Fraud Alerts & Tips
Password Security Tips
A strong password is an important protection to help you have safer online transactions. Here are steps you can take to create a strong password. Some or all might help protect your online transactions:
- Length. Make your passwords at least eight or more characters.
- Complexity. Use the entire keyboard and include punctuation, symbols and numbers. The greater the variety of characters in your password, the better. However, password hacking software automatically checks for common letter-to-symbol conversions, such as changing “and” to “&” or “to” to “2.”
- Variation. Change passwords frequently. Set an automatic reminder every three months to change your passwords to access your email, banking accounts, and credit card websites.
- Variety. Don’t use the same password for everything. Cybercriminals steal passwords on websites that have very little security, and then they use that same password and user name in more secure environments, such as banking websites.
Common Scam Practices
Many fraudsters will use phishing, vishing or smishing to trick their victims into providing information. It is very important to be aware of suspicious inbound emails, phone calls and text messages.
- Phishing is the criminal practice of sending emails asking the victim to click on a link within the email and validate private, personal and financial information.
- Vishing is the criminal practice of using social engineering and voice IP telephone services to gain access to private, personal and financial information.
- SMishing is the criminal practice of sending text messages to gain access to private, personal and financial information.
How To Identify Scams
It isn’t always easy to identify an email, phone call or text message as being a scam. It’s important to contact us immediately if you have any doubts or suspicions at all. We highly recommend that you closely monitor your account statements to identify possible misuse of your Debit information.
The majority of fraudsters will ask cardholders to validate personal information – information that we as a financial institution will already have and would never request from you. You should never give out the following information when someone emails, calls or texts:
- Account number
- Social Security number
- Card expiration date
- CVV2/CVC2 – the security code on the back of cards
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.
You may also be asked to send Visa Dispute Department a completed Visa Debit Card Dispute/Chargeback Form.
Please call before filling out the form.
Lost/Stolen Debit Cards – Call
- During business Hours (9am-5pm PST): 206-824-9800
- After Hours: 833-285-1750
Here are two websites with tools to help educate consumers on identifying and reporting fraud:
To protect your account, we monitor your ATM and Debit Card transactions for potentially fraudulent activity. If we suspect suspicious activity, you will receive a phone call from our fraud department. You will also receive an email from the 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 32874
Reporting Identity Theft
If you believe you have received a fraudulent message over the Internet, report the message to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
If you believe you have been the victim of identity theft, you can call one of the three nationwide credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. They have made it easier for identity theft victims. Now you need only call one of the three bureaus, and they’ll notify the others.
Credit bureau phone numbers to place a fraud alert:
Equifax – (800) 525-6285
Experian – (888) 397-3742
TransUnion – (800) 680-7289