Security FAQ


  • Protect Your Accounts

    The best way to help prevent fraud is to make sure you know what threats you are facing. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you make transactions online.
  • Don't Let Imposters Fool You

    Phishing (pronounced “fishing”) is a type of criminal activity that uses fraudulent techniques to gather sensitive personal information, such as passwords, account numbers, Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), Social Security Numbers, and other account information. By pretending to be a trustworthy person or business in a seemingly official electronic communication like an email, a criminal can use sophisticated lures to “fish” for users' passwords and personal or account information.

    However, scammers may use other contact methods to obtain your personal or account information, such as text messages (also known as short message phishing or “smishing”) and phone calls (also known as voice phishing or “vishing”). With these methods, you could receive a text message, phone call, or voicemail directing you to a fake website or phone number that appears to be legitimate, where you would be asked to provide your personal or account information.

    For example, you could receive a text message from an unusual number that says your account will be closed, frozen, or terminated unless you call a telephone number or go to a website. Often, these messages will imply or state that there will be negative consequences if you do not respond. This is an attempt to scare you and convince you to provide your personal or account information.

    If you are ever unsure about the authenticity of a Company email, phone call, or text message, please call the toll-free number on the back of your credit/debit card or the toll-free number printed on your statement.

    Do not respond or reply to a letter, email, phone call, or text message that:

    • Requires you to supply your Social Security Number, passwords, PIN numbers, or complete financial account information directly in the email.
    • Threatens to close or suspend your account if you do not take immediate action.
    • Invites you to answer a survey that asks you to enter sensitive personal or account information.
    • States that your account has been compromised or that there has been third-party activity on your account, then asks you to enter or confirm your personal or account information.
    • States that there are unauthorized charges on your account, then asks you to provide your personal or account information.
    • Asks you to enter your user ID, password, or account numbers, PIN, or card expiration dates into an email, non-secure webpage, or text message.
    • Asks you to confirm, verify, or refresh your account, credit card, or billing information.
  • Don’t Give in to Pressure

    It is almost always a scam to see a letter, email, communication, or website that:

    • Asks you to provide your account information because someone wants to send you money.
    • Claims you have a refund coming to you.
    • Says you have won a contest.

    Legitimate programs will never require you to enter personal or account information unless you are on a secure website.

    Email scams often try to create a feeling of urgency so you will respond before you can think. These messages typically threaten to cut off a service or close your account if you do not “update” or “verify” your personal or account information. Or they may pretend to be helpful, like offering a security update, but require you to enter your personal or account information first. These are red flags, and such tactics should alert you that the request may not be legitimate.

    Another more recent example is a scam involving an email that appears to come from one of your friends urgently asking you to send them money because they have lost their wallet or they are stuck in a foreign country. Never respond; call your friend to verify first.

  • Say “No” to Generic Passwords

    It is absolutely critical to use a highly secure password for all of your financial accounts. Never use your pet's name, your child's name, or anything else that a fraudster could easily find out. The most secure passwords are a combination of letters and numbers, not simply an address, phone number, or birth date. For added security, remember to change your password on a regular basis and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.
  • When in Doubt, Act Fast

    If you think you have given out personal information about your accounts (like your account number, password, or PIN), or you have typed it into a website that may not be legitimate, please immediately contact the financial institution so they can take steps to help you secure your account.
  • Protect Yourself

    You should always have up-to-date antivirus software and a personal firewall installed on your computer. Make sure you have antivirus software that scans incoming communications and files for viruses that may cause you trouble. Be cautious about offers for “free” antivirus software and make sure you get your software from a highly reputable company. Also, look for antivirus software that removes or quarantines viruses and that updates automatically on a regular basis.

    A firewall is software or hardware designed to block unauthorized access to your computer. It is especially important to run a firewall if you have a broadband connection (such as from a cable modem) because your connection is always open. Most common operating system software (including Windows® XP and Vista) often come with built-in firewall functionality, but you may have to enable it.

  • Common Sense—It Is Your Friend

    We use a variety of technologies and techniques to help ensure that our products and services are secure. You should protect yourself, too, by making an effort to protect yourself when you use your personal computer or conduct business online.

    Here are some of the steps you can take:

    • Do not give out financial information such as checking account and credit card numbers—and especially your Social Security Number—on the phone unless you initiate the call and know the person or organization you are dealing with. Do not give that information to any stranger, even one claiming to be from our Company.
    • Notify the Company of suspicious phone inquiries such as those asking for account information to “verify a statement” or “award a prize.”
    • Guard your Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) for your credit/debit cards, and do not write on or keep your PINs with your cards. You should also guard your credit/debit card receipts. Thieves can use them to access your accounts.
    • Be creative in selecting Personal Identification Numbers for your credit/debit cards, and passwords that enable you to access other accounts. Do not use birth dates, parts of your Social Security Number or driver's license number, address, children's or spouse's names, or parts of the credit/debit cards. Remember: If someone has stolen your identity, he or she probably has some or all of this information.
    • If you receive financial solicitations that you are not interested in, tear them up before throwing them away, so thieves cannot use them to assume your identity. Shred any other financial documents, such as statements or invoices, before disposing of them.
    • Do not put outgoing mail in or on your mailbox. Drop it into a secure, official Postal Service collection box. Thieves may use your mail to steal your identity.
    • If regular bills fail to reach you, call the company to find out why. Someone may have filed a false change-of-address notice to direct your information to his or her address.
    • If your bills include suspicious items, do not ignore them. Instead, investigate immediately to head off any possible fraud before it occurs.
  • Beware of Unknown/Unexpected Attachments

    Do not open attachments, even if they appear to have come from a friend or a co-worker, unless you are expecting it or are absolutely sure you know what it contains. One red flag is any email from a friend that does not contain a personalized message, and instead contains generic messages such as “check this out” or “thought you'd be interested in this.” Do not let curiosity wreak havoc on your computer. Call your friend to make sure the email is legitimate before you open the attachment or click any links in the email.
  • Be on the Lookout

    Review your credit reports carefully and often. Each major credit reporting agency is required to provide you with a free copy of your credit report once a year, upon request. Look out for credit inquiries from unfamiliar companies, accounts that you never opened, and unexplained debts; all of these are warning signs of fraud and identity theft. To order your free annual credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll-free 1-877-322-8228.

    If you notice suspicious activity in your accounts, report it immediately to the appropriate parties.