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Protect Yourself From Fraud

Safety & Security

Using Your VISA Card When Traveling

When traveling, please remember to notify Essential to prevent unnecessary blocks on your card. Certain transactions may be blocked due to behavior conflicts on your card, this is for your security. Notifying Essential will make using your VISA Debit Card easier so you can enjoy your traveling experience. Complete a Travel Notification with Online Banking, contact us at 888.369.2207 or email us at eServices@essentialfcu.org. 

To prevent transactions being denied when using your Credit Card when traveling, please login to the Credit Card Portal.

How To Recognize and Avoid Phishing Scams

Scammers use email or text messages to trick you into giving them your personal information. But there are several things you can do to protect yourself.

How To Recognize Phishing

Phishing emails and text messages may look like they’re from a company you know or trust. They may look like they’re from a bank, a credit card company, a social networking site, an online payment website or app, or an online store.

Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. They may

  • say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts
  • claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information
  • say you must confirm some personal information
  • include a fake invoice
  • want you to click on a link to make a payment
  • say you’re eligible to register for a government refund
  • offer a coupon for free stuff

How To Protect Yourself From Phishing Attacks

Your email spam filters may keep many phishing emails out of your inbox. But scammers are always trying to outsmart spam filters, so it’s a good idea to add extra layers of protection. 

Here are four steps you can take today to protect yourself from phishing attacks.

  1.  Protect your computer by using security software. Set the software to update automatically so it can deal with any new security threats.
  2. Protect your mobile phone by setting software to update automatically. These updates could give you critical protection against security threats.
  3. Protect your accounts by using multi-factor authentication. Some accounts offer extra security by requiring two or more credentials to log in to your account. This is called multi-factor authentication.
  4. Protect your data by backing it up. Back up your data and make sure those backups aren’t connected to your home network. You can copy your computer files to an external hard drive or cloud storage. Back up the data on your phone, too.

What To Do if You Suspect a Phishing Attack

If you get an email or a text message that asks you to click on a link or open an attachment, answer this question: Do I have an account with the company or know the person that contacted me?

  •  If the answer is “No,” it could be a phishing scam. Go back and review the tips in How to recognize phishing and look for signs of a phishing scam. If you see them, report the message and then delete it.
  • If the answer is “Yes,” contact the company using a phone number or website you know is real. Not the information in the email. Attachments and links can install harmful malware.

How To Report Phishing

If you got a phishing email or text message, report it. The information you give can help fight the scammers.

  • Step 1. Contact the company you may have given personal information to. They can help you change passwords, close and open new accounts, etc.
  • Step 2. If you got a phishing email, forward it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org. If you got a phishing text message, forward it to SPAM (7726).
  • Step 3. Report the phishing attack to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.