Identity Theft Prevention & Resources
Frequently Asked Questions
Is online banking safe?
Absolutely, it’s safer than doing a transaction over the phone and as safe as doing a transaction in person. Multi-factor authentication and the encryption that’s used in today’s modern banking platforms is a very safe and convenient way to conduct financial transactions.
Tips for Keeping Financial Information Safe Online
You should keep your operating system patched and up to date. You should also install a strong and reputable anti-virus software program and run updates to ensure your computer is protected.
If it all possible, do not use public computers for accessing online banking as these can store usernames and passwords. Also, avoid using public wi-fi hotspots because you don’t know what security measures are in place for those networks.
It’s important to not use the same password for all of your log ins. It’s also recommended to periodically change your password. And never share your log ins with anyone.
Set Strong Passwords
Using combinations of upper and lower case letters along with numbers and symbols can strengthen your password safety.
Using acronyms or letters from a phrase are much more secure than using standard dictionary words. For example:
“Good passwords are not that hard to choose” could be gPanth2c
There’s been a lot of information in the news about phishing scams. What are those?
In the context of online banking, a phishing scam is where a hacker uses either email, text or a phone call to pretend to be your financial institution in the hopes you will supply them with your username and password. They also might try to acquire personal information they might use to gain access to your financial information.
Calls Claiming to be Your Financial Institution and Requesting Personal Information
Financial institutions will never call, email or contact you to request your credentials. If you receive any communication from your financial institution requesting your login credentials, don’t respond. Contact your financial institution directly versus responding to the call or email you receive.
As mentioned earlier, never click on a link to your home banking site. It’s best practice to bookmark your financial institution’s home or log in page or go directly to the page. When in doubt, call or stop by your financial institution to ask about the communication.
Identity Theft Prevention
There are simple precautions that will help keep your identity safe. Please review the latest fraud alerts to keep abreast of the “tricks” identity thieves are using. This information is provided to assist Arkansas Federal members in protecting themselves from identity fraud and other criminal activities. Review the links and information to learn how to protect your personal and financial information.
Inspect Your Credit
Credit reports contain information about you, including what accounts you have and your bill paying history. The law requires the major nationwide consumer reporting companies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – to give you a free copy of your credit report each year if you ask for it.
Visit AnnualCreditReport.com or call (877) 322-8228, a service created by these three companies, to order your free credit reports each year. You can also write:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Credit Reporting Agencies
Equifax: (800) 525-6285 or www.equifax.com
Experian: (888) 397-3742 or www.experian.com
TransUnion: (800) 680-7289 or www.transunion.com
Alerts to Prevent Debit and Credit Card Fraud
Arkansas Federal subscribes to a state-of-the-art technology called Falcon, to help prevent potential debit and credit card fraud. Based on previous card usage, if a debit or credit card purchase looks suspicious, we’ll try to contact you at your primary, secondary or alternate phone numbers to verify if the card was used by its rightful owner – or determine if the account has fallen into the wrong hands. If the account is being used fraudulently, we can prevent additional activity from occurring.
For Falcon to work, you may receive a call from an Arkansas Federal representative asking you about the purchase made with your Arkansas Federal Mastercard Debit Card, Platinum Classic Mastercard, Platinum Secure Mastercard or World Mastercard. We’ll ask you to take a moment to verify your debit card or credit card account activity.
What can you do to help
Because the Falcon system relies heavily on accurate contact information, it’s important for members to keep that information current. Please keep Arkansas Federal informed of your current address and phone numbers. If you move or change your phone, you can call or log in to your account to update your address or phone numbers or add any additional contact phone numbers.
Traveling Out of the Area?
If you are planning to travel and use your Arkansas Federal debit or credit card in an area where you don’t usually use your card, please take note of the following information. Contact Arkansas Federal that you are planning on traveling outside your area and provide us with the dates and locations that you plan on traveling to so that we can notify Falcon. It’s best to have more than one method for spending and payments. Besides your Arkansas Federal debit or credit card, take an additional form of payment, such as traveler’s checks. Our Payment Solutions Department may not be able to contact you if you are in a foreign country for instance, and you want to make sure you have another method of payment if your card is temporarily blocked due to unusual activity. For more information, call (501) 982-1000 or (800) 456-3000 for more details.
Fraud Awareness Resources
National Resources for ID Theft
A nonprofit, nationally respected organization dedicated exclusively to the understanding and prevention of identity theft.