Partners Fraud Center
At Partners, we understand the importance of protecting our members’ safety, which is why we have implemented a variety of security measures to help safeguard your identity, as well as any sensitive banking information. Our Fraud Center offers you tools and resources to help protect your identity, including updated information on the latest scams and the important steps to take in the case you become a victim. Together, we will protect what is yours.
Protecting Your Identity
HOW PARTNERS PROTECTS YOU
To help protect against fraud, Partners is committed to ongoing security and monitoring of our Member accounts. If there is suspicious activity detected, there is no liability for unauthorized charges on your account. We will replace your card immediately. If there is anything unusual on your account, we will call or email you.
HOW YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF
We all love the access and convenience that technology offers us, but it’s important to be safe and use it wisely. Here are a couple of ways to not only access your accounts but also monitor your daily activity and ensure that you recognize every transaction.
- Safely Access Your Account
Access your account via www.partnersfcu.org or download our Partners mobile app (add the apple store and Google apps here) to monitor your transactions. You can also stay on top of account activity and any potentially unauthorized transactions by setting up fraud alerts for both your checking account and credit card.
- Safely using your debit/credit card.
The chip-enhanced card contains an embedded microchip. This chip holds information that is encrypted, making it extremely difficult for the card to be copied or counterfeited. Rather than swiping your card, insert your chip card into a chip-enabled terminal to complete a transaction. In addition to the embedded microchip, cards that have this symbol on the front or back of the card, have tap to pay capabilities. This feature functions similar to the EMV chip, offering you additional security when making a purchase.
- Refrain from Giving Out Your Username and Password
Giving out your username and password can put you at great risk. When you do so, you are giving another person not only access to your account but also permission to make any changes without your authorization.
- Update Your Password Regularly
Oftentimes, we are prompted to update our passwords at work or at school, but we may not remember to do the same with our personal accounts. When updating your passwords, select something that is easy only for you to remember and mix it up by using different characters. We encourage you to update your personal account passwords at least every six (6) months.
- Set Up FREE Account Alert
You can set up free alerts for your checking account, as well as your credit cards. Stay up to date on all of your account activity with these customizable notifications, including fraud alerts, an essential tool that can help you quickly detect a potential threat to your account when it happens and take immediate action.
- Review Your Credit:
Reviewing your credit at least once per year will help ensure that what is being reported is actually yours and that it is being reported correctly. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to pull your credit report from all three (3) credit bureaus today.
- Select Paperless Statements
Going paperless—and accessing your account statements online—decreases your chances of statements getting lost or stolen in the mail. Besides, you can view your statements from the last seven (7) years online in your account from wherever you are.
Protecting Yourself Against Fraud
Unfortunately, when it comes to fraud, the landscape is constantly changing, and identity thieves are continuously finding new ways to scam people. Here are some ways that it can happen, and how you can protect yourself.
How Fraud Happens:
- Card Skimmers
A device that is placed over the card slot of payment terminals to scan and copy the card number.
- Handheld Credit Card Skimmers
A smaller version of a card skimmer that can easily fit in your hand. These devices can also scan the card number off of a debit/credit card.
- ATM Overlays
A keypad placed over the original keypad to copy the pin number instantaneously as it is being utilized. In certain cases, there may be a card skimmer and an overlay on a machine to allow thieves to get as much information as possible.
- Phishing E-mails
Emails sent in an attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details. It is very common for these emails to look like they have come from proper or familiar sources.
- Data Breach
A security breach is when sensitive information is copied, transmitted or stolen by an unauthorized individual. This can consist of financial information or other personal information such as health records, identity information, and intellectual property.
- Wire Transfer Fraud
Wire transfer crimes occur when personal banking and business banking customers are deceived by fraudsters to wire money to them. They use language that might be specific to the person or the company they are targeting and then request a fraudulent wire transfer using dollar amounts that would not be out of the ordinary based on the customer. The cybercriminals use phishing emails and then leverage trusted relationships between individuals who authorize wire transfers and those who send them out. The scam is not just specific to businesses or other organizations that regularly make wire payments. Anyone can be a victim of this type of cybercrime and should take every precaution to protect themselves.
- Social Engineering
All scammers use what’s called “social engineering” in order to motivate your behavior. In other words, scammers misrepresent themselves to fool you into doing something that benefits them. Pay attention to unsolicited messages and if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Learn more about social engineering scams in the next section.
Avoid Social Engineering Scams:
- Regulate Your Privacy Settings and Contacts
Actively manage your privacy settings on all social media. Only accept requests from individuals that you know, and limit the amount of people who can see your information to as few as possible.
- Avoid Dangerous and Sensational Links
Offers that are too good to be true, fast cash, sensational news headlines, deep retail discounts, etc. Don’t click on that link! If there is a link that you believe to be legit, then always check the source of the link before you proceed.
- Don’t Make it Easy for Scammers
Do not post any personal information that can be misused by others. Never post things like your date of birth, your social security number, mother’s maiden name, full address, etc. Also, avoid social networking content that asks you for personal information, and never give your password away
- Do Not Engage in Financial Transactions via Social Media
Do not send money electronically to people you do not know. Do not transmit your banking information or personal information for “alleged” loan offers, quick cash, or other such transactions.
- Update Firmware and Use Security Software
Always ensure that your device is updated with the latest firmware. This helps reduce the likelihood of malware and what’s referred to as “zero-day attacks”. It’s also recommended that you use anti-virus and security apps on all of your devices and PC’s that are set to run regular scans
- Be Vigilant and Security Aware
Delete any old apps that you are not using, be aware of phishing scams, don’t use the same password over multiple accounts, always use 2-factor authentication (Set up 2-factor authentication immediately on all financial accounts where available), and only do business with known parties through reputable and verifiable transaction channels.
What To Do If You’re a Victim
If you’ve become a victim of identity theft, here are the five recommended steps to take.
- Call the Company(s) Where the Fraud Occurred
This will ensure that they put a freeze on your credit card or the account used.
- Place an Initial Fraud Alert on Your Credit Report
This will prevent any new credit from being issued without your authorization. There is no fee for you to place this fraud alert. If indeed you are a victim of identity theft, this fraud alert will stay on your credit for seven (7) years. If it is a preliminary fraud alert and you are not a victim, the fraud alert will only stay on your credit report for 90 days.
- Order Your Credit Report
Go through all of the current trade lines and your credit history to make sure everything is reported correctly.
- Create an Identity Theft Report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
If you are a victim of identity theft, filing an identity theft report is the only way to make sure you aren’t liable for any of the expenses charged.
- File a Police Report
In order to complete the identity theft report, you will need a police report—regardless of the amount that has been stolen.
Identity Theft Resources
Federal Trade Commission https://www.consumer.ftc.gov
Identity Theft Resource Center https://www.idtheftcenter.org
P O Box 105069 To order a report: 800.685.1111
Atlanta, GA 30349-5069 To report fraud: 800.525.6285
P O Box 2002 To order a report: 888.397.3742
Allen, TX 75013-0949 To report fraud: 888.397.3742
P O Box 1000 To order a report: 800.916.8800
Chester, PA 19022 To report fraud: 800.680.7289
Annual Credit Report www.annualcreditreport.com
Federal Deposit Insurance https://www.fdic.gov/consumers/
Current Scams and Information
How to Protect Yourself After the Capital One Data Breach
A data breach of Capital One, the nation’s seventh-largest bank by assets, compromised the personal information of approximately 100 million U.S. consumers and 6 million consumers in Canada, the bank announced Monday.
The breach affected the information of two groups of people:
- Those who applied for Capital One credit cards between 2005 and 2019. The compromised information included names, dates of birth, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers.
- Existing credit card and secured credit card holders. Data stolen included 140,000 Social Security numbers, 80,000 bank account numbers and information about consumers’ credit scores, credit limits, balances, payment history and transactions. In Canada, 1 million Social Insurance Numbers were compromised.Capital One said it would provide free credit monitoring and identity protection services to those affected.
The incident arrives just after a settlement of the massive 2017 Equifax data breach, which exposed the personal information of nearly 148 million U.S. consumers, more than half the adults in the U.S.
Consumers can take steps if they fear their financial data has been compromised or to proactively guard their credit:
- 1. For best protection, freeze your credit
A credit freeze makes it unlikely your stolen financial information can be used to open new accounts in your name. Most creditors check your credit history as part of the application process — with a freeze in place, they can’t access your credit history and will decline to open a new account.
Freezing your credit doesn’t affect your score. And when you want to open up a new credit line, you can simply “thaw” your credit temporarily
Freezing and unfreezing your credit at each of the three credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — is now free to all consumers.
- 2. Place a fraud alert if you can’t freeze right now
If you don’t want to lock out creditors — perhaps you’re in the middle of applying for a mortgage or car loan — you can instead add a fraud alert to your credit reports.
This type of alert flags potential creditors that they should verify your identity before issuing new credit in your name.
A fraud alert lasts for a year and is renewable. You need to contact only one of the three bureaus and ask for the alert; it will notify the others.
For best protection, remember to freeze your credit at all three bureaus once you’re done with your applications.
- 3. Check all 3 credit reports
You’re entitled to at least one free credit report from each credit bureau every 12 months via AnnualCreditReport.com. If you’ve already accessed them within that time frame, you get another round of free reports once you’ve placed a fraud alert.In addition, the Equifax breach settlement will provide all U.S. consumers six extra free credit reports a year for seven years, starting in 2020.Check over your reports for signs of trouble, especially:
• New accounts that you didn’t open.
• Credit inquiries that don’t match when you applied for credit.
• Balances that don’t match your statements.
- 4. Watch your credit card activity
Freezing can stop new accounts from being opened in your name — but it can’t prevent fraudulent charges on an existing account. Protect yourself in these ways
• Even if you think your data wasn’t affected by this breach, stay on top of your credit card statements. Look for charges you don’t recognize and if something seems fishy, dig into it. There’s often a phone number listed along with the merchant name for each transaction.
• Sign up for text or email alerts about credit transactions. Many credit card issuers let you set them for every charge, or just ones above a certain dollar amount.
• If you see a suspicious charge, call your issuer right away to dispute it. Most often, your liability is limited to only $50 and perhaps less.
More From NerdWallet
• How to Prevent Credit Card Fraud
• Does Freezing Your Credit Hurt Your Credit Score?
• How to Navigate the Equifax Data Breach Settlement Offer
Amrita Jayakumar is a writer at NerdWallet.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ajbombay.
Bev O’Shea is a writer at NerdWallet.
Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @BeverlyOShea.
The article How to Protect Yourself After the Capital One Data Breach originally appeared on NerdWallet.
Consumers affected by the 2017 Equifax data breach (that’s most U.S. adults who have credit) can get their names on the list to get free credit monitoring and/or monetary compensation.
You can see if you’re included by visiting the settlement website.
But the compensation you apply for may not be what you end up with. Watch for qualifiers like “up to,” and know the limitations of the settlement.
Free monitoring or $125: What to know
- All affected consumers can get free credit monitoring. Or, if they already have credit monitoring, they can apply for alternative compensation of up to $125.
- You are choosing between a guaranteed minimum amount of free credit monitoring or compensation that could be well less than $125, depending on how many people apply.
What value do you get from free monitoring?
- The free credit monitoring gives you four years of free monitoring from Experian that covers the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The lowest price Experian advertises on its website for that coverage is $19.99 a month. After the three-bureau monitoring expires, you can opt to have up to six years of one-bureau monitoring from Equifax.
What if I want cash instead?
- If you already have credit monitoring and plan to keep it for at least six months, you can choose the cash option. You can get either a prepaid card or a check for your reimbursement.
- You must have the monitoring in place when you apply. Note that it does not need to be credit monitoring that you pay for, according to Federal Trade Commission spokeswoman Juliana Gruenwald. The free monitoring you can get from some personal finance sites qualifies.
What is the likely value if I get cash?
- Settlement terms say that alternative reimbursement claims will be paid from a $31 million “bucket.” If there are enough claims to empty that bucket, the amount each person gets will drop as the pool of money is distributed proportionally.
What are the odds of getting the maximum $125?
- There would need to be no more than 248,000 approved claims out of the 147 million consumers affected — or less than one-fifth of one percent — for approved applicants to get the full $125.
What about the time I spent protecting myself after the breach?
You can get “up to” (there are those words again) $25 an hour you spent on:
- Dealing with fraud that was “fairly traceable” to the breach, up to 20 hours, and you’ll need documentation.
- Freezing and/or unfreezing your credit, comparing and/or purchasing identity theft protection services, up to 10 hours, and you must certify that you are being truthful.
- There is another $31 million bucket of money to cover claims for time spent. If it is exhausted, payouts will be reduced proportionally.
What about out-of-pocket costs?
- The limit is $20,000 per person, and you’ll have to provide documentation. Those expenses can include credit monitoring after the breach, legal expenses, postage, notaries and more. Those claims will be paid from the $380.5 million fund Equifax has set up to pay for monitoring services and to compensate consumers. If that payment is not enough to pay initial claims, there is an additional $125 million available. The money is split into various buckets for different kinds of claims, in much the same way that a budget might work with the envelope system. The settlement administrator will decide if your claim for out-of-pocket losses is valid.
Is there a filing deadline?
- Yes, you have until Jan. 22, 2020, to file for any of these remedies. You can apply online, print out an application form and mail it, or request that a form be mailed to you.
When will I get my benefits?
- Not right away. If you choose monitoring, you’ll get information on how to activate it once the court finalizes the settlement. A final approval hearing is scheduled for Dec. 19.
- Checks or prepaid cards for alternative reimbursement, time spent or out-of-pocket losses could take “several months or more,” according to the breach settlement website.
What if I have breach-related losses later?
- If there is any money left to compensate consumers after the initial rounds of claims, there will be an extended claims period for losses that occur after the first deadline.
- Consumers will be able to seek reimbursement for new out-of-pocket losses or time spent, but not for time and money spent protecting their credit such as by purchasing credit monitoring. You’ll have to certify that you have not already received reimbursement for the claimed loss. Claims must be made by Jan. 22, 2024, and will be paid on a first-come, first-served basis.
How can I protect myself now?
- You can freeze your credit. Freezing credit can keep identity thieves from opening credit accounts in your name. It’s free and doesn’t hurt your score. As long as you are not actively seeking credit, there’s little reason not to freeze it.
- If you need to unfreeze briefly, that process is also free.
- In contrast, credit and identity theft monitoring are more useful for telling you when access has already happened.
More From NerdWallet
Bev O’Shea is a writer at NerdWallet.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @BeverlyOShea.
The article How to Navigate the Equifax Data Breach Settlement Offer originally appeared on NerdWallet