Protect Your Identity

Protect Your Identity

Learn more about how to keep your credentials secure

As consumers, we’re more connected than ever before, be it through our smartphones, social apps or email. But as we’ve seen all too often, fraudsters have infiltrated each of these, leaving many of us susceptible to scams.

Increasingly, we’re seeing a rise in telephone fraud in which fraudsters attempt to pass as a reputable company or a company you trust, to mislead an individual and ultimately obtain their personal information. Affinity was met with this situation in early June, 2019, where fraudsters posed as credit union personnel in an attempt to obtain our members personal information. At Affinity, our goal is to help our members protect their assets (and ultimately their livelihoods). Read more to learn about telephone fraud and how you protect yourself:

What is telephone fraud?

Have you ever received a call from someone you didn't recognize? They may have seemed very friendly - making small talk, maybe calling you by your first name, and asking about your family only to turn around and try to sell you something you didn't intend to buy. If so, it’s likely you’ve already been on the receiving end of a phone scam. Another example, could be you receive a call in which someone passes as a company you do business with or a financial institution where you hold an account. In that conversation, you’re misled into believing there’s an issue with your account and they need your personal information (e.g., PINs, passwords, Social Security Number) to “check into the problem.”

What happens next?

With personal information in hand, scammers will make unauthorized withdrawals or open fraudulent loans and accounts under your name. Since many reputable companies use the telephone to conduct business, it can often be difficult to distinguish between a legitimate call and fraud. 

How can you protect yourself?

To avoid becoming a victim of telephone fraud:

  • Always check the number: If the telephone message isn’t personalized, be cautious. If you aren’t sure if the call is from a reputable source, or if they’re a representative from Affinity Federal Credit Union, be sure to directly call the company to confirm by looking up the correct number online. In our case, you can always contact Member Services at Affinity via (800) 325-0808.
  • Listen for cues: Did they ask for personal information? If the individual asks for your online banking username and password or your credit card number and PIN, it’s likely you’re experiencing a possible scam. Hang up immediately. As a note, Affinity Federal Credit Union does not call members asking for personal information.
Best practices to avoid other scams? 

Fraudsters are everywhere, trying to infiltrate our finances by any means necessary. As it relates to your personal banking information, it’s important to:

  • Keep your debit card and PIN safe; avoid giving it out over the phone or in email
  • Do not share your PIN with anyone else; when you share your PIN with someone, it can be the equivalent of giving him or her a signed check for the entire balance in your accounts
  • Keep your credit card, checking account, or social security numbers secure at all times. Don't tell them to callers you don't know - even if they are asking to "confirm" this information. That is a trick. 
  • Never write your PIN on your debit or credit card or on a sticky note attached to the card
  • Don't carry a record of the PIN anywhere near the card (in your wallet or purse, on your desk if the card is by your computer, etc.)