Tremont Credit Union understands the risks with banking online, and has implemented extra processes to protect your privacy when you bank online with us.
Additionally, here are some steps that you can take in your daily life to ensure your personal Online Privacy.
Online Accounts: Go through your online accounts (such as email, social networks, shopping websites, etc.) and assess if you need them all. Is there information in those accounts that isn’t needed anymore, such as credit cards saved in your shopping accounts? Ensure that you’re using unique passwords for your accounts to maintain security.
Email Accounts: Limit what’s available through your email account. Delete and clear out your inbox and trash folders on a regular basis. Unsubscribe to recurring emails that no longer interest you.
Social Media: Review your security settings, friends and connections, and posts to make sure you’re still comfortable with them. Do you security setting ensure that only the authorized individuals can view what you post?
Web Browser Settings: This is an aspect of online security that is often overlooked. Many browsers can store your passwords or autofill setting, but this isn’t a secure place to store such sensitive information. So, make sure you delete any sensitive information from your browser.
How can identity theft affect you?
- Bank account access
- Opening false accounts under your identity
- Get access to government-issued documents under your identity
- Create a false criminal record for you
- File a false tax refund, and collect your refund
Traditional Forms of Identity Theft:
- Mail Theft
- Thief taking your mail & using the information to steal your identity.
- How to avoid it: Keep mailboxes locked, and notify law enforcement or the mailer if you are expecting information-sensitive mail and have not received it.
- Trash Theft
- Thief digging through your trash for documents containing personal information
- How to avoid it: Shred important documents before throwing away.
- Shoulder Surfing
- Thief observes your actions to steal personal information. This includes looking over your shoulder at ATMs, keyboards, or by listening on phone calls.
- How to avoid it: Keep an eye out for anyone standing too close to you when entering in personal information. Don’t proceed with entering in your information if you feel someone is watching you.
- Purse or Wallet Stealing
- Stealing your personal items that contain your credit cards, IDs, and more to take your personal information.
- How to avoid it: Keep an eye and hand on your belongings at all times. Try to avoid using backpacks or purses that are typically behind you and out of eyesight.
Links from our website are provided for your convenience only. These linked sites are separate from our credit union’s web site. We are not responsible for the content or availability of any linked third party websites or the privacy practices of such third parties. In addition, a link from our website to another does not indicate that Tremont Credit Union endorses the services or policies of such third party websites. You should always investigate the information and security practices of all websites that you access and carefully examine the privacy policies of any websites linking to or from our website. Information collected from the linked websites will be subject to the information practices of those websites.
Computer & Mobile Security
It is primordial to keep your computers and mobile devices’ operating systems up to date with the latest patches, and firmware versions. Please do not ignore the updates that are routinely pushed to your devices, as they usually enhance the stability of your systems, but more importantly correct potential vulnerabilities, therefore enhancing your security.
Similarly, please install anti-virus and anti-malware solutions to keep your devices protected from the myriad of attacks. Delete unused apps and clear out any downloads you aren’t using any more. Make sure your device requires a password, pin, or fingerprint to log-in. Make a complete back up of important files. You may use a cloud back-up service, an external hard drive, or even CDs or DVDs. When you throw away or recycle your old device, make sure to remove and destroy hard drives and other components that may contain sensitive data.
Information can be transmitted through your network too. So it is very important to make sure the network you are using is safe and secure. When it comes to your home network, make sure your home router is secured with a complex and unique password and that its broadcast name doesn’t identify it as belonging it to you. Setup your wireless router to use a current encryption standing (like WPA2) to strengthen your home network security. Also, see if there are additional security features you can turn on or install, such as firewalls or antivirus software.
On the other hand, please remain vigilant when using public WiFi hotspots as most likely your data transmission could be intercepted by malicious third parties. These simple steps will significantly protect your systems ensuring safe and uninterrupted access to your favorite online resources.
Common Financial Scams
Card skimming is a practice scammers use to get your card information from an ATM. The scammers add an illegal device such as a camera or a false plastic scanner over the regular scanner. These devices typically appear as if they’re supposed to be a part of the ATM. These are used to see your card information as well as your PIN.
To avoid these scams, gently check the ATM scanner and the surrounding panels on the ATM. If there’s an illegal device on the ATM, its likely easy to remove for quick access for the scammer.
Email fraud, also known as phishing, is when internet fraudsters impersonate a business in an attempt to trick you into giving out your personal information, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details. Legitimate businesses, like Tremont Credit Union, will never ask you to send sensitive information through insecure channels.
To avoid these scams, never give out personal information through your email, never reply to the email or click on any links in the email, never open unexpected attachments, delete suspicious messages (even if you know the source). If you are not sure of an email that claims to be from Tremont Credit Union, please call (718) 843-5626.
A data breach is an incident in which sensitive, protected or confidential data has potentially been viewed, stolen or used by an individual unauthorized to do so.
Past data breaches that you may be aware of are the Target and Home Depot data breaches where credit card information of millions of customers was stolen. Unfortunately, there is little a member can do to protect themselves in these instances. However, the credit union works diligently to protect the effected member by freezing the stolen card, informing the member, and reissuing another card to the member in a timely and secure manner. Tremont Credit Union takes security very seriously. We monitor our credit and debit card transactions 24/7, looking for and blocking fraudulent transactions when possible.
Tips from FTC.gov for protecting yourself after a data breach:
- Check your credit reportsfrom Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — for free — by visiting com. Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. Visit IdentityTheft.gov to find out what to do.
- Consider placing a credit freezeon your files. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.
- Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closelyfor charges you don’t recognize.
- If you decide against a credit freeze, consider placing a fraud alerton your files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you.
- File your taxes early— as soon as you have the tax information you need, before a scammer can. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS.
Visit Identitytheft.gov/databreach to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach.
Fraudsters may attempt to trick you into releasing personal information by calling you and claiming to be from a legitimate business. The scammer will often speak quickly, try to confuse you, or act as if your account will be closed or charged if you don’t give them the information immediately. It is important to remember that legitimate businesses will never request information that they already have, and that sensitive information should never be provided by phone or email if you did not initiate contact.
Elder Financial Abuse is the illegal or improper use of an elder’s money, especially for individuals over the age of 60. While scams by strangers are prevalent, oftentimes the perpetrators of Elder Financial Abuse are known and trusted individuals of the victim, including attorneys, bank employees, family members, friends, etc. Below are common scams which may be signs of Elder Financial Abuse:
- Internet phishing (stealing usernames/passwords or other sensitive information)
- Identity theft (using sensitive personal information and identity to open new accounts, make purchases, etc.)
- Medicare scams
- Investment/security schemes (Pyramid schemes, Ponzi schemes, or any other schemes that seem too good to be true)
Common scams by trusted people (like family members)
- Misuse a given Power of Attorney to steal the victim’s assets for the perpetrator’s own use
- Taking unfair advantage of joint bank accounts
- Threatening physical harm or refusing needed care and medical services to the victim unless he/she complies with the perpetrator’s demands
Common scams by strangers
- Lottery and sweepstakes scams (winning unsolicited prize money or the lottery)
- Grandparent scam (receiving a phone call telling you that a grandchild or loved one is in jail, and needs money for bail)
- Charity scams (taking donations for good causes under false pretense)
- Telemarketing scams accompanied by threats (scams carried over the phone)
Interruptive actions you can take to halt the abuse include revoking the power of attorney, assigning a trustworthy and financially responsible individual to aid in managing the victim’s assets, and closing joint bank accounts.
Per Massachusetts law, if you make a report regarding a case of Elder Financial Abuse, as long as you did not commit the abuse, the law grants you immunity from any charges as a result of reporting the abuse and confidentiality.
Reports of elder abuse can be made to the statewide Elder Abuse Hotline (1-800-922-2275).
For more information on Elder financial abuse, visit this website.
During TCU Hours: If your TCU Visa Debit Card has been lost or stolen, please call us at 1-800-370-1939 to freeze or cancel your card.
After Hours: If your TCU Visa Debit Card has been lost or stolen, please call our MTS system at 1-800-370-2255 to freeze or cancel your card. Your access code will the last four digits of your social security number unless you have designated a different number as your access code.
After Hours: If your card has been blocked without your knowledge, or to report fraudulent activity on your debit card, please call 1-888-241-2440.
During TCU Hours: If your TCU Visa Credit Card has been lost or stolen, please call us at 1-800-370-1939 to freeze or cancel your card.
After Hours: If your TCU Visa Credit Card has been lost or stolen, please call Visa directly at at 1-800-847-2911, or call one of Visa’s global toll-free numbers. A Visa representative will work with you to notify the appropriate parties and replace your card.
Stay Safe Online – Cyber Security is a growing topic concerning everyone who uses the internet. To help protect our community and keep online practices safe and secure, Tremont Credit Union is a proud supporter of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM).
Stop.Think.Connect – Learn how to make the internet a safer place for everyone.
Think you know everything about consumer fraud and identify theft? Learn how you may unknowingly be putting yourself at risk and more through TCU’s Online Financial Learning CenterVisit Learning Center