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.

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. Depending on the transaction, you may receive a 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, 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 found on them to create counterfeit checks that will drain your checking account. Follow these simple guidelines to reduce your risk:

  • Keep your checks (including blank and cancelled checks) in a safe place and destroy old, blank checks. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • When you make an error writing a check, be sure to destroy the check or write "cancelled" across it. 
  • If your checks are lost or stolen, immediately report it to your financial institution.
  • Reconcile your monthly statements to ensure all transactions are accurate. Contact the Credit Union immediately if you find a transaction you do not recognize.
  • When you reorder checks, contact your financial institution immediately if you don't receive them within 15 working days.
  • Consider alternatives to check-writing, such as paying by phone, online, automatic payment, or signing up for Bill Pay.
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 found on them to create counterfeit checks that will drain your checking account. Follow these simple guidelines to reduce your risk:

  • Keep your checks (including blank and cancelled checks) in a safe place and destroy old, blank checks. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • When you make an error writing a check, be sure to destroy the check or write "cancelled" across it. 
  • If your checks are lost or stolen, immediately report it to your financial institution.
  • Reconcile your monthly statements to ensure all transactions are accurate. Contact the Credit Union immediately if you find a transaction you do not recognize.
  • When you reorder checks, contact your financial institution immediately if you don't receive them within 15 working days.
  • Consider alternatives to check-writing, such as paying by phone, online, automatic payment, or signing up for Bill Pay.
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 found on them to create counterfeit checks that will drain your checking account. Follow these simple guidelines to reduce your risk:

  • Keep your checks (including blank and cancelled checks) in a safe place and destroy old, blank checks. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • When you make an error writing a check, be sure to destroy the check or write "cancelled" across it. 
  • If your checks are lost or stolen, immediately report it to your financial institution.
  • Reconcile your monthly statements to ensure all transactions are accurate. Contact the Credit Union immediately if you find a transaction you do not recognize.
  • When you reorder checks, contact your financial institution immediately if you don't receive them within 15 working days.
  • Consider alternatives to check-writing, such as paying by phone, online, automatic payment, or signing up for Bill Pay.

Identity Theft

Identity theft happens when someone uses your personal information to get credit cards or other loans, open bank accounts, make counterfeit checks, get false identification, or commit other crimes. There are many ways that identity thieves get your personal information:

  • They email you a fraudulent link asking you to update your account information.
  • They build software to pull personal information off your computer.
  • They steal wallets and mail.
  • They go through your trash.
  • They learn about you through social networking sites such as Facebook and Instagram. 
  • They watch over your shoulder at an ATM.
  • They "skim" your credit card using an illegal device.
  • They pose as a legitimate company and ask you for information (when this technique is done using email, it is called "phishing").
  • They purchase information from hackers that have broken into databases, such as hospitals, employers, or government agencies.
  • Go Paperless – This free option is considerably safer than using mail.
  • Don't Give Out Your Information – Never disclose your account information, Social Security Number, birth date, or DL 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.
  • 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 on social media.
  • Limit the Information You Share on Social Media Sites – Fraudsters can obtain information from social media including: 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.
  • Be Proactive, Check Your Credit Regularly – Monitor your credit reports once a year and your statements monthly. If you have young children, check their credit as well.
  • Don't Use Your Debit Card For Online Purchases – If your card is compromised, 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.
  • Never Use a Questionable ATM – If there are loose or wobbly parts, or if the appearance is different, use another ATM.
  • Report Any ATM Issues Immediately – If your card is acquired by an ATM and not returned, 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 medical claim because it shows you've reached your benefits limit.
  • The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or you have income from an employer you don't work for.
  • You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach.

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.
  • If mail was involved, contacting the US Postal Service.
  • Reporting the fraudulent use of a social security number to the Social Security Administration.
  • Contacting the DMV to determine if any additional licenses were issued 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
  • Go Paperless – This free option is considerably safer than using mail.
  • Don't Give Out Your Information – Never disclose your account information, Social Security Number, birth date, or DL 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.
  • 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 on social media.
  • Limit the Information You Share on Social Media Sites – Fraudsters can obtain information from social media including: 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.
  • Be Proactive, Check Your Credit Regularly – Monitor your credit reports once a year and your statements monthly. If you have young children, check their credit as well.
  • Don't Use Your Debit Card For Online Purchases – If your card is compromised, 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.
  • Never Use a Questionable ATM – If there are loose or wobbly parts, or if the appearance is different, use another ATM.
  • Report Any ATM Issues Immediately – If your card is acquired by an ATM and not returned, 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 medical claim because it shows you've reached your benefits limit.
  • The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or you have income from an employer you don't work for.
  • You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach.

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.
  • If mail was involved, contacting the US Postal Service.
  • Reporting the fraudulent use of a social security number to the Social Security Administration.
  • Contacting the DMV to determine if any additional licenses were issued 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 using mail.
  • Don't Give Out Your Information – Never disclose your account information, Social Security Number, birth date, or DL 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.
  • 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 on social media.
  • Limit the Information You Share on Social Media Sites – Fraudsters can obtain information from social media including: 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.
  • Be Proactive, Check Your Credit Regularly – Monitor your credit reports once a year and your statements monthly. If you have young children, check their credit as well.
  • Don't Use Your Debit Card For Online Purchases – If your card is compromised, 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.
  • Never Use a Questionable ATM – If there are loose or wobbly parts, or if the appearance is different, use another ATM.
  • Report Any ATM Issues Immediately – If your card is acquired by an ATM and not returned, 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 medical claim because it shows you've reached your benefits limit.
  • The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or you have income from an employer you don't work for.
  • You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach.

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.
  • If mail was involved, contacting the US Postal Service.
  • Reporting the fraudulent use of a social security number to the Social Security Administration.
  • Contacting the DMV to determine if any additional licenses were issued 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 fees.
  • Pay fees for a loan or to boost your credit rating.
  • Access your account online or make deposits to your account.
  • Give your debit card and PIN information in order to be paid for a job.
  • 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.

The most common check fraud involves receiving a generous check with an explanation that you've won an award, a prize, a lottery, or other money. 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 if it was counterfeit.

Criminals use stolen pictures and made up information to make connections with their victims. Eventually, the criminal will ask for their bank account information to make deposits into their account. The reasons 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 gift cards. 

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, the lender states they will then send funds the applicant can keep. However, before this can happen, the funds are determined to be fraudulent. 

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.

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 on websites where job seekers post resumes. Money mules are 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, and the criminal receives 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 into 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. 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.


 

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 ic3.gov.