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Protect Yourself from Fraud

Scam Prevention Tips

  • Never give personal information to a stranger who contacts you by phone, email or other means.
  • Don’t accept payments for more than the amount of the service with the understanding that you send the buyer the difference.
  • Don’t accept checks from individuals you’ve only met online.
  • Don’t accept jobs in which you are paid or received commission for facilitating money transfers through your account.
  • No matter how urgent someone claims a deal is, you can always wait for a few days to research and confirm legitimacy. Time is on your side, not the fraudster’s.
  • You are ultimately responsible and liable for all deposits made into your account, whether they are a check, money order, transfer, etc.

Protect Your Personal Information

  • Carry only necessary identification. Do not carry your social security card with you.
  • Take steps to reduce the amount of mail you receive that displays personal information.
  • Be cautious when providing your Social Security Number. It’s okay to ask whether it is needed for the application or transaction.
  • Check your credit report annually using
  • Never provide personal information over the phone or internet unless you have initiated the contact and have confirmed the business or person’s identity.
  • Avoid leaving any personal information in your car.
  • Shred unnecessary documents, especially those containing your personal information.
  • Take your outgoing mail to the post office or postal box rather than using street-side mailboxes.

Protect Your Bank Accounts

  • Receive your bank and other financial statements electronically (Union Bank provides free e-Statements).
  • Use e-Alerts to monitor various types of account activity. This free service can help alert you to fraudulent activity.
  • Use online services (Online Banking, e-Alerts, etc.) to monitor your bank accounts regularly.
  • Receive your paychecks, dividends and other reoccurring deposits directly into your account electronically.
  • Purchase checks from a reputable company that provides security features within the check stock paper.
  • Avoid preprinting personal identifiers on your checks (SSN,DL#, Personal phone numbers, etc.)
  • Store your checks securely and know who has access to them.
  • Report suspicious activity (lost, stolen or unauthorized use of checks or cards) immediately.
  • Avoid writing down, carrying or sharing your online banking or card PIN (personal identification number) with anyone. Memorize it or secure it at home.
  • Choose passwords or PINs that are difficult for others to guess by not using personal information within the password such as address, phone number, SSN or date of birth, rather use random information.

Protect Your Devices

  • Create strong passwords. They should use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols, and shouldn’t make real words. Shoot for 8 characters or longer.
  • Do not allow your device to store your password.
  • Select a new password for each site, and change your password every 90 days.
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi connections and public computers when using Online and Mobile Banking.
  • Beware of links and attachments in emails from unknown senders. When clicked, they can install malware on your device, which could lead to future fraud.
  • Before entering your account information on a site, verify that the site is secure by identifying if the site is registered (green address bar), and secure (https web extension and padlock).
  • Stay up-to-date with operating systems, browser updates, and any security patches from your service provider.
  • Install anti-virus an anti-malware security systems
  • Always lock and password protect your devices when you are away from them.
  • Regularly delete your browser history.
  • Disable bluetooth when it is not in use (this may also help save your battery life).
  • Back up your device regularly.
  • Never disclose any personal information via a text message (such as account numbers, passwords, social security numbers or birth date).

Download an Identity Theft Quick Reference