How to Protect Yourself

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Online fraud and scams are prevalent in every industry and are increasing at alarming rates. Stay informed on the latest scams and tricks so that they won’t catch you off guard. 

Privacy and Identity Theft


What is 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 letter asking you to go to their website to update your account information
  • They build software to pull personal information off of your computer
  • They steal wallets and mail
  • They go through your trash
  • They watch over your shoulder at an ATM
  • They “skim” your credit card using an illegal scanning device
  • They pose as a legitimate company and ask you for information (When this last technique is done using email, it is called “phishing”).

How Can I Protect Myself?

Protecting your personal information is a shared responsibility. Please use the following precautions:

Your Smart Phone, Tablet and Mobile Device

  • Protect your personal information
    Never give your Social Security Number, account number, passwords, PINs or other specific personal information to people who call or email you. We will never call or email you to ask you for this information. Only give financial information over the phone if you are the one who initiates the call to a published credit union phone number.

    If your phone or tablet has password protection, we recommend you use it. Additionally, if you use a password protected website or app, such as Elevations Online Banking iPhone, iPad or Android app, we recommend NOT selecting the check box that asks if you would like the app or website to remember your username and password when you come back at a later date.  If you should misplace your phone or tablet and the wrong person got their hands on it, they would have access to these online accounts, websites, contacts and more.

  • Update your username and password regularly
    We recommend that you update your usernames and passwords on a regular basis. Doing so will help to ensure that your account is as secure as possible. We recommend that you have a unique username and password for each website or app, and that you use a complex mix of characters (upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters such as !@#). Never write your usernames and passwords down on a piece of paper.

  • Update your mobile or tablet software regularly
    Make sure you update your mobile phone’s software on a regular basis. These upgrades are full of security “patches” which plug the holes in the software that many malicious software programs utilize to get at your personal information. This is one of the simplest, yet critical operations you need to perform to protect yourself from a variety of malware. Security patches and operating system updates (on your personal computer) should be applied quickly when you are able to.  Mobile and tablet operating systems  will either provide you updates directly from the manufacturer and can be applied without waiting for any particular carrier. Some systems provide updates in conjunction with the mobile carrier. In these cases, the version of software your phone can run and the frequency that updates can be applied is dictated by the mobile carrier. In the event that your device falls into this category you will need to contact your carrier to address delays in the release of updates.
  • Don't install apps from an un-trusted source
    It’s important to ensure that any apps you download or install are from a safe and trusted source. Installing software from un-trusted sources can lead to the infection of your device with virus and/or spyware.
  • Wait until checks clear your account to use the funds
    Make sure that checks you accept come from a trusted source. Funds you receive from a Craigslist or email promotion may be fraudulent, especially when it comes to employment opportunities or if there is a request to wire funds back to the sender.

Please report any suspicious activity to: security@ElevationsCU.com.


Your Computer and Email

  • Update your username and password regularly
    We recommend that you update your usernames and passwords on a regular basis. Doing so will help to ensure that your account is as secure as possible. We recommend that you have a unique username and password for each website or app, and that you use a complex mix of characters (upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters such as !@#). Never write your usernames and passwords down on a piece of paper.

  • Don’t send personal information via email
    Most email messages are not secure. Do not include financial information in email communications. If you are interested in emailing Elevations, we offer secure email forms. Additionally, you can log into your Online Banking and Bill Pay account and use the secure email provided in the upper right hand corner to submit your inquiry.
  • Don’t tell unknown people your personal information via email, phone or mail
    If you think you’ve clicked on a link in a phishing email (anchor tag to term below), or receive a suspicious phone call or letter, this does not mean you have a virus or have compromised your personal information. However, if you have entered any sensitive personal information into the fraudulent website, you should contact us immediately.
  • Don’t install software from an un-trusted source
    It’s important to ensure that any software you download or install is from a safe source. Installing software from un-trusted sources can lead to the infection of your device with virus and/or spyware.
  • Make sure you have anti-virus / anti-malware software installed
    Ensure your computer is protected by always downloading the latest security fixes for your operating system. As well, make sure you’ve purchased firewall, virus and malware protection software. You can set these up to filter spam, alert you to potential viruses and Trojans, and scan your computer for up-to-date virus protection and deletion.  
  • Update your browsers
    Always ensure you have the most recent Internet browser versions. Try using browsers that have more security enhancements.
  • Multifactor Authentication
    When you are presented with multiple multi-factor authentication options which include receiving a text message or a voice callback to validate your identity. While the text message may appear to be more convenient, it can be intercepted by a well-placed virus. For the highest level of security we recommend you consider using the voice call-back option.
  • Disable auto complete / Don’t save passwords
    Many browsers offer to remember your username and/or password for various websites. We recommend that you avoid utilizing this feature especially for online banking. By using this feature you make it easier for a virus or malicious individual to access your account.

Please report any suspicious activity to: security@ElevationsCU.com.


Your Wallet

  • Memorize Your PIN Number
    Never write your PIN on your debit card or credit card. Memorize your account number and account password so you do not need to carry this information with you.

  • Be Selective When Carrying Private Information
    Do not carry items such as your social security card or account information in your wallet unless you are using them that day.

Please report any suspicious activity to: security@ElevationsCU.com.


Your Mailbox

  • Shred
    Shred credit card & insurance offers or any documents that contain your personal information that you no longer need.
  • Review Monthly Statements
    Review your monthly account statements thoroughly and report any unusual activity or items that you did not purchase to us. If you are enrolled in our online banking or credit card programs, check these often for up-to-date transaction information.
Please report any suspicious activity to: security@ElevationsCU.com.


Have You Been a Victim of Identity Theft?

If you think that you have been a victim of identity theft or another fraudulent transaction, we recommend that you close out any financial accounts that may be compromised and monitor your financial information frequently.

Elevations Contact Information

If you have mistakenly given your Elevations Credit Union login, password or card information to a malicious party, contact us immediately at: 303.443.4672 or 800.429.7626. Report suspicious emails to: security@ElevationsCU.com

Federal Trade Commission
If you have given out your social security number you may be at risk of identity theft. Act quickly to protect your identity by accessing the Federal Trade Commission website to find out what to do and how to complete an ID Theft Affidavit: Federal Trade Commission

Credit Bureau
Alert one of the major credit bureaus immediately to set a freeze on your credit report. This way, no one will be able to open an account in your name without you verifying it first.

VISA Signature based transactions
Our VISA members are automatically enrolled in our fraud alert management (FAM) service. You can reach them at 800.890.5097 or 800.437.9392 (if needed, call collect: 727.227.2447).

PIN-based debit card transactions that have been flagged for suspicious activity (provided by Card Members Security)
For Elevations debit card incidences, please contact the Card Member Security Line at 888.241.2440 (if needed, call collect: 909.941.1034).

We are here to help serve you. Call us: 303.443.4672 or 800.429.7626, visit a branch, or email us at security@ElevationsCU.com if you are suspicious about any request for sensitive personal information appearing to come from Elevations Credit Union.


Vocabulary Terms You Should be Familiar With

New words and phrases are continually popping up to describe new fraudulent activities that arise. We recommend that you keep up with the latest terms and learn how to protect yourself from being a victim. Some of the current phrases and words include: phishing, "sensitive and personal information", hacker, pharming, identity theft, computer viruses, and skimming.

Know that we're here for you. You can contact us directly at 303.443.4672 or 800.429.7626 if you are suspicious about any request for sensitive personal information appearing to come from Elevations Credit Union. Please report any suspicious emails or security questions to security@ElevationsCU.com.



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