The more financial knowledge you have, the better — and that’s true whether you’re learning practical money skills or technological techniques to protect your assets. Our free resources provide our members with education on a wide variety of financial topics.
FBI Fraud Alert Checklist
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a checklist to help you avoid becoming a victim of fraud and scams.
If you answer "YES" to any of the following questions, you could be involved in a fraud, or are about to be scammed.
- Is the check from an item you sold on the Internet, such as a car, boat, jewelry, etc?
- Is the amount of the check more than the item's selling price?
- Did you receive the check via an overnight delivery service?
- Is the check connected to communicating with someone by email?
- Is the check drawn on a business or individual account that is different from the person buying your item or product?
- Have you been informed that you were the winner of a lottery, such as Canadian, Australian, El Gordo or El Mundo, that you did not enter?
- Have you been instructed to wire, send, or ship money, as soon as possible, to a large U.S. city or to another country, such as Canada, England or Nigeria?
- Have you been asked to pay money to receive a deposit from another country such as Canada, England or Nigeria?
- Are you receiving pay or a commission for facilitating money transfers through your account?
- Did you respond to an email requesting you to confirm, update or provide your account information?
If you answered "yes" and think you may be a victim of fraud, speak to branch personnel immediately.
Preventing Identity Theft
The number of Americans who have experienced identity theft is in the millions, with the incidence rate increasing every year. Substantial measures are in place at your credit union to protect your identity and your accounts against theft and fraud. For example, stringent credit union privacy policies protect your personal information. Password protection for online transactions helps assure online security and that protection is being further enhanced through multi-factor authentication. This process requires additional input – something you know, have, or are – to authenticate your identity for online transactions. Finally, encryption of online transactions converts your information into secure code, protecting you against hackers.
Maximum security is possible only with your help. Here’s what you can do to stop these crimes before they happen:
- Do not give out financial information such as checking and credit card numbers, or your Social Security number, unless you know the person.
- Report lost or stolen checks immediately to your credit union or to the payor if the check was given to you.
- Notify your credit union of suspicious phone or e-mail inquiries such as those asking for account information to “verify a statement” or “award a prize.”
- Closely guard your ATM card, PIN (Personal Identification Number) and ATM receipts.
- Shred any financial solicitations and credit union statements before disposing of them.
- Put outgoing mail containing checks, deposits or sensitive information into a secure, official Postal Service collection box.
- If regular bills fail to reach you, call the biller promptly to find out why.
- If your bills include questionable items, don’t ignore them. Instead, investigate immediately to head off any possible fraud.
- Periodically contact the major credit reporting companies to review your file to make certain the information is correct. You can request a free report each year from all three of the major credit reporting bureaus.
Financial Education Links
- Financial Literacy & Education Commission (U.S. government's financial education website)
- The Federal Reserve (educational resources)
- U.S. Department of the Treasury (American Savings Education Council)
- U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (information on buying a home)
- NCUA (financial literacy information)
- Education Cents (a financial education program from CollegeInvest)
- Practical Money Skills and What's My Score (Visa's financial literacy resources)
- The Actuarial Foundation (consumer financial education)
- Equifax, Experian, & TransUnion (free annual credit report and other information)
- Take Charge America (non-profit credit counseling)
- FDIC (consumer protection resources)
Have questions about Cobalt Credit Union? Drop us a line.