refinance your mortgage with them.

 

In order to take advantage of potential savings, the caller requests more information from you, including personal details such as your social security number, and banking information including your account number.

 

This is a phishing attempt designed to steal your personal information or your identity.

 

Never provide account numbers, Social Security numbers or any personal information to strangers or those claiming to save you money.  Pacific Service Credit Union 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 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, to block your card please call (800) VISA-911. We can cancel compromised cards, change your account number or add a password to your account for future transactions if it becomes necessary.

Jul 24

2012

 

Jenna Lampson, Vice President, Operations

We believe the best way to help you protect your identity is to keep you informed.  So, here’s one of the latest scams and how to avoid it.

 

The Better Business Bureau has recently issued an alert regarding a new scam offering federal breaks on utility bills. Fraudsters have contacted consumers through a variety of channels, including phone, social media, text messages and word of mouth offering utility credits from President Obama.  The fraudulent offer claims the federal government will pay utility bills or apply credits to utility bills for eligible applicants.

 

Scammers request your social security number, your bank routing number and your account number in exchange for a routing number to use when you pay your bills.  Your utility company may initially accept the fraudulent payment; however, within a few days the routing number is shown to be fake.

 

The utility bills are not actually paid and personal and financial information, including social security numbers, have been compromised.

 

Never provide account numbers, social security numbers or any personal information to strangers or those claiming to save you money on your utilities and other recurring expenses.


As always, 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 if it becomes necessary.

Jul 11

2012

.

Recently, LinkedIn suffered a security breach that compromised over 6.5 million user passwords. Public postings of those passwords were published on online hacking sites, although many passwords were still in an encrypted format. LinkedIn does not believe that any user names were exposed in conjunction with those passwords. Following the breach, LinkedIn contacted members whose passwords were hacked, temporarily disabled their access and required that they reset their passwords.

 

In the wake of a breach of this magnitude, we are again reminded about the importance of securing and updating our online passwords.

 

Complex is good
It’s important to use a “complex” password with a series of capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Increasing a password’s complexity increases your security. The biggest complaint I hear is that passwords are hard to remember. 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.”

 

Categorizing is good
Don’t use the same password to access all or many of your online accounts. You wouldn’t lock your home, car, office and safe with the same key, so consider varying the logins and passwords for different sites to maximize security.

 

One option is categorizing your passwords by security level. For example, sites like online banking, PayPal and investment brokerages may be more important to protect with your strongest, most complex passwords; whereas sites for photos, travel and music may be safe to use with less complex, easier to remember passwords.

 

Change is good
Even if you have strong passwords; you should keep them fresh. 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.

 

Stay safe online by being cautious and prepared. As always, if you suspect your Pacific Service CU accounts have been compromised, contact us immediately so that we can assist you in safeguarding your information.

 

by Nannette, Technology Solutions Group

Jun 20

2012

.

As part of our commitment to protecting members and their accounts, we post current scams and provide tips pertaining to how to protect your personal information and accounts.  As recently as this week, we’ve received information from members victimized by online overpayment scams that have cost them thousands of dollars.

 

The Scam
Scammers typically target people selling goods or services online; however, other themes include jobs opportunities as mystery shopper, at-home employment, lottery winners and more.  The scammer will send a check, money order or cashier’s check for an amount greater than the amount they promised.  Overpayment is typically explained as an accidental oversight or the scammer may ask for a favor to assist them.  You deposit the check for the higher amount into your account and send them back the difference as a cashier’s check.  Some scammers will request that you use a wire service like Western Union to send them the money.

 

Regardless of the type of scam, the common theme to catch your attention is the overpayment of funds and the “send back” transaction component.  There is no legitimate reason that someone will send you a check, cashier’s check or money order and ask you to send money back to them in return.

 

Members think that a money order or cashier’s check is a safe way to accept payment.  This type of fraudulent payment, however, can be very convincing and can look legitimate.  Once you deposit the item into your account, you are accepting financial responsibility for the deposit and guaranteeing those funds.

 

Scammers rely on the cushion of time that it takes your financial institution to reject a check as fraudulent.  By the time you are aware the check is fake, you’ve already wired the money and they’re unable to be found.

 

The Takeaways
We want you to know three important things to protect yourself:

 

1. Money orders and cashier’s check can be fraudulent, even if they look legitimate.
2. Wiring money is just like sending cash, you can’t get it back after it has been received.  Consequently, never wire money to strangers.
3. Call us with questions if you are suspicious about a transaction or if you need help finding appropriate resources.

 

Don’t let it happen to you.  Be careful about who you do business with.  Do not send money to strangers with the promise of repayment.  And, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

 

Be mindful, be wary and be safe.

by Michelle, AVP, Operations

 
   
 
Federally insured by NCUA
Equal Housing Lender
  Subscribe Follow Us On f t Font Size

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.
Protecting your privacy is our top priority - View Our Privacy Policy

Switch to our mobile site