FIGFCU understands how disruptive and potentially destructive identity theft and fraud is, and we are firmly committed to working with you to prevent them and minimize their impact to you and your family.
We actively engaged in the protecting and safeguarding of your confidential information. We employ advanced technology to deliver convenient account access while maintaining your personal privacy.
Identity theft and fraud can have a serious impact on your finances and your reputation. Even with advanced security measures in place anyone can become a victim.
Here are some examples on how we protect you online:
We use Anti-virus protection to help us detect and prevent viruses. Our firewalls help block unauthorized access by individuals or networks. This site's Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption creates a secure connection with your browser when you login, or fill out an application, or register in for online services. This protects your information from being intercepted. We don't and will not share your usernames and passwords with anyone—and we strongly recommend you don't share them either. We automatically log you out of your secure session after a period of inactivity to help protect against others seeing or using your online accounts. We monitor activities for potential fraud.
Ensuring the security of your personal information online is a top priority for us. When you sign in to PC-TIED, your account number and password are always secure. With our multi-layer authentication you now have an extra layer of security working behind-the-scenes to protect your account. This means you can now bank online with a renewed sense of confidence and security.
By employing multi-layer authentication, Farmers Insurance Group Federal Credit Union can lessen vulnerabilities in the account opening process, making it more difficult for those with fraudulent intent to access our financial system and your account. Here at Farmers Insurance Group Credit Union, we use an automated system to validate and verify a members identifying information. This is a highly effective means of mitigating fraud risk and protecting your accounts.
Additionally, only those employees, and agents who need your information to do their jobs and properly service your account, have access to non-public information that we either have on file or to what information you provide us.
How You Can Detect Fraud
The best detector of fraud and identity theft is you. Through proactive monitoring, you can look for suspicious activities and act fast before there’s unauthorized/fraudulent activity on your account.
Monitor your account regularly
We at FIGFCU (Farmers Insurance Group Federal Credit Union) recommend frequently reviewing your account activity online through PC-TIED because:
- The sooner fraud is detected, the lower the financial impact can be.
- Studies show over 50% of all identity fraud is first discovered by the victim.
- Members who monitor their account using online banking methods (such as PC-TIED) detect fraud and unusual activity earlier than those who rely on monthly mailed statements.
- Members who enroll in IdentitySecure receive timely notification about important activity on their accounts, which can help identify fraud quickly.
- Members who enroll in eStatements instead of mailed statements reduce their risk of mail fraud.
How to Recognize Fraud and Identity Theft
We at FIGFCU believe it is important to learn how to recognize suspicious activities that can signify possible fraud or identity theft.
Fraud is an act that occurs when someone unlawfully uses your account to make unauthorized transactions, usually when the account number or card information has been stolen or obtained without proper authorization. The following can be indications of fraudulent activity:
- If unexpected charges appear on your account statement.
- If you did not receive an expected bill or statement by mail.
- If security questions or information on your account have been changed.
- If posted checks that are out of sequence appear on your account.
- If charges from unrecognized vendors appear on your account.
Open a Benefits Plus Checking and get FREE Identity Theft Protection
What is Identity Secure®?
IdentitySecure is a comprehensive, take-charge identity theft service that is available to all FIGFCU members. It addresses the most targeted areas for fraud such as the unauthorized opening of accounts and/or credit cards and performing fraudulent transactions on them. This program protects members from these expensive misfortunes through monitoring, detecting, and alerting members to potential mistaken identity or fraud. Most importantly, IdentitySecure puts the tools in your hands to help prevent identity confusion and fraud BEFORE it happens. In addition, IdentitySecure is there to help take steps in restoring the damage that is caused by these crimes, should they occur.
- Nationwide consumer reporting companies will provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1 877.322.8228.
- You can also get an explanation of your rights from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency.
- IdentitySecure recommends you check your credit report annually—by monitoring your credit report, you can make sure no one has opened a bank account without your permission or applied and been approved for loans in your name using stolen information.
- More information
General Security Tips
While anyone can fall prey to fraud and identity theft, there are many things you can do to minimize your risk. FIGFCU provides these security tips so you can guard against fraud and identity thief.
Safeguard your Personal Information
- Never provide your Social Security Number or private information, unless you have initiated the contact and have confirmed the business or person’s identity.
- If you must provide your Social Security Number in an email or on a website, ensure that it is encrypted, and you know how the recipient will protect it.
- Do not carry your Social Security card in your wallet and be cautious of your surroundings when disclosing your Social Security Number.
- Never use your birth date or Social Security Number as a PIN (Personal Identification Number) or a password.
- Understand the risks associated with accessing your accounts from a publicly accessible computer or internet connection. A public computer or public internet connection may be infected with a virus and/or malware and any information accessed from that system will be at risk.
- If the ATM is obstructed from view or poorly lit, go to another ATM. Report the problem to the Financial Institution that operates the ATM.
- Avoid using ATMs at night or early morning before sunrise. Take a companion if you must use the ATM when lighting may be insufficient.
- Minimize time spent at the ATM by completing your deposit slip in advance and having your card out and ready to use.
- Park as close as possible to exterior walk-up ATMs.
- Do not accept assistance from strangers when using an ATM.
- Keep your engine running, the doors locked and the windows up at all times, when waiting in line at a drive-up ATM. When possible, leave enough room between cars to allow for a quick exit should it become necessary.
- Once you have completed your transaction, take your money, card and receipt and immediately leave the ATM. Verify your cash later when it is safe to do so.
- If you see anyone or anything suspicious while conducting a transaction, cancel your transaction and leave immediately.
- If anyone follows you after making an ATM transaction, go immediately to a crowded well-lit area and call the police.
- Protect your PIN and the privacy of the transaction by shielding the keypad and standing close to the ATM, to prevent others waiting behind you from observing the transaction details.
- Check your ATM receipts against your account statements to identify unauthorized transactions.
- Immediately report a lost or stolen card and/or unauthorized transactions.
- Reduce the amount of mail and paper that you keep that has your personal information printed on it. This can reduce the chances of criminals being able to steal and gain unauthorized access to your accounts.
- Stop receiving paper account statements by enrolling in eStatements. View and download them online as needed.
- Sign up for direct deposit to have your funds put directly in your account rather than having a paper check mailed to you.
- Promptly collect incoming mail, and use a locking mailbox if possible.
- If you stop receiving bills, statements or other monthly mailings, or if a bill is not received when expected, contact the issuing company immediately.
- Send outgoing mail from a secured mailbox or post office. Try to avoid leaving outgoing mail in an unsecure location.
- Shred all unwanted pre-approved offers for credit cards, convenience checks, checks, or loans.
- Shred all old bank statements, credit card statements, and billing information.
Secure Your Computer
- Understand the risks associated with accessing your accounts from a public computer or internet connection (a public computer or public internet connection may be infected with a virus and/or malware and any information accessed from that system may be at risk).
- Do not download or purchase pirated/bootlegged copies of software, movies, music, or security software. These downloads or purchases may contain a virus, malware, worms, spyware, Trojans, and/or other unwanted invaders that can put your computer at risk. “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
- Update your system and software regularly. This includes anti-virus software, spyware programs, anti-malware programs, firewalls on your computer, and/or operating system patches and updates.
Secure Your Passwords and User IDs
- For each computer or on-line service you use, you should have a user ID and password. Try to create the most unique and original password, and make sure you protect it.
- Use strong passwords and change them on a regular basis (at least quarterly). Do not use the same password for multiple usernames or accounts. Thieves will often target less secure usernames and passwords, such as access for an online forum or social networking site and try to use the same passwords (or minor variations) to gain access to highly secure systems such as online banking.
- Make a strong password by using at least one number, a mix of lowercase and capital letters as well as punctuation characters. A password that is at least eight (8) characters long and not found in the dictionary is exponentially harder to crack than a five-character password using all lowercase letters and no additional characters.
- The following easily identifiable items should be avoided when creating passwords:
- Your birth date or a family member’s birth date
- Social Security Number
- Names of family members or pets
- Phone numbers
- Dates of important events, such as anniversaries
- Never give out your password or personal identifying information to anyone contacting you on an incoming call or incoming correspondence or text message. FIGFCU will NEVER call you and request your password or private identifying information.
- Never write down sensitive personal information such as your password or Social Security Number.
Install and Use Anti-Virus Programs
We recommend that you use programs that can detect and remove viruses and spyware, which can steal vital information. Virus and malware can infect a home computer in many ways. Examples include through floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, email, websites and downloaded files. Anti-virus programs help protect your computer against most viruses, worms, spyware, Trojans, malware, and other unwanted invaders that can put your computer at risk. Virus malware, worms, etc. often perform malicious acts, such as deleting files, freezing your computer, accessing personal data or even denial of access to personal information on your computer. If a file is found to be infected with a virus, most anti-virus programs provide you with options of how to respond, such as removing the harmful item or deleting the file. Installing an anti-virus program and keeping it up-to-date is the best defense for your home computer.
Firewalls: What They Are and How to Use Them
A firewall prevents unauthorized users from gaining access to a computer, or monitoring transfers of information to and from the computer. Before connecting your personal computer to the internet, you should install a firewall. A firewall can be generally described as a security guard for your home computer. The guard is a piece of software or hardware that helps protect your PC against hackers and many computer viruses and worms. With a firewall, you define which connections between your computer and other computers on the internet are allowed and which are denied. There are firewall programs, both free and available for purchase, which provide the capabilities you need to help make your home computer more secure.
Smartphones: Risks and Steps to Protect
Common Risks for Smartphones
- Loss of device and information theft. Smartphones are small and can easily be lost or stolen. Unauthorized users may access your account, address lists, photos, and more to scam, harm or embarrass you or your friends/family; they may leverage stored passwords to access your bank and credit card accounts, steal your money or make credit card charges; gain access to sensitive material, and more.
- Social Engineering. A common mobile threat is social engineering. Whether via text messages, image, or application to download, an incoming communication may be an attempt to gain access to your personal information. A current example consists of a text message that comes from an unknown number, telling you that if you click on the link provided, you’ll have access to thousands of free ringtones. If this sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. The link is in fact a malicious link. Clicking on it will compromise the security of your smartphone.
- TMI (Too Much Information). Guidelines for protecting privacy, safety, and reputation when sharing via computers also apply when sharing via smartphones. Mobile devices enable instantaneous capturing, posting, and distribution of images, video, and information. They may also broadcast location information.
- Public Wi-Fi. Smartphones are susceptible to malware and hacking when leveraging unsecured public networks.
- 2G Connection. Smartphones are susceptible to malware and hacking when using 2G connection via internet.
- Bluetooth and Near Field Communications (NFC). Bluetooth is a wireless network technology that uses short-wave radio transmissions to transmit voice and data. NFC allows smartphones to communicate with each other by simply touching another smartphone, or being in proximity to another smartphone with NFC capabilities or a NFC device. Risks with using NFC and Bluetooth include eavesdropping, through which the cyber criminal can intercept data transmission, such as credit card number and personal information. NFC also has the risk of transferring viruses or other malware from one NFC-enabled device to another.
Simple Steps to Protect Your Smartphone
- Update the operating system. Smartphones are computing devices that need to be updated. Updates often provide you with enhanced functionality and enriched features, as well as fixes to critical security vulnerabilities. Your smartphone manufacturer should notify you whenever an update is available.
- Use of security software is a must. As the smartphone market is increasing, so too is the amount of malware designed to attack smartphones. The software security solutions that are available for desktops and laptops are not as widely available for smartphones. A key protection is to use mobile security software and keep it up-to-date. Many of these programs can also locate a missing or stolen phone. Will back up your data, and even remotely wipe all data from the phone if it is reported stolen.
- Password-protect your device. Enable strong password protection on your device and include a timeout requiring authentication after a period of inactivity. Secure the smartphone with a unique password. Do not share your password with others.
- Think before you click, download, forward, or open. Before responding, registering, downloading or providing information, get the facts. No matter how tempting the text, image or application may be; if the download is not from a legitimate app store or the site of a trusted company, do not engage with the message.
- Be cautious with public Wi-Fi. Many smartphone users use free Wi-Fi hotspots to access data (and keep their phone plan costs down). There are numerous threats associated with Wi-Fi hotspots. To be safe, avoid logging into accounts, especially financial accounts, when using public wireless networks.
- Disable Bluetooth and Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities when not in use. Capabilities such as Bluetooth and NFC can provide ease and convenience in using your smartphone. They can also provide an easy way for a nearby, unauthorized user to gain access to your data. Turn these features off when they are not required.
- Enable encryption. Enabling encryption on your smartphone is one of the best ways to safeguard information stored on the device, thwarting unauthorized access.
- Securely dispose of your device. With the constant changes and upgrades in the smartphone market, many are upgrading their devices on a regular basis. It is important that you wipe the information from your smartphone before disposal. Additionally, make sure any SD cards are removed and erased. If you are not redeploying the SIM card to another device, then make sure your personal information stored on the SIM card is erased or destroyed.
General Types of Online Fraud
Phishing and spoofing
Phishing (pronounced "fishing") involves the use of emailing messages that appear to come from FIGFCU or another trusted business, but are actually from imposters. These phony emails direct the recipient to access a website that appears to be legitimate and to provide account information, passwords, user IDs, Social Security Numbers, and/or other personal information.
FIGFCU will never contact you by email to request your personal and confidential information through an email response. We will always direct you to a secure location where you would see https://www.figfcu.com in the address bar.
Types of warning signs for Phishing:
- Asking for personal information such as:
- Account Numbers
- Credit and Check Card Numbers
- ATM or Debit Card PIN
- Personal Information
- Social Security Number
- Date of Birth
- Member Number along with Passwords
- Other Confidential Information
- Offers that sound too good to be true often are.
- Example: You may be asked to fill out a short customer service survey in exchange for money being credited to your account, and/or you must provide your account information for your account to be credited. ONLY provide personal information on a secure and legitimate website such as https://www.figfcu.com.
- Email instructions to download software.
- Example: All your online banking should be done through our secure website, and we will NOT send you email instructions to download any banking software to your computer. Do not install software downloaded directly from email messages or from websites that you do not recognize. When in doubt, contact the company directly or call FIGFCU at 800.877.2345.
Email viruses and worms are fairly common. Here are steps you can use to help you decide what to do with every email message attachment you receive.
Conduct the following test before proceeding:
- The know test – is the email from someone you know?
- The received test – have you received email from this person before?
- The expect test – were you expecting email with an attachment from this sender?
- The sense test – does the subject in this email make sense based on who is sending it?
- The virus test – does this email contain a virus? To determine this, you should install and use an anti-virus program to scan this email and attachment before downloading it.
Skimming techniques allow fraudsters to gather account information and PIN numbers. The criminal swipes and stores card information using a small electronic skimming device. Fraudsters often attach the skimming devices at legitimate ATMs, gas pumps, or restaurants
- Skimming often involves the use of a hidden camera to record customers’ PINs or phony keypads placed over real keypads to record keystrokes.
Steps You Can Do To Protect Yourself From Being A Victim Of Skimming
- Be aware of people and your surroundings.
- Put away your card and cash after completing your transactions, secure your card and cash immediately, before exiting the ATM area.
- If the ATM is not well lit or is obstructed from view, go to another ATM.
- Never enter your PIN in any terminal that does not look genuine, has been modified, has a suspicious device attached, or is operating in a suspicious manner.
- Shield the ATM keypad with your hand or body while entering your PIN.
- Take your ATM receipts with you and check them against your statement as soon as you get a chance.
- Report any unusual activity to us and/or law enforcement agencies.
Step-By-Step Identity Theft Resolution
What to do if you think your identity has been stolen:
- Contact FIGFU immediately to close any accounts that have been tampered with or were established fraudulently.
- Contact the three major credit bureaus listed below to place a fraud alert on your credit file.
You also can order a credit report to identify any unauthorized activity.
- Equifax 1.800.525.6285
- Experian 1.888.397.3742
- Trans Union 1.800.680.7289
The fraud alert requires creditors to contact you before the opening of any new accounts. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the other two credit bureaus will automatically be notified, and all three credit reports will be sent to you free of charge.
- Close other accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
- File a police report. Get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others that may require proof of the crime.
- File your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC maintains a database of identity theft cases that can be used by law enforcement agencies for investigation purposes. Filing a complaint also helps the FTC gather more information about identity theft and the problems victims are having.
For more information about fighting identity theft and reporting fraud, visit the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov