Protecting your personal information.

Because there's an ever-growing number of ways criminals can commit fraud, we’re dedicated to keeping you informed about how we're protecting your online experience and providing you with tips to protect yourself from fraud and identity theft.

We're protecting your online experience.

With thousands of Members visiting CU SoCal’s website each month, it’s important to know we have security measures in place to help protect CUSoCal.org from attacks. While no financial institution is 100% immune to would-be thieves, we monitor our site 24/7 and have implemented layers of protection to minimize the chances of a successful intrusion. Below is a brief overview:

  • We monitor our online services 24/7. This includes the use of more than 70 checks from separate locations to verifying our site is up and available. We also analyze all files on our website including checking for any changes in size or location that would indicate the site has been altered without our authorization. Our team is immediately alerted if there are any changes to the site.
  • Our domain name is secured. We use Internet service providers who host our domain name across different segments of the Internet (including other continents), as well as provide added security over these domain names. This helps to “lock down” our domain name so Members encounter less risk of being redirected to a fraudulent site without their knowledge or permission.
  • The website’s host is protected. Our hosting service maintains the server running our site with the latest security patches available. And, this data center provides the highest level of “up time” to Members in the event of something unforeseen—such as a natural disaster in Southern California.
  • Online Banking is encrypted. It goes without saying that you expect your online financial transactions to be protected to the highest degree possible. When you access Online Banking, your financial information is automatically encrypted. Simply put, your financial transaction is scrambled, sent to us via a secure server, and then decoded with a process that only our data processing system knows. This happens for each and every transaction, 24/7.
  • We notify you before leaving our secure website. To enhance your web browsing experience, we provide links to alternate, external web resources. Before any link on our website takes you to an external domain, a brief message will appear to notify you that you are leaving our secure website and ask for your permission. In order for this notification to deploy properly, we recommend that Java Script is enabled on your web browser.

Helpful tips to keep your protected when you bank on your mobile device.

At CU SoCal, we’re committed to reducing the risk associated with fraudulent activity. All CU SoCal Mobile Banking services use the same security standards as Online Banking. However, when you are banking on-the-go, it's important you use extra precaution against fraud.

Below are steps you can take to help protect your account and personal information:

  • Password protect your mobile device.
  • Download signed applications only from trusted sources.
  • If you are using a mobile device on the Android operating system, do not enable Android’s “install from unknown sources” feature.
  • Never store usernames and passwords on your device.
  • Keep the mobile device with you or secure your device in a safe place.
  • Frequently delete text messages received from CU SoCal.
  • Notify CU SoCal and your wireless carrier immediately if your mobile device is lost or stolen.
  • Do not modify your mobile device as it may disable important security features.
  • Install antivirus software.
  • Check your CU SoCal account frequently and notify the credit union of any unauthorized transactions.
  • Do not respond to text messages requesting personal information, such as Social Security numbers, credit/debit/ATM card numbers, and account numbers.
  • Adopt the same safe practices you would use on your personal computers, including not opening attachments or clicking links contained in an email received from unfamiliar sources.

Here are some ways to help protect your identity.

Identity theft is the fastest growing fraud scheme in the United States. It has been estimated that nearly 27 million Americans have been victimized over the last five years. Ten million Americans discovered they were victims of some form of ID theft in the last 12 months. Nearly seven million Americans discovered their credit card or other account information had been misused in the last 12 months. More than three million Americans discovered their personal information had been misused in the last 12 months for "new account fraud" designed to open new accounts and take out loans.

On the average, victims reported spending approximately $500 to deal with their identity theft experience. Victims of the more serious "new accounts and other frauds" form of identity theft spend on average nearly $1,200. Identity theft of all types cost victims an estimated $5 billion in the last 12 months.

Victims of identity theft spent an estimated 297 million hours recovering from identity theft last year alone. About 194 million hours from "new accounts and other fraud," while roughly 100 million hours were spent dealing with the misuse of existing accounts.

Here are some ways to help protect your identity:

  • Shred all junk mail, credit card applications, and items that have your name, SSN, address, date of birth or other pertinent personal information BEFORE you throw it in the trash.

  • When paying bills via U.S. Mail, deposit the bill into a LOCKED mailbox. Do not put it in your mailbox if it is not secured. ID thieves will cruise neighborhoods looking for the "red flag" on mailboxes, take your bills, and alter your personal checks or use the checks to get your account number and order additional checks.

  • If your monthly or quarterly bank and/or credit card statements fail to arrive, immediately contact your financial institution and/or credit card company.

  • If your financial institution or credit card company offers online viewing of your outstanding checks and charges, monitor your account on a daily or every other day basis. Look for checks you did not write or charges you did not authorize.

  • Sign your credit cards. If you don't someone else will.

  • Do not carry your Social Security card in your purse or wallet. In addition, look at other items you carry to determine if they have your SSN on them. If your driver's license is your SSN, change it. Remember, ID thieves only need your SSN, name, and address to steal your ID.

  • If you suspect you may have been a victim of ID theft, follow the instructions below immediately. Waiting two or three days can cause problems down the road.

Due to the rising number of occurrences of identity theft, the Credit Union National Association adopted a program (required under the FACTA which became law last year) issuing one free credit report each year to consumers. This program is designed to encourage consumers to regularly check their credit report to ensure that the information contained in the report is accurate and also provides an opportunity to the consumer to look for possible signs of identity theft.

The website to request your free credit report is Annual Credit Report.

What to do after a data breach.

Identity theft, account takeover, and fraud can occur when personal information is compromised due to a data breach. Check out these helpful tips of what to do after a data breach.

A security freeze protects against identity theft and the opening of fraudulent accounts with a consumer’s personal information. It will block an institution or lender from accessing a report, unless a pre-set PIN is provided to “thaw” the report; a credit report may be thawed at a particular bureau for a period of time or for a specific lender. Consumers must contact each of the bureaus listed below to place a security freeze. Note: Each of the credit bureaus will give or allow you to create a PIN to be used to thaw or unfreeze your report in the future. It is very important you do not lose or forget this PIN! It is recommended to store it in multiple locations with other important documents, including a safe deposit box or home lockbox, or in a password-protected format electronically.

Go to each of the following sites to place a security freeze and follow the instructions; record and protect the PIN:

Some states charge fees to place a freeze, thaw or unfreeze a credit report; see the sites above for specific state details.

A fraud alert on credit reports requires potential creditors to contact the consumer and obtain permission to open new accounts or lines of credit. Consumers are allowed by law to report they are an identity theft victim and file a fraud alert (aka a “security alert”) every 90 days; with proper documentation such as a police report, the fraud alert period may be extended to seven years.

If consumers contact one of the first three listed below, that bureau is required to contact the other two; consumers must contact the fourth bureau directly to place an alert.
  • Place a fraud alert with Equifax: call 800.525.6285 or go here; or
  • Place a fraud alert with Experian: call 888.397.3742 or go here; or
  • Place a fraud alert with TransUnion: call 800.680.7289 or go here.
  • Place a fraud alert with Innovis: call 800.540.2505 or go here.
Unless there is an extended fraud alert in place, make a reminder to renew the fraud alerts after 90 days.
Consumers are entitled by law to a free credit report from each of the credit reporting bureaus once a year.

• Go to annualcreditreport.com or call 877.322.8228 and follow instructions to access the free credit reports.

It is recommended consumers check their report three times a year by pulling the report for one bureau every four months. Items to watch for are “new” or “re-opened” accounts and other suspicious activity.

Add an extra level of security to your CU SoCal account(s):

  • Add a security challenge pass-phrase that must be shared before any changes are made to account(s) by completing our Password Request form and dropping it off at your nearest CU SoCal branch, mailing it to P.O. Box 200 Whittier, CA 90608-0200, or faxing it to us at 714.990.5492.
  • Enroll CU SoCal Visa® Debit Cards in the CU SoCal Card Guard App to monitor and protect debit card activity.

Fraud/Loss Prevention Contacts

If you have received a phishing e-mail that looks as if it has been sent by CU SoCal, please forward the email to info@CUSoCal.org.

If you suspect you’ve been a victim of identity theft or other fraudulent activity . . .

Please contact CU SoCal as soon as possible, toll-free at 866 CU SoCal (866.287.6225), so that we may take steps to protect the integrity of your account information and funds. In addition, please follow the steps outlined below:

1

Add a fraud alert.

Contact any one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file.

2

Close compromised accounts.

Close the accounts you know or believe have been compromised or opened fraudulently.

3

File reports.

File a police report and with the FTC. Obtain a copy of the police report to submit to your creditors as proof of the crime.

Help + Support

Building Better Lives

Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal) is a leading financial institution empowering those who live, work, worship, or attend school in Orange County, Los Angeles County, and San Bernardino County to reach their goals and build strong financial futures. CU SoCal provides access to convenient money management services and offers competitive rates and flexible terms on auto loans, mortgages, and VISA credit cards—turning wishing and waiting into achieving and doing.

562.698.8326 | 866 CU SoCal Se Habla Español

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