Protecting Your Online Identity

You may have heard in the news, online hacks and scams are on the rise, especially those involving phishing. Phishing happens when a thief sends a message that looks or sounds legitimate to try and gain information that can be later used to commit fraud against you.

A phishing message might include an e-mail, text or phone call which looks and sounds like it came from a company, a financial institution or even a friend or family member. It may include a legitimate looking company name or logo. Often, there is a convincing request or message explaining why you need to log in and verify or provide account information. The goal of most phishing scams is to obtain your personal identifying information such as your account numbers, user names, passwords and social security or tax identification number. Once the thief has this information they can commit fraud against you.

You will be less likely to fall victim to the scam if you remain vigilant. Remember, the thief can't get your identifying information through a phishing scam unless you provide it to them.

Some safeguards for protecting your personal information include:

  • Do not share or give out personal or account login information to anyone, including your family and friends. This includes user names, passwords, account numbers and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs).
  • Never enter your financial institution online banking credentials after clicking on a link within an email. It is always best to log into the website directly rather than from within an email link.
  • Never click on links in an email asking to verify accounts, PIN or member information.
  • Be wary of any e-mail, phone call or website that asks you to provide your user name and password used to access your credit union account(s).
  • Be cautious of anyone who requests that you verify your account details or provide your personal identifying information via text message or over the phone. When in doubt, call the number on the back of your Debit or Credit Card to ensure you are speaking with the financial institution and not an imposter.

If you or a family member inadvertently provides member, account or personal identifying information to someone suspicious; contact your financial institution(s) immediately to put safeguards in place to try to protect the funds in your account from being removed fraudulently.

BFSFCU is committed to helping you protect your member and account information from scam artists; with your diligence, we can work together to prevent fraud.