USC Credit Union Blog

USC Credit Union Blog

Tips to Protect Your Money and Stay Safe from Fraud

December is always a hectic shopping season as people scramble to buy last-minute gifts. Fraudsters, however, take advantage of this haste and try to steal your information while your mind is preoccupied. Here is how you can be aware and protect yourself from scams so you can have a safe holiday season and new year!

1. Use Online Banking Tools 

Check your bank accounts using your financial institution's website or mobile app regularly to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity. You can also set up account alerts for large transactions, or security alerts when someone successfully logs into your account. Get started with Online Banking today. 

2. Always Check for Website Legitimacy

Cybercriminals will often mimic legitimate content making it difficult to tell the difference. Some tell-tale signs the site is illegitimate are incorrect designs, poor spelling or grammar, or deals that seem “too good to be true”. The only way to ensure if it is the right site is to check the URL. Even the slight difference in the website addess may mean the site is not safe.

3. Protect Your Personal Information

Using unique and complex passwords on your sensitive accounts is one of the best ways to protect against theft and fraud. Change your passwords on all accounts regularly, and be careful not to include personal information in your passwords. Don't use your date of birth, mother's maiden name, first pet's name, or other personal information in your passwords that could easily be found on the internet or on social media channels. Cyberthieves know that these are the details most often used to verify your identity and could allow for electronic access to your accounts.

4. Check for Machine Tampering

Before using machines such as ATMs or gas pumps, check to see if they have been tampered with.

5. Don't give out your personal information, even when it seems legitimate. 

USC Credit Union will never call you to ask for your information. Fraudsters will claim to be a financial institution to trick you into providing them with information so they may gain access your account. Know that USCCU will only ask you for account information through secured channels, such as our online banking message center, or when you contact our official call center phone number. If you receive a call or text message asking you for personal information, contact us immediately. 

 

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