What Orange County's Credit Union is Doing to Protect You

Our Fraud Detection System

We have an industry-leading, advanced fraud detection system called Falcon that protects your debit, point-of-purchase, and credit card transactions 24/7. The program learns your purchasing patterns, comparing real-time authorization data with your individual card behavior and existing trends.

When you use your debit or credit card, we'll quickly analyze the transaction, deliver an authorization decision, and determine if the account should be queued for further attention. Then, an analyst reviews the item and determines the appropriate course of action. Depending on the transaction, you may receive a personal phone call to verify the activity on your account.

If you receive a call from the Falcon fraud analysts, they'll identify themselves as calling on behalf of Orange County's Credit Union. Remember, you'll never be asked to give your Debit or Credit Card number, account number, or Personal Identification Number (PIN). You'll only be asked to verify specific transactions on your account. If you ever have questions regarding this fraud-protection program, please contact us immediately.

Card security using padlock as a metaphor
Card security using padlock as a metaphor

 

Protecting Your Account

Thieves want your personal checks and the information that can be found on it. Once a thief has your checking account information, they can create counterfeit checks that will drain your checking account. By following these simple guidelines, you can greatly reduce your risk of becoming a victim:

  • Always keep your checks (including blank and cancelled checks) in a safe place. Destroy old blank checks if you're not going to use them.
  • Limit the amount of personal information printed on the checks to your name and address.
  • Use plain designated checks. The fancier the check, the easier it is to forge the signature.
  • Don't leave your bill payments sitting in an unlocked mailbox for pickup. Thieves can steal bills from mailboxes to get your account information, checking information, and even your checks. Go to the Post Office directly or use a curbside USPS mailbox (the blue metal boxes) to mail your bills.
  • When you make an error writing a check, be sure to destroy the check or write "cancelled" across it and store it with your other cancelled checks.
  • If your checks are lost or stolen, immediately report it to your financial institution.
  • Reconcile your monthly statements as soon as you can to ensure all transactions are accurate. Contact Orange County's Credit Union immediately if you find a transaction you do not recognize.
  • When you reorder checks, mark your calendar. If you don't receive your checks within 15 working days, contact your financial institution immediately to inquire as to the status of your order.
  • Consider alternatives to check-writing, such as paying by phone, online, setting up automatic payments, or signing up for Bill Pay with Orange County's Credit Union.
Card security using padlock as a metaphor
Card security using padlock as a metaphor

 

Protecting Your Account

Thieves want your personal checks and the information that can be found on it. Once a thief has your checking account information, they can create counterfeit checks that will drain your checking account. By following these simple guidelines, you can greatly reduce your risk of becoming a victim:

  • Always keep your checks (including blank and cancelled checks) in a safe place. Destroy old blank checks if you're not going to use them.
  • Limit the amount of personal information printed on the checks to your name and address.
  • Use plain designated checks. The fancier the check, the easier it is to forge the signature.
  • Don't leave your bill payments sitting in an unlocked mailbox for pickup. Thieves can steal bills from mailboxes to get your account information, checking information, and even your checks. Go to the Post Office directly or use a curbside USPS mailbox (the blue metal boxes) to mail your bills.
  • When you make an error writing a check, be sure to destroy the check or write "cancelled" across it and store it with your other cancelled checks.
  • If your checks are lost or stolen, immediately report it to your financial institution.
  • Reconcile your monthly statements as soon as you can to ensure all transactions are accurate. Contact Orange County's Credit Union immediately if you find a transaction you do not recognize.
  • When you reorder checks, mark your calendar. If you don't receive your checks within 15 working days, contact your financial institution immediately to inquire as to the status of your order.
  • Consider alternatives to check-writing, such as paying by phone, online, setting up automatic payments, or signing up for Bill Pay with Orange County's Credit Union.
Card security using padlock as a metaphor
Card security using padlock as a metaphor

Protecting Your Account

Thieves want your personal checks and the information that can be found on it. Once a thief has your checking account information, they can create counterfeit checks that will drain your checking account. By following these simple guidelines, you can greatly reduce your risk of becoming a victim:

  • Always keep your checks (including blank and cancelled checks) in a safe place. Destroy old blank checks if you're not going to use them.
  • Limit the amount of personal information printed on the checks to your name and address.
  • Use plain designated checks. The fancier the check, the easier it is to forge the signature.
  • Don't leave your bill payments sitting in an unlocked mailbox for pickup. Thieves can steal bills from mailboxes to get your account information, checking information, and even your checks. Go to the Post Office directly or use a curbside USPS mailbox (the blue metal boxes) to mail your bills.
  • When you make an error writing a check, be sure to destroy the check or write "cancelled" across it and store it with your other cancelled checks.
  • If your checks are lost or stolen, immediately report it to your financial institution.
  • Reconcile your monthly statements as soon as you can to ensure all transactions are accurate. Contact Orange County's Credit Union immediately if you find a transaction you do not recognize.
  • When you reorder checks, mark your calendar. If you don't receive your checks within 15 working days, contact your financial institution immediately to inquire as to the status of your order.
  • Consider alternatives to check-writing, such as paying by phone, online, setting up automatic payments, or signing up for Bill Pay with Orange County's Credit Union.

Identity Theft

  • Go Paperless – This free option is considerably safer than paying bills and receiving account statements through the mail.
  • Don't Give Out Your Information – Never disclose your account information, Social Security Number, birth date, or Driver License number over the phone, online, or via text unless you initiate the contact.
  • Shred Often – Shred anything that has financial or personal information, such as credit offers and any transaction or purchase receipts you don't need.
  • Create a Strong Password – Use a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols. Don't use words, names, or dates that may be commonly known or posted on social networking websites.
  • Limit the Information You Share on Social Networking Sites – Fraudsters can obtain information from websites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; this includes birthdays, mother's maiden name, children's and pet's names, and employment information. If you want to post this information, don't make it public for everyone to view.
  • Be Proactive, Check Your Credit Regularly – Monitor your credit reports at least once a year and review your account statements monthly. If you have children under the age of 18, you may want to regularly check their credit as well.
  • Don't Use Your Debit Card For Online Purchases – If your card is compromised at an unsecure website, it could take weeks for the money to be replaced.
  • Public Wi-Fi Should Never be Used For Banking – Always use a secure wireless network, an app, or your own data plan; unsecured Wi-Fi is easier to hack.
  • Never Use a Questionable ATM – If there are loose or wobbly parts attached to it, or if the appearance is different since your last visit, use another ATM.
  • Report Any ATM Issues Immediately – If your card is acquired by an ATM and not returned at the end of the transaction, call your card issuer and request a new card number.
  • You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can't explain.
  • You don't get your bills or other mail.
  • Merchants refuse your checks.
  • Debt collectors call you about debts that aren't yours.
  • You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
  • Statements show up for an unknown credit card account.
  • You have good credit, but an application for credit is denied.
  • Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you've reached your benefits limit.
  • The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don't work for.
  • You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach where you do business or have an account.

Visit IdentityTheft.gov to get a detailed and customized recovery plan. This will often involve:

  • Calling the credit bureaus.
  • Contacting creditors where fraudulent accounts were opened.
  • Filing a police report with your local police department.
  • If mail was involved, contacting the US Postal Service to correct any issues and report the crime.
  • Reporting the fraudulent use of a social security number to the Social Security Administration.
  • Contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to determine if any additional licenses were issues in your name.

REMEMBER: Orange County's Credit Union and our affiliates will NEVER ask you to verify your account number, Social Security number, debit or credit card number, PIN, or any other sensitive personal financial information via email, pop-up window, or text message. If you receive a request for this information, please call us at (888) 354-6228.

Couple reviewing account documents to ensure everything is in order security-wise
Couple reviewing account documents to ensure everything is in order security-wise

Identity Theft

  • Go Paperless – This free option is considerably safer than paying bills and receiving account statements through the mail.
  • Don't Give Out Your Information – Never disclose your account information, Social Security Number, birth date, or Driver License number over the phone, online, or via text unless you initiate the contact.
  • Shred Often – Shred anything that has financial or personal information, such as credit offers and any transaction or purchase receipts you don't need.
  • Create a Strong Password – Use a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols. Don't use words, names, or dates that may be commonly known or posted on social networking websites.
  • Limit the Information You Share on Social Networking Sites – Fraudsters can obtain information from websites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; this includes birthdays, mother's maiden name, children's and pet's names, and employment information. If you want to post this information, don't make it public for everyone to view.
  • Be Proactive, Check Your Credit Regularly – Monitor your credit reports at least once a year and review your account statements monthly. If you have children under the age of 18, you may want to regularly check their credit as well.
  • Don't Use Your Debit Card For Online Purchases – If your card is compromised at an unsecure website, it could take weeks for the money to be replaced.
  • Public Wi-Fi Should Never be Used For Banking – Always use a secure wireless network, an app, or your own data plan; unsecured Wi-Fi is easier to hack.
  • Never Use a Questionable ATM – If there are loose or wobbly parts attached to it, or if the appearance is different since your last visit, use another ATM.
  • Report Any ATM Issues Immediately – If your card is acquired by an ATM and not returned at the end of the transaction, call your card issuer and request a new card number.
  • You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can't explain.
  • You don't get your bills or other mail.
  • Merchants refuse your checks.
  • Debt collectors call you about debts that aren't yours.
  • You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
  • Statements show up for an unknown credit card account.
  • You have good credit, but an application for credit is denied.
  • Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you've reached your benefits limit.
  • The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don't work for.
  • You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach where you do business or have an account.

Visit IdentityTheft.gov to get a detailed and customized recovery plan. This will often involve:

  • Calling the credit bureaus.
  • Contacting creditors where fraudulent accounts were opened.
  • Filing a police report with your local police department.
  • If mail was involved, contacting the US Postal Service to correct any issues and report the crime.
  • Reporting the fraudulent use of a social security number to the Social Security Administration.
  • Contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to determine if any additional licenses were issues in your name.

REMEMBER: Orange County's Credit Union and our affiliates will NEVER ask you to verify your account number, Social Security number, debit or credit card number, PIN, or any other sensitive personal financial information via email, pop-up window, or text message. If you receive a request for this information, please call us at (888) 354-6228.

Couple reviewing account documents to ensure everything is in order security-wise
Couple reviewing account documents to ensure everything is in order security-wise
Couple reviewing account documents to ensure everything is in order security-wise
Couple reviewing account documents to ensure everything is in order security-wise

Identity Theft

  • Go Paperless – This free option is considerably safer than paying bills and receiving account statements through the mail.
  • Don't Give Out Your Information – Never disclose your account information, Social Security Number, birth date, or Driver License number over the phone, online, or via text unless you initiate the contact.
  • Shred Often – Shred anything that has financial or personal information, such as credit offers and any transaction or purchase receipts you don't need.
  • Create a Strong Password – Use a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols. Don't use words, names, or dates that may be commonly known or posted on social networking websites.
  • Limit the Information You Share on Social Networking Sites – Fraudsters can obtain information from websites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; this includes birthdays, mother's maiden name, children's and pet's names, and employment information. If you want to post this information, don't make it public for everyone to view.
  • Be Proactive, Check Your Credit Regularly – Monitor your credit reports at least once a year and review your account statements monthly. If you have children under the age of 18, you may want to regularly check their credit as well.
  • Don't Use Your Debit Card For Online Purchases – If your card is compromised at an unsecure website, it could take weeks for the money to be replaced.
  • Public Wi-Fi Should Never be Used For Banking – Always use a secure wireless network, an app, or your own data plan; unsecured Wi-Fi is easier to hack.
  • Never Use a Questionable ATM – If there are loose or wobbly parts attached to it, or if the appearance is different since your last visit, use another ATM.
  • Report Any ATM Issues Immediately – If your card is acquired by an ATM and not returned at the end of the transaction, call your card issuer and request a new card number.
  • You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can't explain.
  • You don't get your bills or other mail.
  • Merchants refuse your checks.
  • Debt collectors call you about debts that aren't yours.
  • You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
  • Statements show up for an unknown credit card account.
  • You have good credit, but an application for credit is denied.
  • Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you've reached your benefits limit.
  • The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don't work for.
  • You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach where you do business or have an account.

Visit IdentityTheft.gov to get a detailed and customized recovery plan. This will often involve:

  • Calling the credit bureaus.
  • Contacting creditors where fraudulent accounts were opened.
  • Filing a police report with your local police department.
  • If mail was involved, contacting the US Postal Service to correct any issues and report the crime.
  • Reporting the fraudulent use of a social security number to the Social Security Administration.
  • Contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to determine if any additional licenses were issues in your name.

REMEMBER: Orange County's Credit Union and our affiliates will NEVER ask you to verify your account number, Social Security number, debit or credit card number, PIN, or any other sensitive personal financial information via email, pop-up window, or text message. If you receive a request for this information, please call us at (888) 354-6228.

Common Fraud Scams

Fraud scams come in many different forms – so stay alert and remember the old saying, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

Warning Signs

Here are some warning signs that an unsolicited text, phone call, or email might be a potential scam. Watch out if it asks you to:

  • Provide assistance in accessing funds held in a foreign country by paying taxes or other fees.
  • Pay fees for a loan or to boost your credit rating before you're granted a loan.
  • Access your account online or make deposits to your account.
  • Return an overpayment for an agreed-upon amount for merchandise to them or another party.
  • Give your debit card and PIN information in order to be paid for a job.
  • Send funds out via Western Union or MoneyGram, as part of a job assignment, after you are sent checks and instructed to deposit them to your account.
  • Withdraw cash from your account and deposit the cash at another financial institution, after you are sent checks and have deposited them to your account.
  • Purchase prepaid cards or prepaid phones as part of a mystery shopping job.

The most common check fraud involves receiving a generous check with an explanation that you've just won an award, a prize, a lottery, or some other windfall. You're instructed to deposit the check and wire a portion back to pay fees, taxes, or the like. Wired funds can't be retrieved and, by law, you're responsible for the deposited check – even though you didn't realize it was counterfeit.

Criminals use stolen pictures and made up information to make connections and reel in their victims. Eventually, the criminal will ask the victim for their bank account information so that they can make deposits into their account. The reasons for these deposits vary, including that they are currently out of the country and can't access their own accounts, they moved to a new area and can't get to a bank, or that their own account has been frozen due to a misunderstanding. The criminal will then ask the victim to transfer the funds into the account of a friend or family member, send the funds via Western Union, or use the funds to purchase iTunes gift cards. When it turns out the initial deposit was fraudulent, the victim is then liable for all money sent.

Criminals create convincing websites stating they're a legitimate lender. Once someone applies for a loan, they tell the applicant that due to poor credit, they will need to allow the lender to deposit money directly into their account, and the applicant will have to immediately pay it back via Western Union or MoneyGram to "boost" their credit score. Once the applicant does this a few times, the lender states they will then send funds the applicant can keep. However, before this can happen, the funds are determined to be fraudulent and not only does the victim not receive a loan – they are also out the money they already sent to the criminal.

Don't accept a check for more than your selling price, no matter how tempting the offer or how convincing the story. Ask the buyer to write the check for the correct amount. Be especially cautious of out-of-state checks. They can be hard to verify and it can take weeks for your financial institution to determine a check is fake.

Be cautious when accepting a money order. If the denomination area is discolored, it could mean the money order has been altered. Hold it up to the light to make sure the watermark and security thread are visible.

Fraudsters typically find victims by searching websites where job seekers post resumes. Money mules are most often recruited through bogus job offers for payment processors, financial managers, or overseas representatives with the ability to work from home. Upon accepting the job, the victims are notified they'll receive deposits into their accounts via ACH and/or wire transfer. They're then instructed to either wire the funds to an account at another financial institution or send the funds to individuals via Western Union. The money mules keep a portion of the funds deposited to their account as wages. Through this process, the criminal received the funds while hiding their involvement.

Shoppers may be told that their first assignment is to evaluate a money transfer service, like Western Union or MoneyGram. The shopper receives a check with instructions to deposit it in a personal bank account, withdraw the amount in cash, and wire it to a third party – but the check is fake, and your money is gone. With these schemes, websites are often created where you pay a fee to register to become a mystery shopper and receive information about a certification program, a directory of mystery shopping companies, or a guarantee of a mystery shopping job. Remember, it's unnecessary to pay anyone to get into the mystery shopping business. The certification offered is almost always worthless, and legitimate mystery shopper jobs are listed on the internet for free.


 

If you have any questions, please contact the Credit Union at (888) 354-6228 and ask to speak to the Fraud Department for assistance, or visit the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov for a more detailed list of common fraud schemes.