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Reduce Your Risk of Online Fraud

Posted on February 13, 2018

Please note:  The Equifax Data Breach compromised records of 143 million Americans, beginning May 2017, and the fallout still continues.  To best protect members’ accounts, On Tap Credit Union continually reassesses its security features and fraud prevention programs.  To help prevent against online fraud, employees in our Contact Center and in our branches may ask you for additional information that will help verify your identity and protect your money.  It is not too late for you to educate yourself on ways you can better protect yourself against identity fraud.

From Facebook and Twitter to Amazon and the New York Times to banks and utility providers, it’s easy to see how our online accounts can add up. With so much of our lives these days being lived online, we’re also more at risk of a hacker accessing our personal information and using it to steal money, run up purchases, even use our medical coverage.

Here are some tips from the Federal Trade Commission for protecting yourself from online fraud:

Keep Your Software Up-to-Date
The latest versions of software, including your operating system, can protect against the latest threats.

Create and Protect Your Passwords
Here are a few ideas for creating strong passwords and keeping them safe:

  • Use at least 10 characters; 12 is ideal for most home users.
  • Try to be unpredictable – don’t use names, dates, or common words. Mix numbers, symbols, and capital letters into the middle of your password, not at the beginning or end.
  • Don’t use the same password for many accounts. If it’s stolen from you – or from one of the companies where you do business – thieves can use it to take over all your accounts.
  • Don’t share passwords on the phone, in texts or by email. Legitimate companies will not ask you for your password.
  • If you write down a password, keep it locked up, out of plain sight.

Consider Turning On Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication requires both your password and an additional piece of information to log in to your account, protecting your account even if your password is compromised.

Protect Your Personal Information
Be very cautious about sharing information like social security numbers and account numbers, and if you’re shopping online, make sure you’re on an encrypted website – they start with https rather than http.

Identify Potential Fraud
Fraud can show up in many ways, from your credit cards to your medical coverage, and the sooner you identify it, the better. Here are some warning signs identified by the FTC:

  • Look for unexplainable withdrawals from your bank account.
  • Check your credit report for unfamiliar accounts or charges.
  • Make sure you’re receiving your bills and other mail.
  • Be concerned, and investigate, if you experience these events:
    • Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours
    • You receive medical bills for services you didn’t use
    • Merchants refuse your checks.
    • Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit.
    • A health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have.
    • The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for.
    • You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.

Set Up Account Alerts
On Tap Credit Union members can set up online and mobile banking alerts to keep you informed of changes to your account and online banking profile and notify you in case of suspicious activity. Alerts can be delivered via Secure Message within online and mobile banking, or via email or text message.

To set your alerts, simply login to your online or mobile banking account, click on Settings, and then Manage Alerts. Click on Security Alerts to activate or deactivate alerts. Then click on Edit Delivery Preferences to add the email address or phone number you want to receive the alerts. To create other custom alerts, select a type of alert you would like to set up from the New Alert drop down menu.

It's also important to make sure the contact information On Tap and any other financial institutions have on file for you is up to date so you can be contacted quickly in case we detect any type of fraudulent activity on your account.

If you need assistance setting up alerts or updating your contact information, give us a call or stop in a branch and we’ll walk you through the process.

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