Safeguarding Your Personal and Financial Information  

We are constantly working to protect you and your personal and financial information, while providing educational resources and important updates so you can help to protect your identity, accounts, and other information. 

On this page, you will find information on the latest ways to stay safe and secure while online. We will keep you informed on fraud and scam trends that could have an impact to your safety, and provide you with links to external resources including the Federal Trade Commission’s website, Better Business Bureau’s scam tracker, and more.

Do you believe that your device, account, or personal information has been compromised? 

If you feel your device, account, or personal information may have been compromised, rest assured, we are here to help. Follow these three steps:

  1. Change your online credentials, including your username and password, immediately
    • This can be done in the Settings > Security section of online and mobile banking
  2. Contact us immediately at 1.800.888.7882
    • Describe the situation to us so that we can help find a solution 
  3. Have your computer/mobile device scanned for malware 

If you have questions on the legitimacy of an email or text message, please contact us: 

Additional Tips to Keep You Safe and Secure

Frequently Update Your Devices
One of the best methods to ensure you remain safe and secure online is to make sure you update your devices as quickly as possible when an official update is available. This helps protect you from scams that use outdated openings to gain access to your information.

Frequently Update Your Browser
Clicking a link exposes you to potential security issues, especially if your browser is out-of-date. You will need to update your web browser regularly to ensure your interactions with websites are safe and secure. We recommend using the most up-to-date version of your chosen web browser.

Your Multi-Factor Authentication Security Options
Multi-factor authentication means that you use a couple of ways to ensure your identity is proven on your accounts. We recommend that you enable multi-factor on all important online accounts, especially online banking.

This will require that you submit your username and password, as well as approve your access via your mobile device, sms text, email, or a call.
You can update these security options at any time—simply log into online banking and go to Manage Security Options under your profile.

Keeping your device and browser up-to-date and utilizing multi-factor authentication across all important accounts online will go a long way to keeping you safe and secure online.

Common Scams 

With the recent rise in cyber threats, it is more important than ever to stay informed on the latest trends in order to protect your private information. Here are some common scams, and how you can protect yourself. 

Phishing Scams 

One common way that hackers attempt to gain access to personal information is through “phishing” emails. Phishing is defined as “the practice of using fraudulent e-mails and copies of legitimate websites to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. These messages may impersonate your financial institution and frequently appear to come from a valid email address or phone number. They often include an urgent request for you to update your information, secure your account, verify your identity, or confirm a transaction. 

These scams may ask you to call a phone number, sign on to a fraudulent website, or respond with personal and/or account information. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself to help spot phishing messages: 

  • Is it an unexpected or unusual email, and is it from someone you have not communicated with recently? 
  • Is the message or request something you would expect from this sender? 
  • Is the subject line irrelevant to the content of the email? 
  • Does the email ask for sensitive information, such as username or password? 
  • Do you recognize the sender? 
  • Does the website address seem off? For example, a genuine Vantage West domain is “VantageWest.org” not “VantageWest.biz” 

Peer-To-Peer Payment System Scams

If you currently use peer-to-peer (P2P) payment systems, it is important to keep an eye out for a few common scams. 

In one scam, Members receive a text message that appears to come from the credit union and warns Members of suspicious transactions on their P2P account. If a Member responds to the text, the scammer will then call the Member, impersonating Vantage West’s fraud department. During this call, the scammer will ask to validate the Member’s login credentials, giving the scammer access to the Member’s account. They then use the P2P account to transfer funds to third parties.

In a newer version of this scam, Members will receive a text asking if they attempted a P2P transfer. If a Member responds to the text to claim the transfer is fraudulent, the scammer will then call the Member, impersonating Vantage West’s fraud department. The scammer will tell the Member that the fraudulent transfer went through, but that the stolen funds can be recovered. To do so, the scammer tells the Member that they must initiate a P2P transfer to themselves. But instead of sending the money to themselves, the scammer receives the transfer.

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself: 

Password Security Tips

  • Never share your online banking password or username with anyone 
  • Create a unique user ID and password for each site. Use a combination of upper-case letter(s), lower case letter(s), number(s), and special character(s) such as [email protected]#$%^&* 
  • Remember, Vantage West will never ask you to confirm your debit card number or PIN 

Website Security Tips 

  • Never sign into your account from a link in a suspicious email or text message. Instead, access your account by typing VantageWest.org into your browser directly or log in through the Vantage West Credit Union mobile app 
  • Search online for the contact information (name, email, phone number, addresses) and the proposed offer. Other people may have already received the same message and determined it is a scam 
  • Secure websites are encrypted and have a web address that starts with “https.” Do not visit sites or enter personal information on a website that begins with “http,” without the “s” at the end 
  • Resist the pressure to act quickly. Scammers often create a sense of urgency to scare victims into immediate action 

Computer/Network Security Tips 

  • Never open an email attachment from someone you don’t know and be wary of email attachments forwarded to you 
  • Do not click on links, open attachments, or respond to unexpected emails or text messages 
  • Enable pop-up blockers to avoid accidentally clicking on a pop-up window. Perpetrators regularly use pop-ups to spread malicious software 
  • Install trusted anti-virus software and keep it updated 

Security Alerts

Card Control allows you to block and unblock your cards, order replacement cards, activate new cards, set customized alerts, and choose which types of transactions to allow. You can customize the alerts by setting dollar amount thresholds for when the card is used, or set up alerts for all transactions.  With Card Control, you can also choose transaction types you would like to block.

Card Control is available in both the Vantage West mobile app and online banking. The widget can be accessed in by selecting More>Card Control.

Automated Fraud Alerts

We will notify you via SMS text message, phone call or email if we detect potentially fraudulent activity on your debit or credit card. These alerts allow you to review recent activity on your card and confirm that the activity is either authorized or fraudulent. 

If fraudulent activity is detected on your card, you may not be able to use your card until you follow the steps provided in the alert to review the activity. 

If you confirm that you did not authorize the transaction, you will be given a phone number to call to speak with a Fraud Detection Agent to resolve the matter. 

The automated alerts will come from the following phone numbers and email addresses: 

  • SMS Messages: 91937 
  • Phone Calls: 800.328.2071, 800.231.5262, and 800.272.9446 
  • Email: [email protected] 

To ensure that you receive these alerts, please log in to online or mobile banking and confirm or update your email address and phone numbers, including your mobile phone number. 

Monitoring your credit

It’s also important to know what’s on your credit report, when it’s being accessed, and when it’s being used. We recommend a yearly review of your credit report to ensure it’s accurate and validate it’s use.

Credit Reporting Agency Contact Information
Equifax

Experian

TransUnion

Additional Resources 

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Website: The FTC offers updates on the most recent scams and tips to avoid becoming a victim. 

Better Business Bureau (BBB) Scam Tracker: This site shows an interactive map with details on current scams and dollars lost, with the option to report a scam. 

Arizona Attorney General’s Consumer Scam Warnings: This list of consumer scams focuses on protecting Arizona seniors from financial exploitation, but these warnings can benefit any consumer. 

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax Fraud Alerts: Information on abusive tax schemes and how to report tax fraud to the IRS. 

Use the tips in our blogs below to avoid becoming a victim of either of these schemes, or others.