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10 Tips to Sidestep Fraud

Whether you’re online all the time or you still rock a flip-phone, you’re a target for fraudulent scams. Some scams seem obvious, with lots of mistakes and grandiose requests. More sophisticated scams, though, will go as far as trying to impersonate your bank or credit union to get information.

Here are 10 tips to help you keep your CommunityAmerica accounts free and clear of fraud.

1. We will never ask you to confirm your account password.

Over the phone or in a branch or in any other type of communication, no one from CommunityAmerica will ever ask you for your account password. We don’t want it! We have our own access points to help you with your financial wellness. Never give your password to anyone.

2. We will never originate a request to move your money and never accept emailed instructions to conduct any transaction.

Protocol for transactions is in place for a reason. If we get an email from your account requesting an action, we won’t comply. We may, however, call you to verify that you’re not in a fraudulent situation.

3. We will always confirm your identity surrounding anything related to your trust in us.  You should validate our identity as well.

If you get a call or email that doesn’t identify CommunityAmerica, but says “Your financial institution”, blocked number or some vague variation, do not communicate with them. For any transaction in person, on the phone or online, we’ll always verify your identity.

4. We will never email you with vague instructions on completing a transaction. 

Lack of context or any request to provide key information should be a big bright red flag. Use caution when calling a phone number displayed or activating a weblink within an email since fraudsters are known to impersonate a business or create fake websites appearing to be legitimate to obtain your user credentials. 

5. We always use the CommunityAmerica brand in our interactions with you. Any variation from the full and correctly spelled CommunityAmerica name (not Community-space-America), should be viewed with suspicion.

If something comes unbranded or doesn’t seem like something we’d share with you, you’re probably right. We love being CommunityAmerica so when we share something with our members, we want to celebrate our relationship and who we are.

6. Always consider context of any message, regardless of source. If it seems strange, be suspicious and confirm it with us. Spam is beginning to flood even text message inboxes and some of this spam can be malicious. Use caution when calling a phone number displayed or clicking a link within the text message. If you get a text alert that seems out of the ordinary, call or come to a branch before you take any action. We’ll help you get it sorted out and keep you safe.

7. Change your password if you believe your account may have been compromised.

If for whatever reason you think someone has your password who shouldn’t, change it immediately as well changing them periodically. A good rule of thumb for a password is using a mix of capitals, lowercase, letters, numbers and symbols, to make it more difficult to be hacked.

8. Always delete scam messages, never respond.  Acknowledging a message provides valuable information to the attacker and likely ensures they will try again with a different approach.

Responding to a spam email to request getting off their mailing list won’t work. In fact, it may just mean you’re even more likely to get spam in the future. Report, flag, delete and move on.

9. Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission.

If you stumble upon a scam, share your experience to help save others from potential danger. Visit this link to report scams to the authorities.

10. Trust your gut.

When in doubt, trust your gut. If a call, email, or piece of mail seems out of place or invasive, it is probably no good.

If you ever have any questions or want verification, come into a branch or give us a call at 800.892.7957. Your security—both for your accounts and for your peace of mind—are our highest priority!

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