It’s easy to be distracted in times of disruption, but it’s important to make sure you know how to avoid scams and fraud that can target individuals or families. Stride Credit Union wants you to feel safe and protected, and that extends beyond your accounts and services with us to you feeling confident about protecting your money and identity online. Here are some useful tips for protecting yourself and your family from becoming victims of scams or fraud.
At a Glance
- Avoid giving out personal information
- Protect your computers and devices
- Beware of suspicious emails and websites
- Don’t believe everything you hear
- Keep track of your balances
Avoid giving out personal information
This is the number one rule if you want to avoid identity theft. As much as possible, avoid giving any personal or financial information unless you are doing a transaction on a reputable website or with a business you know and trust.
Thieves like to collect personal information, so—as much as possible—avoid giving your name, birth date, address, mother’s maiden name, passport number, credit card numbers, SIN, banking information, driver’s license number or any other personal info that could compromise your identity.
Protect your computers and devices
There’s a lot you can do to protect yourself, starting with the hardware. Keep the operating systems of your computers and devices up to date and install antivirus software on your computers.
When you’re using your computer, never click—or call the number provided—on urgent pop-up messages that might appear while you browse. Close the pop-up window.
If you receive a text on your phone from an unfamiliar caller or number, don’t click on the link or reply to the text message. Delete the text message.
Beware of suspicious emails
You might receive an email from a person or institution you don’t know that asks you to click on a button or hyperlink or open an attachment. Don’t click or open anything.
When suspicious emails pretend to be from your financial institution or credit card company, this is called phishing. You may notice spelling, grammar and formatting errors.
Never click on any links in an email where you don’t know the sender, and never give away your financial information. Stride Credit Union will never send you an email like this.
Don’t believe everything you hear
Whether you’re answering the phone or browsing online, don’t give in to alarming announcements or pressure to respond. Pop-up windows and phone scammers may use urgent messages or high-pressure tactics to get you to give them your personal information or pay them money to solve a problem.
The young, elderly and innocent are especially vulnerable to this aggressive approach. Your best move is to not take the bait. Hang up, if you’re on the phone. Close the pop-up and website window, if you’re online. Ignore urgent messages—they are false.
Keep track of your balances
Just as you would check to see what groceries you have on a regular basis so you know where you stand for food, you should regularly check your account and credit card balances to make sure there has been no suspicious activity.
It’s common sense—and a healthy habit—to know what’s going on in your credit union and credit card accounts. You’ll feel more empowered, knowing your money is safe and also seeing your spending and saving habits.
Most of today’s world is online, from businesses and schools to families and kids. With the incredible amount of information that’s available and functions we can perform, it’s also important to remember the responsibility that goes with being online. Make sure to share these tips with your family. Here’s what we’ve talked about.
- The number one rule for avoiding identity theft is to avoid giving out your personal or financial information, unless you’re doing a transaction with a business or institution you know and trust.
- Protect your computers and devices by keeping operating systems up to date, using antivirus software, never clicking on urgent pop-up messages while you browse, and ignoring and deleting texts from unfamiliar numbers.
- Don’t open, click on buttons or links, or open attachments in any emails that you think may be suspicious. Your credit union will never send you an email asking you for personal or financial information.
- If you see or hear alarming messages that urge you to give personal information or money to solve a problem, don’t respond. Hang up the phone or close the pop-up and web page.
- Always know what’s going on in your credit union and credit card accounts, so you’ll not only know where the money goes but you’ll also feel secure knowing that every transaction is your own and accounted for.
Talk to us today about our secure online banking and how we help protect your financial information in today’s busy online world.