Protecting your accounts is a top priority for us. Whether you bank in person, online or on your mobile device, your personal data could be vulnerable to identity theft and other attacks. Using state-of-the-art fraud prevention systems, our dedicated staff constantly monitors your accounts for suspicious activity.
We are most effective when partnered with our members to detect fraud. Please report anything out of the ordinary concerning your accounts immediately.
Credit & Debit Card Fraud
We work around the clock monitoring your account for fraudulent activity. Our credit cards also offer you these additional benefits:
- 24-Hour Credit Card Support – One call does it all 800-573-0029.
- Zero Liability* – If fraudulent charges are made with your card or account information, we will work with you to make it right.
- Emergency Cash and Card Replacement* – If your card is lost or stolen you can get emergency cash and card replacement. Available only with our Visa Business credit card
*Certain restrictions apply to this benefit. Subject to conditions described in the Visa Credit Card Agreement
If you plan on using your cards while traveling internationally, contact us first. We’ll require the following information to ensure you don’t have problems them on your trip:
- Dates traveling
- Destination(s), including stop overs
Protect Your Personal Data
Credit and debit card fraud involves the unauthorized use of another person's card information to access their funds. Card fraud occurs through a variety of channels, including online scams, data breaches, and card or mail theft. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do protect yourself and minimize the damage caused by fraud if it happens to you.
Be Careful with Your Card Information
- Record your card and account numbers - Include expiration dates and the phone numbers of each card company and store in a safe place at home.
- Carry only the cards you need.
- Shred documents – Which contain personal information before throwing them away.
- Never give your account number to anyone on the phone - unless you initiated the call to a company you know to be reputable.
Use Your Card Wisely
- Never sign a receipt leaving lines, such as the total, blank. The information on a blank receipt may be changed after you've already signed it. Drawing a line through any blank spaces may help.
- Watch your card during a transaction and make sure you get it back.
- Be cautious when using your cards online. Only enter information on websites you trust and are certain are legitimate.
- Look for irregularities with an ATM before using it, especially with the card slot. If it looks odd, it may be a skimmer used to capture your credit card information. If you notice it after you've inserted your card, alert the card issuer.
What to Do in Case of Fraud
If your card is lost or stolen, or you suspect you're a victim of fraud or identity theft, call us during regular business hours or our 24-Hour Credit Card Support line so we can put an immediate hold on your account. Here are the phone numbers you need:
Our Office (during regular business hours (PST) 866.236.6968 (Toll Free)
Lost or Stolen ATM or Debit CardsInside the U.S. 888.241.2510 (Toll Free & 24/7)
Outside the U.S. 909.941.1398 (Toll Free & 24/7)
Lost or Stolen Visa Credit CardInside the U.S. 800.991.4961 (Toll Free)
Outside the U.S. 410.581.3836
Phishing Scams & eMail Security
Watch For Phishing
“Phishing” is when someone sends you a fraudulent email that asks you to supply personal information. The email is designed to look like it is coming from a bank, credit card company or other merchants you may currently use. Thieves then take your personal information for identity theft and other fraudulent purposes.
We will never ask you to supply personal information such as account numbers and social security numbers through email. If you receive an email that solicits this information and appears to be from NW Preferred, please contact us immediately. For more information on Phishing visit http://www.antiphishing.org.
Emailing Confidential Information
Email is not a secure method of communication (unless both sender and recipient have encrypted email). You should not include your account number, social security number, or other private information in email. If you need to provide such information, you should contact us by another method (i.e., phone, fax, letter). As always, you can always contact us through our online banking’s secure messaging program.
Email Attachments & Links
Avoid opening attachments from someone that you do not know or trust. Do not click a link provided on an email, it is safer to copy and paste the link into a new browser window.
Online & Mobile Security
Keep Your Operating System Up-To-Date
An operating system is the system that runs your computer. It is a good idea to keep up with operating system updates because each newer version offers improved protection.
Keep Your Web Browser Up-To-Date
A browser is the program that displays the internet such as Internet Explorer or Netscape. Newer versions have increased security and more features.
Keep Your Anti-Virus Software Up-To-Date & Install A Firewall
Anti-Virus software is meant to protect your computer from harmful viruses found on the internet, email and portable hardware. It is important to install the anti-viral updates to stay up-to-date on current threats. Installing a firewall on your computer is also a great way to increase protection against outside sources. Your operating system may already include a firewall.
Install & Update Anti-Spyware Software
Spyware and Malware are hidden programs on your computer that track what you are doing on the internet and can even intercept personal data such as passwords without your knowledge. There are many free anti-spyware programs on the web. Just make sure that you keep your anti-spyware updated to recognize the latest frauds.
Be Cautious Of Downloads & Pop-Ups From Unknown Sources
Avoid downloading anything (software, media, photos) from an unknown source. Do not respond to pop-up solicitations.
Log Out Of Secure Web Sites When You Are Done
When you are finished with all of your banking needs in online banking, make sure to log out before you close the browser window. Our online banking system will automatically log you out after 5 minutes of no activity. This is a great safety feature that protects your accounts if you get side-tracked while doing your banking.
Creating Strong Passwords & PINs
When creating a password for sites, such as online banking, it is important to make it something that you will remember. Stay away from using personal information such as your mother’s maiden name or your phone number. Also, add some complexity by using numbers, capital and lower case letters, and symbols (example: nWp_158b). We recommend that you DO NOT write down your password. If you have to write it down, keep it in a secure location such as a safe.
If you are creating your own PIN (Personal Identification Number), make sure it is one that you will remember. If we sent you a PIN, make sure to memorize it. DO NOT write your PIN on your card or write it on anything that you put in your wallet. If someone takes your wallet they will have all that they need to get into your account.
We care about our members and want you to be safe while accessing your money. Please follow the below safety tips when using an ATM.
- Have your ATM card out and ready to use as you approach the ATM.
- Use caution when approaching an ATM and acknowledge your surroundings. Be extra careful at night.
- Make sure no one sees you enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN).
- Remember to take your receipt from the ATM.
- When using a drive-up ATM, keep your car doors locked and your engine running.
- Never allow a stranger to assist you with using an ATM.
- Immediately put away the money you have withdrawn from the ATM. Do not walk around or drive with money visible.
- Make sure the scanner looks legitimate before placing your card in it. An increasingly common scam is attaching a scanner to an ATM that looks like part of the ATM, but scans your card and a small installed video recorder records your PIN. If the device is loose or looks strange to you, do not use the ATM and contact us immediately. For more information on this scam and pictures of the scanning devices, check out Skimming with ATM Card.
Fraud & Identity Theft
What Is Fraud?
Fraud is when someone does or tries to steal money from your account (generally an isolated incident). Fraud can cause a financial loss to you, so it is important to monitor your accounts on a regular basis and take immediate action if you suspect anything.
What Should I Do If I Suspect Fraud?
If you think someone may have your account number, credit card, debit card or checkbook, contact us immediately..
- Stop payment on check(s). This can be done anytime by logging into online banking or by calling us during business hours.
- Block your Visa credit card(s). This can be done anytime by calling 800.991.4961 or you can call the Credit Union during business hours.
- Block your Debit/ATM card(s). This can be done anytime by calling800.682.6075 or you can call the Credit Union during business hours.
What Is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is when someone illegally obtains your personal information (social security number, account number, etc.) and uses that information to pretend to be you to repeatedly open new accounts or initiate transactions. Because the thief made transactions as you, the debt falls on you and can damage your credit and cause serious financial loss.
What Should I Do If I Suspect Identity Theft?
Contact the fraud departments of the major credit bureaus and ask that a “fraud alert” be placed in your file. Make sure to also request a copy of your credit report.
- Equifax 888-766-0008
- TransUnion 800.680.7289
- Experian 888.397.3742
Contact us and any other financial institutions you may have including credit card companies and utilities. Close any accounts that have been tampered with. File a police report and keep documentation of everyone you speak with, what was said and any out-of-pocket expenses you acquire through the process.
For more information on identity theft, call the Federal Trade Commission at 877.438.4338 or visit the FTC website at www.consumer.gov/idtheft.
Tips To Prevent Fraud and Identity Theft
Destroy your paper trail.
The majority of identity theft and fraud comes from people leaving a paper trail of personal information. Thieves tend to look for easy targets and sifting through garbage is much easier than breaking through a financial institution’s secure online system!
- Ask to receive personal information such as bills and statements electronically.
- Shred all documents that contain personal information.
- Use Direct Deposit.
- Pay bills online with Bill Pay
- Opt-out of receiving credit card offers in the mail, call 888-567-8688 or visit www.optoutprescreen.com
- Put all outgoing mail in a U.S. Postal Service Box and pick up incoming mail quickly.
- Do not have your Social Security or driver's license numbers printed on your checks.
Check your credit report
Get an annual credit report to check for any discrepancies in your credit.