Protecting Yourself From Fraud

TEFCU will NEVER request your personal information via email, text message, or phone call. If you receive any such communication, do not respond to it, and please notify us immediately.


Identity Theft

By raising your security awareness, you can prevent many different types of identity theft and keep yourself and your finances safe. Follow these valuable tips!

Beware of any unsolicited e-mails claiming to be from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the Texas Credit Union League (TCUL), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), or any individual credit union. These are "phishing" scams, designed to steal your personal information. These emails usually include links to fraudulent websites that try to trick you into thinking you are at the real website.

Remember, Texoma Educators Federal Credit Union and other credit union organizations will NEVER e-mail you to request your credit union member number, PIN, credit or debit card numbers, or ANY other personal information.

If you doubt the legitimacy of any communication, DO NOT respond. Instead, contact Texoma Educators FCU through familiar communication channels.

Preventing Identity Theft

How can I prevent identity theft from happening to me?

  • Carry only essential credit cards and identification in your wallet or purse. Especially do not carry your social security card.
  • Review your TEFCU credit card and account statements regularly to look for fraudulent charges or discrepancies.
  • Get a copy of your credit report annually, and review it carefully. Notify the credit bureau immediately of any suspicious or inaccurate information.
  • Beware of any merchant cannot who asks you to present a photo ID to complete a credit card transaction. If you are asked for ID, do not permit the merchant to copy any information onto the sales draft.
  • Install a locked mailbox at your residence. Pick up your mail as soon as possible, and use a USPS dropbox for outgoing mail.
  • Purchase a paper shredder and shred all documents containing account numbers, applications, or private information. Search online for guidance about the length of time you should keep personal records.
  • Before you shop online, check www.bbbonline.com/consumer to locate companies that comply to the standards of the Better Business Bureau.
  • Never provide your social security number online.
  • Avoid creating account passwords such as your birth date, mother's maiden name, or social security number. Choose something more obscure, and include letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Never provide personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call and are certain you are dealing with a reputable party.
  • Report all lost or stolen credit cards or checks immediately.
  • Maintain a list of the credit cards you use, and cancel the ones you do not use.
  • Write down or photocopy the front and back of all credit cards, and keep in a secure location. Do the same for all bank and investment accounts. 
     

Additional resources

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or 1-877-IDTHEFT

Request free fraud-prevention DVDs from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Common Scams

ATM/Debit Card Fraud — Perpetrators have begun targeting ATM and debit cards as a primary source to gain unauthorized access to your accounts. Many ATM cards double as debit cards and, even without knowing your PIN (personal identification number), a crook can clean you out. Scammers may gain access to your card number (not the card itself) in a variety of ways:

  • A thief may find your discarded receipts/carbons in the trash
  • A dishonest clerk could make an extra imprint or scan of your card for their personal use
  • You could be tricked into giving your card number over the phone or online


Jury Duty Scams — A scammer calls claiming to work for the local court and claims you've failed to report for jury duty. He tells you that a warrant has been issued for your arrest. The victim rightly claims that they never received the jury duty notification. The scammer then asks the victim for confidential information for "verification" purposes. Specifically, the scammer asks for the victim's social security number, birth date, and sometimes even for credit card numbers and other private information — exactly what the scammer needs to commit identity theft. This is when you should hang up the phone. It’s a scam.

Online Job Scams — People are being solicited for what appears to be a lucrative position that will allow them to work as an independent agent or from their home. Tips to avoid this type of scam:

  • Be cautious of any employer offering employment without an interview (either in person or by phone).
  • Investigate thoroughly any employer requesting that you transfer funds or receive packages for reshipment, especially if they are located overseas. Most of these employment offers are check-cashing or shipping scams!
  • Do not provide your social security number or any other sensitive information, unless you are confident that the employer is legitimate.
  • Be cautious of job links sent to you in emails…they could be "phishing" scams.


Account Verification — An unsolicited email or telephone caller asks you to verify your account information including personal information. Companies will never ask you to verify your password or ask for credit card information through email or through a telephone call 
that you did not initiate.

Travel Fraud — While some travel opportunities sold over the phone or offered via mail, email or fax are legitimate, many are scams that defraud consumers out of millions of dollars. Don't give your credit card number or bank information over the phone unless you know the company. 

Advance Fee Scams (aka Nigerian 419 Scam) — A so-called “representative” of a foreign government asks you to help move money from one account to another. You are then asked to provide up-front or advance fees for various taxes, attorney fees, transaction fees or bribes.

Lottery Scams — Fraudsters use e-mail, in conjunction with letters and phone calls, to convince victims they’ve won an overseas lottery. The scammer's goal is to trick consumers into sharing bank account numbers or paying up-front fees to claim winnings that never materialize. 

Bank Scams — A so-called “representative” of your financial institution calls and says they have discovered someone is writing checks on your account. The caller instructs you to retrieve your checkbook and read the number along the bottom of the check from left to right. Of course, banks and credit unions WILL NOT call and request that you read back your account number (which they assigned to you). Hang up, and report the incident.

Recovering from Identity Theft 

If you think your identity has been stolen, take these steps immediately:

  • Notify the police and file a complaint.
  • Alert Texoma Educators Federal Credit Union, and any other financial institutions you do business with, to flag your accounts and to inform you of any unusual activity.
  • Contact your creditors to inform them of the problem.
  • Contact the fraud departments of any one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file.

Equifax
Order a report: (800) 685-1111 
Report fraud: call (800) 525-6285 and 
Write to: P.O. Box 740256, Atlanta, GA 30374

Experian
Order a report: (888) 397-3742 
Report fraud: call (888) 397-3742 and 
Write to: P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013 

TransUnion
Order a report: (800) 888-4213
Report fraud: call (800) 680-7289 and 
Write to: P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834

Other authorities you might want to contact in case of fraud:

U.S. Postal Service

U.S. Social Security Administration

What is Phishing? 

Phishing is a scam where e-mails are sent by claiming to be a legitimate company, in an attempt to obtain non-public personal information for identity theft. Again, don't give out personal information over the phone, through the mail or online unless you've initiated the contact or are sure you know with whom you're dealing.

Never respond to any unsolicited request for confidential information.

We're here to help keep your funds safe

Contact us today with questions or concerns, large or small. 

Stay safe and keep your identity secure!