Phishing is a scam that uses spam/email, pop-up messages, instant messages and text messages to steal your personal financial information. The messages appear to come from well-known companies or financial institutions and are intended to scare you into responding.
Some typical subject lines they use to get your attention refer to:
- Account, credit card or debit card deactivation or suspension
- Transaction authorization/decline
- Fraudulent activity on your account
The messages will always provide a call-back number or a Web site that requests your debit or credit card number, PIN, security code and/or Social Security number.
Remember, reputable financial institutions, like PSCU, never request sensitive account or personal information that they already have on file such as your Social Security number, account number, credit or debit card number, user ID, PIN, password or CVV number (the three-digit card security code embossed on the back signature panel of your card).
Always be suspicious of any request for information that comes from an unsolicited email, text message or phone call. Only provide account or personal information if you have initiated contact with your financial institution or a reputable merchant.
Don’t click on a link or call the phone number provided in a suspicious email or text message. These will take you directly to the scammers, not the legitimate company.
Never provide any confidential information in an email, even to your financial institution or a trusted merchant, since email is an inherently unsecure method of communication.
If you are suspicious of a message you have received, report it to the company or financial institution it appears to have come from using the customer service number or email address found on the company’s official Web site. You can also forward the actual message to the Federal Trade Commission at email@example.com.
Please visit the Web sites below for more information on phishing and other scams:
- On Guard Online
- Anti-Phishing Working Group – Consumer Advice
- Credit Union National Association (CUNA)
If you need more information, or you believe you are the victim of a scam and your PSCU account information has been compromised, please contact us immediately.
Let PSCU Help Protect Your Accounts From Fraud
At PSCU, we may discover early signs of financial exploitation of a member’s account, but our legal obligation to maintain confidentiality limits our ability to release the information necessary to facilitate a rapid response from law enforcement and social service agencies.
To help protect yourself from this, you may give PSCU permission to give the proper authorities your confidential account information if we suspect that there has been any illegal or improper use of your financial resources, without notice or additional authorization.
Click here to download a printable consent form that you can complete and return to any PSCU branch.