Fraud

FAIRWINDS will never ask members to login to their account through an embedded link contained in email or text messages.

FAIRWINDS will also never ask members to provide confidential information, such as debit or credit card numbers, PINs or Social Security numbers via email, text messages or direct mail. We will also never ask for this information over the phone.

If you receive any message asking you to do this, please do not respond to it. These messages are fraudulent attempts to collect your personal information.

5 Proactive Identity Theft Prevention Tips

  • DO NOT provide your full social security number unless it is deemed necessary such as a new application for credit.

  • Carry only what you need on you such as a debit card and an ID. If you're only going to the grocery store, it is not necessary to take all your credit cards and social security number with you.

  • Shred all incoming documents with personal and financial information on them. This will lower the chance you will become a victim of dumpster diving. Dumpster diving occurs when fraudsters dig through trash to gather personal information such as addresses, credit card and bank account numbers and use them as they please. *FAIRWINDS offers secure shredding options at monthly shred fests located at different branches throughout the month.

  • Switch to electronic statements if offered by your utility company, employer or current financial to reduce the risk of having these statements stolen from your mailbox.

  • Each year you can obtain a free copy of your credit report from the 3 major credit bureaus to verify your current credit accounts and loans you have opened to ensure that any loans or credit accounts have not been obtained fraudulently using your identity. www.annualcreditreport.com

What should I do if I'm a victim of Identity Theft?

  • Notify your local law enforcement agency immediately and file a report with them.

  • Contact the social security fraud hotline: (800)-269-0271.

  • Notify all financial institutions you conduct business with so your accounts can be flagged to warn you of unusual or suspicious activity.

  • Fill out the Identity theft affidavit packet at any of our FAIRWINDS CU service centers immediately.

  • Contact the 3 main credit bureaus to put an identity theft alert on your credit report so that financials and lenders will proceed with caution before a new credit account is opened using your social security number.
      Equifax Fraud Unit: 800.525.6285
      Experian Fraud Unit: 888.397.3742
      TransUnion Fraud Unit: 877.IDTHEFT

Know the Difference: Identity Theft vs. Identity Fraud

Identity Theft: Identity theft is when a fraudster/thief/person takes over your personal and financial information to obtain credit or open bank accounts fraudulently. Personal information used to obtained credit or bank accounts include Name, Social Security number, Date of Birth etc. This is often not caught immediately. This is usually discovered when new credit is applied for or creditors/collectors attempt to call or mail you collection letters. If not handled properly and quickly this could affect your credit report and credit score.

Identity Fraud: Identity fraud is usually limited attempts to steal funds from an existing bank account or through a credit/debit card transaction. An example of identity fraud is when a thief impersonates you at your financial attempting to cash a stolen check or withdraw money from your bank account. This usually does not affect your credit report or credit score if reported in a timely manner.

How to Identify Fraudulent eMails

Things to look for:

  1. Opening Greetings - If you have received an email from FAIRWINDS in the past, all of them will be identical to past opening and closing greetings.

  2. Misspellings/Incorrect Use of Grammar - If it doesn't look like it is professionally typed on purpose, it probably wasn't. Certain words such as "Fraudulent" or "Account Lockout" are often misspelled to bypass email spam filters to get to your inbox without any problems.

  3. Uncommon Links - When you roll the mouse curser over certain hyperlinks, you may notice the web address in those links are unfamiliar and are often links to 3rd party sites where information is viewable and obtainable.

Always remember! FAIRWINDS will never ask members to login into their account through an embedded link contained in an email or text message asking for Personal or Financial information.