Important tips for protecting your finances and personal information
Select a topic to learn more.
Protecting yourself from digital banking scams
IMPORTANT: The Police Credit Union will never ask for your personal information through email, text, or social media. When in doubt about a phone, text, or call, contact us directly at 800.222.1391.
- Never provide passwords, PIN numbers, verification access code. or account numbers via phone, text, or email.
- Don't open or respond to unsolicited emails, texts, or calls from people you don't know.
- Never sign into your account using a link in an email or text. Make sure you are logging in from our website.
- Avoid sending money to people you don't know and trust. Verify information first. Be suspicious of people who want you to act immediately.
- If searching for our website through an online search engine, verify that the URL is thepolicecu.org or thepolicecudigital.org before clicking on the link or logging in. Website spoofing is a deceptive technique where malicious actors create fake websites that closely mimic legitimate ones to trick users into divulging sensitive information or downloading malware; to stay safe, exercise caution and verify website URLs.
Keeping your personal information safe
Protect your personal information
- Guard your Social Security number
- Make photocopies of vital information
- Beware of mail or phone solicitations that offer prizes or awards
- Always shred papers with financial information, including credit card offers, before discarding
- Check your credit report annually for free at http://www.annualcreditreport.com
- Stay updated on the latest identity theft scams
Phone and mail precautions
- Treat all unsolicited calls skeptically and never divulge any personal information
- Retrieve incoming mail promptly and do not place outgoing mail containing personal information in your mailbox
- Know your billing and statement cycles to keep bills from lingering in your mailbox
Email and online security
- Do not open or respond to suspicious email
- Don’t follow a link in an email; always type the website URL in your browser
- Install firewalls and anti-spyware programs on your computer
Keep your credit and debit cards safe
- Check your statements. Examine the charges every month and report any suspicious activity
- Sign-up for E-statements to access your statements through Online Banking
- Sign the signature panel on your credit and debit cards as soon as you receive them
- Report lost or stolen cards immediately
- Lock away unused cards (don’t automatically cancel credit card accounts because that can damage your credit score)
- Trending scams
Identity theft FAQs
What is identity theft?
Identity theft can take many forms and occurs when someone uses your personal information including your name, Social Security number, bank accounts, etc., to commit fraud or other crimes. Often you will not realize you have been a victim of identity theft until the crime has already caused damage in your life.
How is my information stolen?
There are various ways that criminals can get your personal information without your permission. A common way for criminals to get your information is through skimming the dumpsters for discarded bill, banking statements and credit card offers. Technology allows criminals to steal your personal information by accessing storage devices that process your card information when making purchases online. Also, spam and pop-up messages are used to pose as financial institutions asking for your personal information.
What forms of identity theft can take place?
Criminals use your information to add charges to your existing credit card/debit card, open up new credit cards in your name, write bad checks using your name or bank account number, take out a loan in your name, and even use your name to set up utility and phone services. They can use your name and address to apply for jobs, to give to police if being questioned or arrested, to rent houses or apartments, and to order government identification items such as a driver’s license with their photograph instead of yours.
How do I know if my identity has been stolen?
The best way to ensure that your identity has not been stolen is to monitor your monthly billing and account statements. You can also order a free annual credit report once every 12 months from each of the major nationwide consumer reporting agencies. Order your free annual report online at http://www.annualcreditreport.com or or call toll-free 877.322.8228.
What are some additional resources I can explore to defend myself against identity theft?
The Police Credit Union wants to arm you with as much information as possible to combat identity theft. Use these resources to enhance your understanding.
- AnnualCreditReport.com - The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) allows consumers to obtain a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies. AnnualCreditReport.com provides consumers with the secure means to do so.
- Better Business Bureau
- Consumer Credit Counseling - Credit education and free workshops
Credit Bureau Services - There are 3 main credit bureaus you can contact if you need to check and/or dispute your credit
Website spoofing / online ad spoofing FAQs
What is website spoofing?
Website spoofing is a deceptive technique where malicious actors create fake websites that closely mimic legitimate ones to trick users into divulging sensitive information or downloading malware.
How do I know if a site is the real TPCU website or if it’s a spoofing site?
- We recommend accessing our website directly by typing thepolicecu.org into your browser bar to avoid spoofing sites.
- If you are searching for our website through an online search engine, always verify before you click on a link. You can do this by hovering over a link with your mouse and checking the URL that the link is pointing to.
- Safe links should be pointing to thepolicecu.org or thepolicecudigital.org.
What should I know about fraudulent Google Ads?
- Some members have reported fake Police Credit Union sponsored Google ads when doing a Google search for The Police Credit Union.
- Many times, these fake ads are intended to redirect you to a fake TPCU login page to steal member credentials (username/password).
How do I verify that a Google ad is legitimate?
- Authentic ads will feature our 7-pointed star logo, which is only displayed by verified Google accounts. If an ad lacks a logo, it is likely fraudulent because the company cannot verify its name.
- An authentic ad refers to us as “The Police CU” or “The Police Credit Union.” None of our current ads say “SFPCU” or “SF Police Credit Union” and if those terms are seen it is a fake ad.
- Authentic ads should be pointing to our domain thepolicecu.org.
Legitimate Ad Example:
Fake Ad Example:
Clicking on the fake ad link can lead to a fake login page as below (note the fake login site with the incorrect URL).
External Link Alert
You are leaving our website and linking to an alternative website not operated by us. The Credit Union does not endorse or guarantee the products, information, or recommendations provided by third-party vendors or third-party linked sites.