Preventing Fraud

What is Fraud?

In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation. Defrauding people or entities of money or valuables is the most common purpose of fraud.

Fraudulent Telephone Inquiries

Your credit union will never call you to ask for or verify your personal information, credit card number, PIN number or account number. Do not give out or verify any of your personal information over the phone.

If you are contacted by anyone claiming to be a credit union employee and looking to obtain or confirm personal information:

  • Ask for the name and phone number of the caller,
  • Ask to set up an appointment at your credit union
  • Notify you credit union immediately
  • It is almost certain that the individual will not give this information if they are attempting a fraud and if they do, the information would prove to be false.

    Online fraud, email fraud and phishing

    Your credit union will never email you a request for your personal passwords, personal information numbers or login information. Legitimate credit unions and other financial service institutions do not ask you to follow links to their secure websites in email communication with you. Emails designed to lure you to click through to a false, harmful site are a particular kind of fraud called phishing, and it can be a serious threat.

    Don't be a victim!

    If you are unsure of the authenticity of an email, delete it and call your branch to find out if an email was indeed distributed. Tip-offs include poor grammar or spelling, warning or alert messages, and exotic promises.

    Identity Theft

    East Coast Credit Union goes to great lengths to protect your confidential financial information and ensure your personal information is secure. Identity theft occurs when you respond to a fraudulent telephone call, letter or email that asks for your personal banking information. Armed with this information, a person may be able to access your accounts or establish credit, charge items or borrow money using your name.

    Criminals are constantly coming up with new ways to carry out identity theft. Some common methods identity thieves use include:

  • Fraudulent telephone calls, letters, letter or emails that asks for your personal banking information.
  • Posing as a landlord, potential employer, etc.
  • Stealing your purse, wallet, mail or any other source of personal information.
  • Rifling through your garbage.
  • Hacking into unsecured websites you have visited and entered information into.

    Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

  • Sign credit cards when they arrive. Use chip cards.
  • Safely discard all personal materials. Consider using a shredder.
  • Review your credit union statements and credit card statements when they arrive.  Advise your financial institution of any discrepancies immediately.
  • Protect your PIN and passwords.
  • Perform an annual credit check. This service is available free from a credit bureau, such as Equifax or TransUnion.
  • Report any theft of personal information to your local police, your credit union, the credit bureau and any service providers that you use. Keep a contact list of your card providers somewhere easily accessible so you can quickly and easily contact them to cancel. You may wish to keep a full list of card numbers, etc, locked in your safety
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