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Identity Theft

Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. Despite your best efforts to protect your personal information, there's no perfect defense. If you do fall prey to identity theft, time and expertise are of the essence—thieves count on a victim's slow response. Understandably, most identity theft victims feel helpless, angry and overwhelmed when they first learn that their lives and livelihood are under attack. They have no idea how to resolve their situation or where to turn for guidance.

If You're A Victim. . . Contact us immediately at any of our branches to report any fraudulent charges.

Stay Educated. . . The best defense against identity theft is awareness. Please see below for some additional resources to help you protect yourself and your family.

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FREE Credit Report

Get your free annual credit report!

As of June 1, 2005, Georgia consumers may request a free copy of their credit reports. The three nationwide consumer reporting companies have set up one central website through which you can order a free annual credit report. You can also request a report by phone or by mail. You may order from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies at the same time, or from only one or two. The law allows you to order one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Click here to get your free annual credit report.
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Phishing

Don't Get Lured In by Phishing Scamsters!
If you receive an e-mail such as this, please do not respond.

Hundreds of consumers have found themselves the victims of an e-mail scam known as "phishing." It involves high-tech fraudsters who pretend to be a legitimate financial institution or credit card company. Hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet, the fraudsters send out "official-looking" e-mails designed to trick consumers into divulging financial and personal information such as account numbers, passwords, user names, Social Security Numbers, and other sensitive data. In most cases, the e-mail claims there is an account problem or warns of a possible account fraud threat. Either way—the whole idea is to convince the consumer there is an immediate need to update their financial information.

If you receive an e-mail from HCCU requesting financial information or any other personal or sensitive data:

Phishing
  • Do not reply to the e-mail or respond by clicking on a link within the e-mail message. HCCU will never ask you to provide any kind of confidential or financial details via an e-mail request.
  • Treat the e-mail with suspicion.
  • Contact HCCU as soon as possible to report the suspicious e-mail.

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Check Scam Tips

Tips for recognizing and avoiding counterfeit check scams (provided by CUNA Mutual Group)
  1. There are many variations of the counterfeit check scam. It could start with someone offering to buy something you advertised, pay you to do work at home, give you an “advance” on a sweepstakes you’ve supposedly won, or pay the first installment on the millions that you’ll receive for agreeing to have money in a foreign country transferred to your account for safekeeping. Whatever the pitch, the person may sound quite believable.

  2. Counterfeit check scammers hunt for victims. They scan newspaper and online advertisements for people listing items for sale, and check postings on online job sites from people seeking employment. They place their own ads with phone numbers or e-mail addresses for people to contact them. And they call or send emails or faxes to people randomly, knowing that someone will take the bait.

  3. They often claim to be in another country. The scammers say it’s too difficult and complicated to send you the money directly from their country, so they’ll arrange for someone in the U.S. to send you a check.

  4. They tell you to wire money to them after you’ve deposited the check. If you’re selling something, they say they’ll pay you by having someone in the U.S. who owes them money send you a check. It will be for more than the sale price; you deposit the check, keep what you’re owed, and wire the rest to them. If it’s part of a work-at-home scheme, they may claim that you’ll be processing checks from their “clients.” You deposit the checks and then wire them the money minus your “pay.” Or they may send you a check for more than your pay “by mistake” and ask you to wire them the excess. In the sweepstakes and foreign money offer, they tell you to wire them money for taxes, customs, bonding, processing, legal fees, or other expenses that must be paid before you can get the rest of the money.

  5. The checks are counterfeit but they look real. In fact, they look so real that even tellers may be fooled. Some are phony cashiers checks, others look like they’re from legitimate business accounts. The companies whose names appear may be real, but someone has dummied up the checks without their knowledge.

  6. You don’t have to wait long to use the money, but that doesn’t mean the check is good. Under federal law (Regulation CC), financial institutions have to make the funds you deposit available — usually within one to five business days (sometimes longer), depending on the type of check. But just because you can withdraw the money does not mean the check is good, even if it’s a cashiers check. It can take weeks for the counterfeit or forgery to be discovered and the check to bounce.

  7. You are responsible for the checks you deposit. That’s because you’re in the best position to determine the risk — you’re the one dealing directly with the person who is arranging for the check to be sent to you. When a check bounces, the financial institution deducts the amount that was originally credited to your account. If there isn’t enough to cover it, the financial institution may be able to take money from other accounts you have at that institution, or sue you to recover the funds.

  8. There is no legitimate reason for someone who is giving you money to ask you to wire money back. If a stranger wants to pay you for something, insist on a cashiers check for the exact amount, preferably from a local credit union or bank, or a credit union or bank

DON'T DEPOSIT IT — REPORT IT! Report counterfeit check scams to the National Fraud Information Center/Internet Fraud Watch, a service of the nonprofit National Consumers League. The information will be transmitted to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

Please contact us if you have questions or we can help you in any way.

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Passwords & Personal Identification Numbers (PIN)

*Important Reminder - While Health Center Credit Union takes great care to protect each member's personal information and keep it secure, each member is responsible for securing his or her Credit Union information on their personal computer.

  • Choose passwords that are easy to remember
  • Change passwords periodically.
  • Never share your password or PIN.
  • Credit Union employees do not need to know a member's password or PIN to provide assistance.
  • Turn off your computer's auto-complete and password auto-save features to prevent someone else's instant access to personal information.

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