Protect Your Accounts and Personal Information
Protect Your Accounts and Personal Information
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of scams and fraud attempts on the general public. In June, the FBI released a warning regarding a surge in cyber-attacks targeting individuals using their phones for conducting banking and making purchases. Since January, over ¾ of the population with personal phones have used their devices to conduct banking or to purchase goods or services. Provident Credit Union has increased its fraud detection and investigation efforts to better protect our members.
We have assembled some suggestions for you to use to protect your financial information:
If you receive a call from an unknown number and the person on the call starts asking you for your personal information, you should beware! Such calls are often scams and are intended to gain access to your personal information and accounts.
When in doubt, end the call and look up the phone number for the company or agency that the caller was professing to represent. By contacting their customer service staff directly, you can confirm whether the call was valid.
Do not provide any personal information to an unknown party. Personal information that should be carefully protected includes, but is not limited to: Bank & credit and debit card account numbers, your full name and address, Social Security and Medicare numbers, personal identification numbers (PIN) or account access codes, and driver’s license or other government-issued identification numbers. Provident will never ask you for personal information, computer or account passwords, or full account numbers. Representatives of Provident Credit Union will identify themselves. They will ask you to confirm the last four digits of your Provident card, and will only inquire about specific transactions that have been identified as being suspicious.
Cell phones are becoming targets for scammers. Do not click on or access text messages form numbers or individuals you do not recognize. The scammers will seek to gain access to your phone in order to copy your personal information. Once they gain access to your information, they can open payment accounts in your name and using your phone number. Do not respond to, or open hyperlinks in, text messages about COVID-19 from unknown individuals.Provident does use text messages to contact our members. The messages are used to inquire about suspicious transactions or to report on activity on your accounts. However, you must sign up for the messages. Provident will not contact you without your enrollment. Provident will never send a text message to notify you that your account has been suspended and ask you to use a link to access your account. Provident will also never ask you to reply to a text with your account number, PIN, or password. If you receive a text message professing to be from Provident, and you have not enrolled in any of our account message services, you should ignore the message or contact the Provident Contact Center at 1-800-632-4600.
Be particularly suspicious of any unexpected callers or visitors offering special deals on COVID-19 tests or supplies. You should also be careful of individuals professing to be COVID-19 contact tracers. Legitimate contact tracers will not ask for your personal information, including Social Security or Medicare numbers.
Cash and Phone Payment App Scams
Payment applications on your phone have a rising risk of fraud. Fraudsters can access to your accounts and send money to themselves. The funds can be taken from your Provident accounts and you may not be able to recover them.
- DO NOT lend your phone to strangers
- DO NOT use the same PIN for your phone or payment applications that you sue for your credit or debit cards.
- DO NOT open or respond to messages from other phone payment application users that you do not know.
- DO NOT send money to merchants or individuals that you do not know. You may not be able to recover your money in case of error or fraud.
- DO set a security and lock code on your phone.
- DO use facial recognition or fingerprint security on your payment applications.
- DO be sure to keep your phone operating system, as well as any payment apps, up to date with the latest version before using them to send money or make purchases.
Cash and phone payment applications are not subject to the same rules for disputes and fraud that merchants accepting credit and debits cards are. Provident may not be able to assist you. Many cash and phone payment apps require you to use their services for disputes and fraud. In fact, some payment applications are restricted from use for purchasing goods or services.