How to Protect Yourself from Fraud

In our increasingly digital world, the threat of fraudulent activities is more prominent than ever. Below are some ways to protect yourself from fraudsters.
If you're unsure of a text message, email or phone call you've received from us, contact us to verify its validity.

person writing on notepad

Paper clip envelope icon  Avoid Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are more common than ever. They're coming through email, text messages, and over the phone. Scammers can spoof any phone number or email address to make it look like they're calling, texting, or emailing from a business you trust.

Computer icon   Protect Your Accounts With Strong Passwords and MFA

Creating robust passwords and utilizing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) are key to fortifying your accounts against unauthorized access. These steps act as an essential line of defense, making it significantly harder for hackers to access your accounts.

Notepad iconMonitor Your Accounts

The best way to prevent fraud from happening under your nose is to keep track of your accounts and credit score. You can do this through My Credit Journey, by setting Account Alerts, and regularly checking your account activity in your Online and Mobile Banking.

Lock icon Protect Your Information

eStatements not only help in keeping your financial data organized but also significantly reduce the risk of your personal information being stolen from your mailbox. Additionally, always make sure to shred documents containing sensitive information before discarding them to further protect yourself from identity theft.

Target icon   Use AntiVirus Software

Always keep the software on your phones and laptops up-to-date to guard against security vulnerabilities. Using reliable antivirus software can also provide an extra layer of protection against potential threats.

  • Be wary of suspicious emails or text messages, especially those asking for personal information or urgent requests.
  • Never click on links or open attachments from unknown sources.
  • Always verify the authenticity of a website before entering any sensitive information.
  • Use strong and unique passwords for all your online accounts, and change them regularly.

Check Before You Click

Before clicking on any link, take a moment to hover over it with your mouse cursor. This simple action reveals the actual URL at the bottom corner of your browser, allowing you to verify if it's directing you to a trustworthy site. Additionally, look out for misspellings or subtle character swaps in the URL, which are common tactics used by fraudsters to create misleading websites.

Be Wary of Calls and Texts

Sometimes called "smishing" and "vishing," scammers have been spoofing the phone numbers of businesses you trust to gain access to your accounts and your personal information to get your money from your accounts. When you receive a call or a text from someone claiming to be us, ask them to verify you using information only someone at P1FCU could know. This is why we encourage everyone to add a verbal password to their accounts.
  • Avoid using information about you that's easy to guess, like your birthday or name 
  • Use a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters
  • Start using passphrases instead of passwords
  • Enable Multi-Factor Authentication

    The Strength of Passphrases

    Instead of passwords, consider using passphrases: a series of words that create a phrase or sentence. Not only are they easier to remember, but when you use a unique combination of words, they become incredibly difficult for hackers to guess. For added security, try incorporating uncommon words or inside jokes that only you would understand. Try to make them at least 14 characters long.

    Maximizing Security with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) When Available

    MFA requires users to provide two or more verification factors to gain access to an online account, making it much harder for unauthorized users to access your account. This could include something you know (like a password), something you have (such as a mobile device), or something you are (like a fingerprint). By implementing MFA, even if a hacker manages to decipher your password, the chances of them having your additional authentication factor are very slim.

    Use a Trusted Password Manager

    Keeping track of numerous passwords can feel overwhelming, but that is where using a reliable and trusted password manager comes into play. A password manager acts as a digital vault where you can store all your passwords under one master password. This means you only need to remember one complex password while having easy access to all others. Look for password managers that have strong encryption and have MFA available.

  • Keeping track of your accounts online will prevent fraudulent activity from occurring without your knowledge
  • Check your credit score online with My Credit Journey
  • Set up Account Alerts to be notified when certain things happen on your account

Keep track in Online and Mobile Banking

Using Online and Mobile Banking to keep track of your account offers unparalleled convenience and real-time access to your financial information. This not only allows you to monitor transactions as they happen but also enables you to act quickly and address any discrepancies or unauthorized activities, thereby enhancing your financial security. Plus, the ease of managing your finances from anywhere, at any time, helps streamline your personal budgeting and financial planning processes.

Monitoring your credit score

Monitoring your credit score plays a crucial role in identity theft and fraud prevention. A sudden drop in your score or unfamiliar activities on your credit report can be the first signs that someone else is using your personal information for fraudulent purposes. By keeping a close watch, you're not just protecting your credit health; you're actively safeguarding your identity. P1FCU members can keep track of their credit score in their Online and Mobile Banking with My Credit Journey.

Account Alerts

Set up Account Alerts so that you can be notified via text or email for nearly any activity on your account. You can set alerts for when your account goes below or above a certain balance to get notifications for transactions, daily balance alerts, and much more.

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  • Enroll in eStatements to prevent your information from getting lost or stolen in the mail
  • Securely destroy documents that have your personal information on them


    Enrolling in eStatements instead of traditional paper statements significantly enhances your information security. By eliminating the physical mailing process, you reduce the risk of your sensitive financial information being intercepted or stolen from your mailbox. Furthermore, eStatements are stored securely in your online banking account, protected by advanced encryption. 

    Smart Disposal Strategies for Sensitive Information

    Shredding paperwork before disposal is crucial. Whether it’s a bill, bank statement, or personal letter, shredding ensures that the information doesn't fall into the wrong hands. If digital data is involved, make sure to wipe or physically destroy the hard drive.

  • A lot of hackers and fraudsters gain access to your computer and phone because those devices are running on outdated, unprotected software.
  • Antivirus and Malware protection are a great way to protect your computer.

Antivirus Software

Installing reliable antivirus software is like having a vigilant security guard for your computer. It actively seeks out and neutralizes potential threats before they can cause harm, including viruses, malware, and spyware. This small step can significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to cybercrime, keeping your personal information safe and secure.

Keeping Your Devices Up to Date

Keeping your software up to date is like adding an extra layer of armor in the fight against hackers and fraudsters. These updates often include critical patches for security vulnerabilities that, if left unaddressed, could be exploited by malicious parties. It’s a simple yet effective way to ensure your digital environment remains as impenetrable as possible.

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Fraud Tips to Remember:

  • Check the sender, and make sure texts and emails are coming from sources you recognize.
  • Don't hurry. Social engineering attacks often rely on false urgency that cause you to make mistakes. 
  • Don't give out any personal or financial information to anyone you don't know. If you're unsure, talk to someone you trust about the situation first. 
If you're not sure about a message or an email, verify its validity by contacting us.

computer screen that shows my credit journey on the screen

My Credit Journey

Keep track of your credit score in your Online and Mobile Banking. 
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Account Alerts

Set alerts to know what is happening in your account, as it happens. 
anytime account access

Anytime Account Access

Keep track of your accounts anytime, anywhere.