Sidney Federal Credit Union

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Financial Safety Tips

Don't Let It Happen To You!

The fastest growing crime in America is identity theft, and the best protection is prevention. Here are some tips to safeguard your good name:

  1. Protect your Social Security number. Do not carry your card in your wallet.
  2. Do not give out your personal information unless you made the contact. Scam artists "phish" for victims by pretending to be credit unions, banks, stores, government agencies, etc. They do it by phone, email, and snail mail.
  3. Shred papers with personal information. Always shred credit card offers that you don't use. Also, shred those "convenience checks" you don't use.
  4. Open your credit card bills and financial statements right away. Check for unauthorized charges or withdrawals and report them immediately.
  5. Protect your computer from viruses and malware. Use firewall, virus, and spyware protection software - make sure it is updated regularly. Always use "strong" passwords.
  6. Always click with caution online. Only enter personal information on secure Web pages with "https" in the address bar and a padlock symbol at the top or bottom of your browser window.

ATM Safety 101

Almost all credit union members use an ATM at some point during a typical week - making deposits, withdrawing cash, etc. By nature, credit union ATM services are affordable and convenient for members, leaving out pesky fees, and providing expansive networks.

However, with this convenience may also come a price - ATMs can compromise your safety. Robbers often see ATMs and their users as easy targets. But by being vigilant and following some simple tips, you can beat these bandits at their own game while enjoying the perks of ATM usage.

The Electronic Funds Transfer Association (EFTA) offers some valuable ATM safety tips:

  1. Always pay close attention to the ATM and your surroundings.
  2. Be wary of people trying to "help" you with your ATM transaction.
  3. Don't use an ATM that appears unusual looking or offers options with which you are not familiar or comfortable.
  4. Don't allow people to look over your shoulder as you enter your pin code.
  5. Do not re-enter your pin if the ATM "eats" your card - contact a bank official immediately.
  6. Never write your pin on the back of your card.
  7. Do your automated banking in a public, well-lighted location.
  8. Never count cash at the machine or in public.
  9. When using a drive-up ATM, keep your engine running, doors and windows locked, and leave enough room between your car and others in the drive-up line.
  10. Closely monitor your statements and balance - immediately report any problems to the credit union.