Protect your most valuable asset . . . your good name
If you're hacked, you can lose everything, including your identity. Your identity may be the most important thing you have, but many people don't realize it until it's stolen. Fraudsters look for ways to find out information about you so they can piece together a fake picture of you from the parts they have stolen. Social security numbers, complete account numbers, access codes, user IDs, passwords- all these can help a fraudster to steal your identity. In this section we’ll look at how you can protect yourself against common hacker techniques, so you can protect your identity.
Fraudsters are looking for any opportunity to get your account statements or documents with your personal information. They're especially interested in your social security number. The solution to dumpster diving is easy-shred your documents. Shred anything with private information on it before disposing of it. If you don’t have a shredder, many companies hold special events where they’ll accept your confidential materials and process them through their own document shredding companies for a small fee, charitable donation or even for free.
'Ole fashioned stealing
It's been around forever, but the bad guys still try to steal wallets and purses; your mail, including bank and credit card statements and pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. A locked mail box will help since most crooks look for easy targets, but the best prevention is keeping documents secure.
Avoid carrying sensitive information such as your social security and account numbers in your wallet or purse (besides the cards you need to have) and take advantage of paperless statement so that you don’t have paper statements that scammers can steal.
Crooks sometimes arrange to have your mail forwarded to somewhere else so they can collect information, cards, identity materials or even purchases. When the United States Postal Service begins mail forwarding, they'll always send a confirmation letter to the old address. If you get one, and you didn’t request mail forwarding, contact your Postmaster immediately.
This is the new breed of fraud where the bad guys try to trick you into visiting a website (phishing) or calling a number (vishing) to enter your personal information. Sometimes a link in a phishing mail will send you to a fake site where they will try to capture your information by using a man-in-the-middle scam (see below). One way to avoid this is to type in the site addresses yourself, rather than using links. Your own bookmarks are also safer than links in email or texts. Don't give your personally identifiable information to anybody online or by phone unless you are absolutely sure they are reputable and they've explained satisfactorily why they need it.
In this scam, the crooks are PRETENDING to be a site you trust. When you enter your information, they'll "forward" it to the real site (but capture it on the way) and then return any other requests from the real site until you have fully confirmed yourself. Then, they have everything they need to pretend to be you. The key to avoiding man-in-the-middle phishing is to be sure you know that you're on the site you think you're on.
Another man-in-the-middle scam is when you're using a non-secured Wi-Fi connection and the criminals intercept your activities. In those situations, it's doubly important that you make sure you're on a secure and encrypted connection and that your personal machine is secure against having keytracking software installed on it over an insecure network. A strong firewall can make all the difference.
Skimming occurs when crooks put devices OVER the entry port on ATMs or credit card readers to skim off your information as it's processed. This doesn't, by itself, give them more than your card number, but even more sophisticated skimmers will have a camera aimed at the keypad to capture your PIN.
It's always best to take a good look at the ATM or card readers for anything that looks "added on" or unnatural to the machine prior to using it. Also, keep your other hand over the keypad when you enter your PIN. It's important to note that First Tech's ATM machines use advanced, dip card reader technology which make it much harder for fraudsters to attach skimming devices. If you have any doubt about the security of an ATM, don't use it and report it to us immediately.
Time is of the essence
If you suspect any kind of fraud, time is of the essence in protecting yourself. No case of fraud is too small to report. If you suspect anything is amiss, please notify us right away. If you need to include account information, please login to Online Banking and send us a secure email.
24-hour toll free number
Has someone stolen your identity?
If your ID has been stolen, you need to defend your reputation right away. The Federal Trade Commission has a great resource to help you understand what do next.
How to know it's us
These fraudsters employ some pretty sneak tactics to try and get your information. That's why we want to make sure you know how to recognize First Tech both online and off.
To verify you're at First Tech's website, look for the following:
If you see those items, then you're at our website and it's safe to enter your information. If you see anything else, please report it to us immediately so we can have our security team investigate it.
From time to time, we may give you a call to talk about your accounts or recommend additional products and services. If you receive a call from someone saying they're from First Tech AND they ask you for personally identifiable information such as your account number or full social security number, don't give it to them. If you receive such a call, please report it to us immediately.
As your credit union, we already have your personal information so we'll never call you and ask you to tell us that level of personal information over the phone. In some cases our Fraud Protection team will call to verify transactions on your account(s). In this case, we'll ask you for one piece of identification information, the last four digits of your social security number.
The same is true for emails. Although it's much easier to include links in emails to get you where you want to go quickly, First Tech avoids including links in our emails. From time to time, we may include the website address so you know where to go, but we don't actually link to it. Occasionally, email providers will automatically link those website addresses but First Tech does not. If you receive what appears to be a First Tech email requesting you to click on a link and provide personally identifiable information, don't do it. We'll never ask you for your personal information via email.
First Tech will also never use text messaging to collect your personal information. If you receive a text message asking you click on a link to verify your account or identity, don't do it. We'll never ask for this information via text message because we already know it.