You hear it in the media almost daily now – identity theft, online fraud, mail fraud. It seems that criminals are finding more and more ways to take advantage of innocent people. As your credit union, we want to help you protect yourself from being the victim of fraudulent activity.
What we can do.
In an effort to help protect our members from fraud and potential identity theft, please be aware that Qualstar (or any other legitimate financial institution) will NEVER request personal or account information via unsecure e-mail.1 In addition, we will never ask a third party or credit union affiliated organization to request this type of information from you. It is our goal to keep your information safe!
The last Friday of every month is Shred Day! Bring your personal and private documents (one shopping bag per member, no plastic or metal items) to any Qualstar branch on the last Friday of the month and we’ll make sure it’s destroyed – securely and safely.
Our Home Banking service is secure with Multi-Factor Authentication, protecting your account online 24/7. As a Home Banking user, you will be asked to choose three (3) “challenge questions” that you will be prompted to answer in the event our system recognizes unusual behavior while you are logged in (different computer/location, etc.) These challenge questions will be updated every 18 months – the system will automatically ask you to choose new questions after an 18 month cycle has passed.
What you can do.
Report Automated “Phishing” Calls! Qualstar will never make an automated call to inquire or request information regarding an account or loan that you have with us or any other financial institution. It is not our practice to use an automated system for this purpose, and if you do receive such a call please hang up immediately (do not enter any numbers or say anything) and contact us at 1-800-848-0018 to report the call.
Go paperless with eStatements! Reducing the amount of personal information you have lying around is a good start – and, if something accidentally makes it into the garbage (instead of shred), your information is out there for anyone to capitalize on. Qualstar offers eStatements for every statement we sent out, and you only need to enroll once! Home Banking access is required and you can sign-up by logging in to your account via Home Banking and selecting the “eStatements” tab. Once enrolled, you’ll have access to all current statements (Account, Visa, Mortgage, Option Equity & Tax statements) and past statements going back 2 years (from the time of enrollment.)
Set-up eAlerts! Within Home Banking, you have the ability to assign specific alerts (text or email) for triggers such as withdrawals over/under a certain amount, Visa credit or debit card transactions by specific amount, checks clearing, an address change, insufficient funds in your account, and even if an invalid log-in has been attempted in Home Banking. To set up eAlerts, simply log-in to Home Banking and click on the “Profile” tab – that page menu will open and you will see eAlerts directly under the main menu.
Identity Theft Solutions will help you prevent identity theft – or take the necessary steps to recover if you’ve been victimized. These tools are free to you as a benefit of membership at Qualstar.
Here are more tips and suggestions:
- Make sure you are well informed and keep your computer up to date with current spam filters and anti-virus software;
- Avoid using out-of-date software versions that have vulnerabilities easy to exploit. Software companies issue patches and updates, so be sure to use them. Out of date Java software in particular has been a gateway for Trojan infections, say researchers;
- Run full-system virus scans at least once a week;
- Use caution when entering user names and passwords and enter these slowly to give time to back out if something doesn’t seem right;
- Regularly visit the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center for scam & scheme updates;
- Have a computer expert remove any malware. Even if you succeed in unfreezing the computer, keyloggers and other malware may still be operating in the background; and
- Never pay money or provide personal information to a suspicious online entity.
Identity Theft Links and Updates
Following are several web sites with tips on avoiding identity theft:
“Phishing” Links and Updates
Phishing is an e-mail/internet scam that attempts to trick the victim into providing personal and account information through fake websites or reply e-mails, and is also the fastest growing crime in the United States. The following are several web sites with tips on protecting yourself from phishing scams:
- Visa USA-Security & Common Risks
- Better Business Bureau-Phishing Pfacts
- Federal Trade Commission-ID Theft
Mail Fraud Links and Updates
1 For information regarding how to contact us via e-mail, visit our Contact Us page.