Fraud Protection Tips

Guarding Your Wealth
Learn about best practices for keeping your passwords safe

Precautionary Measures

Password Protection

Here are a few best practices to help protect your passwords.

  • Create a strong password by choosing combinations of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using dictionary words, birthdays, addresses, or combinations that would be easy for a hacker to guess.
  • Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Passwords should be updated periodically.
  • The longer the password, the better.

If you suspect your First Federal accounts have been compromised, contact us immediately so that we can assist you in safeguarding your information.

Review Your Credit Report

An important way to combat fraudulent activity on your accounts is to get a credit report. New laws allow you to receive a free credit report each year. If a fraudster has opened a credit account in your name, they will show up on your credit report. While First Federal cannot request the report for you, you can get your annual report by visiting Also, consider using a credit monitoring service to help detect suspicious activity.
Debit card and PIN security tips

PINpoint Protection: Securing Your Debit Card with Confidence

Debit Card & PIN Security

Here are some tips to protect your debit card and PIN:
  • Cover the keypad when you enter your PIN.
  • Don’t write your PIN down anywhere, especially on your card.
  • Don’t choose an obvious PIN like your birthday or consecutive numbers such as ‘1234’.
  • Protect your cards like you would protect your cash.
  • Be sure to look at the ATM. If it looks like someone has tampered with the equipment, don’t use it. (This could mean that a criminal has attached a “skimmer” to the ATM to steal your financial information.)
  • Change your PIN immediately if you suspect that someone knows your number.
  • Trust your instincts. If you suspect foul play, use a different machine or payment method.

Handling Suspicious Email

Phishing involves the use of fraudulent emails and copycat websites to trick you into revealing valuable personal information — such as account numbers for banking, securities, mortgage, or credit accounts, your social security numbers, and the login IDs and passwords you use when accessing online financial services providers. The fraudsters who collect this information then use it to steal your money or your identity or both. Here are some tips to prevent Phishing attacks:

Pick Up the Phone to Verify

  • Don’t respond to any emails that request personal or financial information, especially ones that use pressure tactics or prey on fear. If you have reason to believe that a financial institution actually does need personal information from you, pick up the phone and call the company yourself — using the number in your records, not the one the email provides!

Do Your Own Typing

  • Rather than merely clicking on the link provided in the email, type the URL into your web browser yourself (or use a bookmark you previously created). Even though a URL in an email may look like the real deal, fraudsters can mask the true destination.

Beef Up Your Security

  • Personal firewalls and security software packages (with anti-virus, anti-spam, and spyware detection features) are a must-have for those who engage in online financial transactions. Make sure your computer has the latest security patches, and make sure that you conduct your financial transactions only on a secure web page using encryption. You can tell if a page is secure in a couple of ways. Look for a closed padlock in the status bar, and see that the URL starts with “https” instead of just “http.”
    • Security Tip: Some phishers make spoofed websites which appear to have padlocks. To double-check, click on the padlock icon on the status bar to see the security certificate for the site. Following the “Issued to” in the pop-up window you should see the name matching the site you think you’re on. If the name differs, you are probably on a spoofed site.

Review Your Statements

  • Don’t toss aside your monthly account statements. Review them thoroughly as soon as they arrive to make sure that all transactions shown are ones that you actually made, and check to see whether all of the transactions that you thought you made appear as well. Be sure that the company has current contact information for you, including your mailing address and email address.
Learn how to handle suspicious emails

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