Protect yourself from Identity Theft

Feb 2024 | Featured, Financial Education

Identity Theft is a fraudulent acquisition and use of a person’s private identifying information, usually for financial gain. In our growing digital age, identity theft has become a greater risk. According to the Pew Research, roughly three-in-ten Americans (28%) say they have suffered at least one kinds of major identity theft in the previous 12 months:

  • 21% have had someone put fraudulent charges on their credit or debit card.
  • 8% have had someone take over their social media or email accounts without their permission.
  • 6% have had someone try to open a credit line or get a loan using their name.

At Alaska Air Group Credit Union, we recognize this risk, and are here to provide tips and tricks to help minimize the risk of identity theft.

Common tactics fraudsters use:

  • Pressure to act quickly – they may lie about your account being shut down to catch you off guard.
  • Requesting money – fraudsters may ask for money in unusual ways, such as gift cards or cash so transactions can’t be tracked.
  • Asking for personal information – if someone asks you for sensitive information such as social security numbers or passwords, it is likely a scam. Do not respond and get an outside Remember, most calls from AAGCU will be expected or prompted by you. When in doubt, hang up and call us directly.
  • Phishing Scams – they may pretend to be someone they aren’t to gather sensitive information about you. Read more about this on our website.
  • Account Takeover – they may gain access to your online banking accounts to do things such as (but not limited to) ordering new credit cards, opening a new bank account or even changing account information. Online Banking is a fantastic tool for your convenience but can also be a target for cybercriminals.

Tips to protect yourself:

  • Review your financial statements and transactions regularly – If you suspect a fraudulent charge, call us at 206-824-9800 or send us a message through Online or Mobile Banking. Remember, a fraudulent charge is a purchase you, the account holder, did not perform nor authorize.
  • Do not share your log-in information – You should never share your log-in information with anyone, even to a trusted family member or friend. AAGCU, or other financial institutions, would never request this information from you.
  • Utilize multifactor authentication – When possible, setting up a one-time passcode by email or text can help defer fraudsters from accessing your accounts. Only approve the log-in when you are signing-in, do not share the code with anyone.
  • Express caution when sharing information, especially online – Avoid sharing personal information that is commonly used as security questions. Things such as (but not limited to) birth city, mother’s maiden name, your street growing up are examples of personal information you should be careful about sharing.
  • Choose unique PINs – Staying away from birthdates, Social Security numbers or easy variations to guess will add an additional layer of protection to you and your account. Never keep your PIN written down in your wallet or with your card.

Fraud Alerts

To protect your account, we help monitor your ATM and Debit Card transactions for potentially fraudulent activity. If we suspect suspicious activity, you will receive a phone call and/or an email from our fraud department.  If you have a valid cell phone number on file with us, you will also receive text alerts from our automated fraud detection system.

To avoid purchase interruption, please make sure your email address and phone numbers are updated on your accounts, so you can be reached. If we can’t reach you, your card(s) may be blocked for your protection until you call to confirm the transaction(s).

How it Works:

  • You simply reply “Yes” or “No”
  • If you text “Yes”, your card will remain available for use.
  • If you text “No” to tell us it’s not your purchase, we will text you a number for the fraud department to validate outstanding charges, prevent any further fraud and block your card.  You may also call AAGCU anytime during business hours at 206-824-9800 to start the process of getting you a new card.

Note: Texts from our fraud alert system will come from the number 23618

If You Become A Victim:

If you discover any suspicious or unusual activity on your AAGCU savings or checking accounts or suspect fraud, be sure to report it to us immediately. Report suspicious activity – Call 206-824-9800.

To learn more about Fraud Alerts & Tips, visit our website.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at (206) 824-9800 or by email at info@aagcu.org.

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Alaska Air Group Credit Union
Seattle Office
(206) 824-9800
Anchorage Office
(907) 563-5335