Valley Updates

Ways to avoid becoming a victim of fraud

It seems there is always another scam in the news involving fraud and credit or debit cards. It can be hard to stay on top of the latest precautions. What are the latest scams? What can I do to protect myself and my accounts?
Skimming or tampering with ATM/Debit Card machine readers, identity theft and merchant data breaches are among some of the latest and most prevalent scams affecting consumers. Here are some ideas we at Pioneer Valley Credit Union want to share with you, in efforts to help you to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings: When using ATMs or automated fuel pumps, look for any signs that devices have been tampered with. This can range from looking slightly different from normal, or suspicious people being in the area.

Monitor Your Accounts: Be diligent and watch for any suspicious activity on your statements via Mobile Banking, Online Banking or by mail.  If you see something, let us know as soon as possible.

Watch for Suspicious Online Offers and Features: First, emails with links may have features identifying them as unsafe. While the email might look legitimate, the link might not be. Without clicking on the link, hover over the link to see the address. If it doesn’t match the website, DO NOT click on it. Next, be wary of text or telephone requests that ask you for personal or proprietary information. If something looks or seems questionable, conduct additional research. Requests for confirmation of card data or other sensitive information can be an indicator of fraud. Normally, legitimate requests would ask the cardholder to confirm information only about transactions performed or the card information itself.

If you have opted in to receive text messages on your Pioneer Valley Credit Union accounts, you will receive an alert asking for you to reply "yes or no" to the transaction in question. Also, if we notice suspicious activity on your account you may receive an automated phone call from our fraud protection professionals.

Recovering from being a victim of fraud can be a lengthy process. Prevention can happen by being vigilant and acting quickly if you think you see anything out of the ordinary. Contact us at 413-733-2800 if you have any questions about your accounts.

View our video series, "Your Data Privacy and You!", to learn more about how to further protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud.