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Cyber Security & Prevention

Fraud and scams are a reality in today’s world. Learn how to protect yourself and your personal information.

Protect your Identity

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.

Monitor Your Accounts

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.

Beware of Phone Scams Such as Spoofing

What Is Spoofing?

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.

Tips to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Spoofing

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.

  • Don't answer calls from unknown numbers. If you answer such a call, hang up immediately.
  • If you answer the phone and the caller - or a recording - asks you to hit a button to stop getting the calls, you should just hang up. Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.
  • Do not respond to any questions, especially those that can be answered with "Yes" or "No."
  • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother's maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
  • If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company's or government agency's website to verify the authenticity of the request. You will usually get a written statement in the mail before you get a phone call from a legitimate source, particularly if the caller is asking for a payment.
  • Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
  • If you have a voice mail account with your phone service, be sure to set a password for it. Some voicemail services are preset to allow access if you call in from your own phone number. A hacker could spoof your home phone number and gain access to your voice mail if you do not set a password.
  • Talk to your phone company about call blocking tools and check into apps that you can download to your mobile device. The FCC allows phone companies to block robocalls by default based on reasonable analytics. More information about robocall blocking is available at fcc.gov/robocalls.

Caller ID Spoofing | Federal Communications Commission (fcc.gov)

How to Spot Suspicious Activity

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.

Lost or stolen Debit Card          

  • 888.241.2510 (within the U.S.)    
  • 909.941.1398 (outside U.S.)

Lost or stolen Credit Card

  • 800.543.5073

For Your Information

To stay up-to-date with the latest fraud trends, we recommend visiting: