Current Financial Scam - Zelle Fraud
At Partners, the safety and security of your personal information and accounts is our first priority – but the very best defense in preventing fraud is for you to be well informed on how to safeguard your data and know the signs of a potential scam.
Recently, Members have reported receiving fraud alert texts asking if they performed a Zelle® or card transaction for a large amount. This fraud alert is NOT from Partners. These messages are coming from fraudsters.
Once the Member responds to the fraud alert text, the fraudster will call or text the member pretending to be from the credit union. They then ask to change/obtain the Member’s online banking information by asking for their username and password and often ask you to verify their online banking verification code that is actually generated by the fraudster accessing your online bank account. If successful, they begin sending money out of the Member’s account to their account via Zelle®.
- Fraud attempts like smishing, vishing, and phishing are very much a thing of the present so it’s important to stay alert. Don’t click on links or reply to text messages you don’t trust and when in doubt, contact the financial institution or service provider directly.
- Experts agree it’s always better to hang up and call your bank to make sure you are talking to the real bank. Any phone number can be spoofed, including Partners and other reputable organizations.
- Do not use the same password for your accounts. If your email password is compromised elsewhere and it’s the same as your bank, scammers can then get into your bank account.
- Watch for “urgent” requests from recipients. If someone says you need to act now to resolve the issue, this is a scare strategy that scammers use to create a sense of urgency or panic.
If you suspect fraudulent activity on your account or believe someone may be attempting to steal your account information, please immediately contact the Partners Federal Credit Union member support team at 800.948.6677 to report it.
Maximizing Security in Online Banking
- Set up Fraud Alerts for your Partners cards and accounts. From your profile in online banking, select “Alert Settings” then view your accounts to enable alerts and manage balances, transactions, and more. Follow the instructions to enable your mobile device to receive alerts for your debit card and/or credit card. Ensure you have your card(s) readily available to complete this process.
- Always ensure your contact information is up-to-date
- Update your account password often
- Check your VantageScore®. Select VantageScore from your online banking home page or within “Loans and Credit” in the Partners App to view your credit score.
Five Tips to Enhance Your Security
- Disconnect From Public Wireless Networks
Checking your account at your local coffee shop may seem harmless, but it’s one of the easiest ways for scammers to obtain your information. Generally, public Wi-Fi is available to everyone as an unsecured network, which means it’s not secured by a password or any other firewalls. When using a public wireless network, try to use it as minimally as possible and do not log into your financial accounts.
- Enable Biometrics
While Partners does not collect biometric data (fingerprint, face ID), this information may be stored on your device. Enabling this form of security when logging into important applications, like checking your Partners account balance, will ensure your information is kept safe and prevent hackers from stealing your data.
- Never Provide Login Credentials Over The Phone
If there has been suspected fraud on your account, the person calling to verify the charge should never ask for your username and password over the phone. If you find the person is asking for this information, immediately hang up the phone and report the phone number to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). If you suspect fraud, please notify us immediately at 800.948.6677.
- Create Strong Passwords
The stronger the password, the stronger your security. While it is recommended you create a password that’s a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols, we also recommend avoiding any numbers that pertain to you directly, such as your birth date or social security number. Make a password that’s easy for you to remember, but hard for scammers to guess.
- Screen Your Emails Carefully
You might receive emails that say they’re from your family member, favorite store, or financial institution, but in reality, they’re phishing emails. Before opening any attachments, look for misspellings that may be prevalent throughout the message. Also, if the email is asking for you to verify personal information, delete the email. If you’re unsure, call the sender and verify the legitimacy of the email.