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Fraud and scams are a reality in today’s world. Learn how to protect yourself and your personal information.
Never share account information. This includes your Internet banking login, account numbers, social security number and PINs. Do not provide personal information over the phone unless you initiate contact and verify that it is a trusted source.
Do not “over share” on social media. For example, avoid posting when you are on vacation and when you will be returning. Wait until you get back to post the fun photos!
Secure your mail. Place outgoing mail in a post office collection box. If you plan on being away from home for more than a couple days, have the US Post Office hold your mail. Valley Oak eStatements are a great option!
Safely dispose of sensitive information. Shred any papers that have personal or financial information.
Regularly review accounts statements. Report any suspicious activity immediately.
Set up eAlerts. Get real-time text or email alerts when transactions occur on your account or Visa® Debit and Credit cards.
Request a copy of your credit report annually. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you have the right to request a free credit report from the three main consumer reporting agencies - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The only website authorized to give this free report is www.annualcreditreport.com. You can also request a copy by calling 877.322.8228.
Spoofing is the act of disguising your communication from an unknown source as being sent from a trusted one. The objective of spoofing is to make the recipient believe that he/she is receiving notification from a legitimate source. The caller will pretend to be a staff member of the institution, or a representative from the institutions fraud department in order to get the victim to disclose sensitive information, causing harm to the organization as well as the victim. The latest scam we've been made aware of in our area involves fraudsters pretending to be calling from your financial institution, stating there has been a breach to your account. This is not related to an internal breach within the credit union, rather, a common scam that has targeted some members and we want to make you aware so you do not fall victim.
These fraudsters are asking for personal information such as your banking login credentials, in an effort to commit identity theft or gain access to your account. If you believe you have been a target of this scam, please contact us immediately. Valley Oak Credit Union as well as our fraud department will never contact members from our toll free (800)561-4302 phone number, as well as they will never ask for information such as your online banking username and password or your card PIN number.
You may not be able to tell right away if an incoming call is spoofed. Be extremely careful about responding to any request for personal identifying information.
Caller ID Spoofing | Federal Communications Commission (fcc.gov)
Criminals are constantly developing new schemes to trick people into sharing private information. Unfortunately, these schemes are often hard to spot. For instance, one method that occurs regularly in Alaska (and elsewhere) is the use of a fake email message, text or phone call to convince a person that their financial account needs attention.
If you’ve ever received an email message, text or phone call that out-of-the-blue claimed your financial account needs attention, it’s important to be immediately on guard. Is the caller or sender asking you to provide your account number, social security number or other identifying info? RED FLAG! Your trusted financial institution would never contact you in this manner regarding private information. Hang up or delete the fraudulent message right away.
In phony contact attempts, criminals may claim that your account has been locked or that your account information needs to be updated. These false tales may sound urgent, which can sometimes stun a person into sharing private info with the fraudster. If you’ve shared private info before realizing the contact is fake, we can help place additional protective measures on your account.
Stay on top of the latest in security including social engineering, ransomware and phishing attacks - visit the Security Awareness Training Blog from KnowBe4.
To stay up-to-date with the latest fraud trends, we recommend visiting:
The accuracy of our calculators and their applicability to your circumstances are not guaranteed. You should consult with a qualified professional regarding your particular circumstances.
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