Fraud Prevention Center
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 educated on how to safeguard your data and know the signs of a potential scam. Our Fraud Prevention 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 case you become a victim.
If you suspect fraud, please notify us immediately at 800.948.6677. As a reminder:
• Partners will NEVER ask for any online/digital banking passwords – not by phone, text, or email. If you receive a message that appears to be from Partners asking you to verify your account information or activity, DO NOT respond or click on any links – instead call Partners at 800.948.6677 to directly verify the communication.
• Partners will NEVER ask you for your Partners online banking verification code (the code you may sometimes receive, delivered via text, phone call, or email, to verify your online or mobile account access or for transaction verification)
• If you are using a peer-to-peer payment app such as Zelle®, it’s important that you know and trust those you send money to. Partners will NEVER ask you to transfer funds via Zelle® to linked accounts, or to back to your own account.
• Partners may contact Members about possible suspicious activities we detect on their accounts, but we will NEVER ask for login credentials or ask you to transfer funds.
Current Financial Scam: Peer-to-Peer Payments
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®.
Visit the Partners Blog to learn more.
Five Tips to Enhance Your Security
Securing your account only takes a few minutes. Click on each tip to learn how to better protect your information.
- Disconnect From Public Wireless Networks
Checking your account while sipping a latte 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. Remember, when utilizing 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. Other than that, 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.
Protecting Your Identity
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, but we will NEVER ask for login credentials or ask you to transfer funds.
How you can protect yourself
- Safely access your account
Access your Partners online banking or mobile banking accounts 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
Your Partners Visa® debit and credit cards are equipped with an embedded microchip and/or contactless chip to provide greater security because each transaction generates a transaction-specific, one-time code, that is extremely effective in reducing counterfeit fraud. Rather than swiping your card, insert your chip card into a chip-enabled terminal or tap to pay where you see the Contactless Symbol to complete a transaction. 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 avoid repeating passwords across your accounts and to update your personal account passwords at least every six (6) months.
- Set-Up FREE account alerts
You can set up free alerts for your checking account, as well as your credit cards within Partners mobile banking. 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 documents
Going paperless—and accessing your account statements and documents online—decreases your chances of paper getting lost or stolen in the mail. Besides, you can contribute to helping the environment, and view your statements 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.
Uses psychological manipulation to trick users into making security mistakes or giving away sensitive information. The social engineering life cycle is about the investigation, hook, play, and exit.
After the fraudsters choose their victims they begin performing recon. Using public information to learn as much as possible, these sources can range from social media, company websites, and other online profiles.
Using the information they obtained they will then attempt to engage with the victim, ranging from email, text, and phone calls. During this hook phase, the fraudster is focused on spinning up a story and taking complete control of the interaction.
The play gains more momentum once the hook has been taken. Depending on the goal, it could be stealing sensitive information, valuable data, or attempting financial payment.
At this point, the fraudster was successful and is now trying to remove all traces of their presence and close the curtain to their act.
Social Engineering Tactics to Watch For:
• Your “friend” sends you a strange message: Pose as your “friend” and send you conspicuous messages containing malicious links or downloads. Just remember, you know your friends, if it seems unusual, reach out to them directly and ask about it.
• This person’s request is urgent: Fraudsters don’t want you to think twice about what they are attempting to do. They will involve some type of urgency, such as “Pay your past-due bill or we will need to turn off your utilities.”
• You receive an offer that feels too good to be true: You just received that phone call or email saying, “You qualify for 100% student loan forgiveness, call now to complete the process.” If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
• You’re receiving help from a service provider you did NOT request help with: “We’re calling to follow up on your recent request.” If they don’t provide more identification, hang up and reach out to that provider directly if you have a relationship.
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 that are set to run regular scans
- Be vigilant and 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.
- When using a peer-to-peer payment app such as Zelle®, only send money to those you know and trust.
When accessing your account online or via the mobile app, you may be asked to verify your identity via an OTP – or “one-time passcode,” which you will select to receive via text or a phone call. NEVER share this code with anyone – Partners representatives will NEVER ask for this code. Partners will NEVER ask you to transfer funds via Zelle® to linked accounts, or to back to your own account.
Maximizing Account 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.
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.
- Consider Enrolling in a Credit Monitoring Service
Consider enrolling yourself in a credit and/or identity monitoring service that alerts you to unusual activity on you credit. A good credit monitoring service provides alerts when new accounts are opened or if your information is changed. Credit monitoring is a great preventative step to stop identity and account takeover fraud or at least reduce its impact.
Fraud & Merchant Dispute Claims
Learn about how we notify you when we suspect unusual activity and the differences between a Fraud Claim and a Merchant Dispute Claim.
How Fraud Happens:
- Fraud & Merchant Dispute Claims
A Fraud Claim is when a Member has never done business with the merchant, has not authorized, and does not recognize the transactions that are being claimed as fraud.
A Merchant Dispute is when a Member has done business with the merchant and/or has in some form authorized or has knowledge of the transactions in question.
- Merchant Dispute Claims
Before Partners accepts the case as a merchant dispute, Members need to attempt to resolve the issue with the merchant first as this is a Visa® program requirement.
Members should document their attempt(s) at resolving the matter with the merchant. This information is needed not only to facilitate a Merchant Dispute Claim but may also support the success of the claim itself and increase the likelihood that the issuing bank or credit union can recover the money via the Visa® chargeback dispute process.
- Fraud Notifications
If we notice there is suspicious activity on your account, you may receive a call from our Fraud Team. Please be aware that fraudsters have become increasingly adept at spoofing phone numbers and asking Members for personal identification information (PII).
If the call seems suspicious, please hang up immediately and call us right away at 800.948.6677.
If you have any questions, please select one of the following options and schedule an appointment.
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/
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No one can prevent all identity theft. †LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses. ††Phone alerts made during normal local business hours. ‡Reimbursement and Expense Compensation, each with limits of up to $25,000 for Standard, up to $100,000 for Advantage and up to $1 million for Ultimate Plus. And up to $1 million for coverage for lawyers and experts if needed, for all plans. Benefits provided by Master Policy issued by United Specialty Insurance Company (State National Insurance Company, Inc. for NY State Members). Policy terms, conditions and exclusions at: LifeLock.com/legal. 1 -Norton Security Online provides protection against viruses, spyware, malware, and other online threats for up to 5 PCs, Macs, Android devices. Norton account features not supported in this edition ofNorton Security Online. As a result, some mobile features for Android are not available such as anti-theft and mobile contacts backup. iOS is not supported. 2 -Virus Protection Promise: To be eligible for the Virus Protection Promise, you must have a qualifying Norton subscription and unless you have Norton Small Business, you must also have purchased, renewed or upgraded that Norton subscription directly from Symantec, or activate automatic renewal with Symantec. If a Norton expert is unable to remove the virus from your device, then you may receive a refund based on the actual price paid for the current term of your qualifying Norton subscription. If you purchase a Norton bundle (a qualifying Norton subscription purchased with another Norton offering), your refund will be limited to the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of your qualifying Norton subscription for the current term, not to exceed the total bundled price paid. Or, if your bundled purchase contains a qualifying Norton subscription with a non-Norton product, your refund will be limited to the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of only your Norton qualifying subscription for the current term, not to exceed the total bundled price paid. Any refund will be net of any discounts or refunds received and less any shipping, handling and applicable taxes, except in certain states and countries where shipping, handling and taxes are refundable. The refund does not apply to any damages incurred as a result of viruses. See Norton.com/guarantee for details including qualifying Norton subscriptions.