Fraud and ID Theft
Protect yourself and your goals.
simple ways to protect your account
We take your financial security seriously. These features and services are designed to help.
Monitor your account
Check your account activity often. (You can set up alerts in online banking to help with this.) If you see a suspicious transaction, report it right away.
Multi-factor authentication requires you to verify your identity in more than one way when logging in on a new device. This makes it harder for someone to steal your ID.
Use the on/off switch for your credit card, in online banking or the mobile app.
Request your free credit report2 annually from each of the three credit bureau agencies, Experian, Trans Union and Equifax
help protect your identity
You need a separate password for each of your accounts. Don’t use the same one over and over. If you need to write it down to remember it, keep it in a safe place and don’t label it as “passwords.”
When you choose a password, make it strong. In other words, use a randomized series of letters, numbers, and symbols, at least eight characters long. The letters should include some uppercase and some lowercase. Change your password on a regular basis.
Never use a password that includes your name, family names, workplace, social security number, date of birth, physical address, or any other information that can be traced to your identity.
Keep your credit and debit cards in a secure place, just as you would do with cash.
Never send your card number through email. Your inbox may feel private, but it’s not secure. Likewise, never give your card information over the phone unless you initiated the call.
If you buy online, make sure the website that’s handling your transaction is secure and trusted.
As an added layer of fraud protection, you may receive a phone call if there is suspicious activity on your credit or debit card. If you are not available to receive the call, you will receive instructions to call 888-918-7313 to verify activity.
Remember, if fraud does occur, as a Visa cardholder, you’re protected with Visa’s Zero Liability policy1. This means you will not have to pay for unauthorized purchases on your account.
Never log into a sensitive account (such as online banking) over public wifi. It’s very easy for someone to steal your information if you do. Never share your online banking credentials with anyone who is not on your account. Reliant will never contact you to ask for your credentials.
If you need to access online banking from a public device, such as a computer in a public library, make sure that you do not register the device as “private.” The only device you should ever label as “private,” if any, is the one that belongs to you personally.
Install an antivirus app on your mobile device and keep it updated. Accept all software updates, as many of these contain security fixes and enhancements. Don’t install apps from unreliable sources, and be sure to read the permissions requested by each new app before you install it. Set up a password-protected lock screen.
how to know if a scammer is contacting you
Reliant will never contact you by email, phone, or text message to ask you for your account number or other account information. We already have your account information and don’t need to verify it. Never respond to anyone who contacts you asking you to provide, validate, or update any of your account information.
how to tell you’re at the real reliantcu.com
Whenever you visit our website, look for the green bar in the web address box at the top of your screen. That bar is there because Reliant uses an Extended Validation SSL Certificate for added security. If you don’t see the green bar, assume that the website you’re visiting is not Reliant’s actual website.
how to know if an email link is safe to click
If you don’t know the sender, don’t click the link (or download an attachment).
Use common sense; if it sounds too good to be true, it is. If it prompts you to act fast or miss out, don’t act. If it’s full of poor grammar and misspelled words, be suspicious.
Even if you do know the sender, never enter your password or personal information into a website that you reached by following a link in an email. Instead, go to the website directly by typing its address into your browser.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
Familiarize yourself with the list of common scams below, and check out the FBI’s common scams and crimes site for a comprehensive, searchable list.
“We Need Your Support” Scam
Scammers use our kindest instincts against us in times of crisis to steal money through fake aid campaigns. If you are donating money through what you believe is a reputable organization, be sure you’re on the organization’s actual site and not a cleverly-disguised phishing site. It’s easy to copy the look of a website and steal official logos. The real clue is the URL. Don’t rely on a link you received via email or clicked on a social site; navigate to the official website yourself.
Online Investing Scam
This scam targets people who are trying to independently invest online but may be new to investing. A person may learn about investing through social media, where there are offers of low- or no-risk investments, guaranteed returns, or overly-consistent returns, and may involve sending funds in irregular ways (e.g. gift cards, Venmo, etc.).
Be sure to work with someone reputable for online investing and do as much research as possible before committing.
Learn more about investment fraud and tips for avoiding it from this FBI site.
Scams targeting seniors have reached epidemic levels. From the “grandparent scam,” in which phony grandchildren call unsuspecting seniors with false horrific tales to bilk them of their money, to financial abuse committed by family members, many seniors today are at risk of financial exploitation.
Become familiar with the Top 10 Scams Targeting Seniors as outlined by The National Council on Aging.
Cash for Use of Your Card
With this scam, someone known to a member (hereafter referred to as a “friend”) asks to use the member’s debit card/PIN, offering to pay a small amount of money for the favor. The member provides the card and PIN, the “friend” uses the card to deposit forged checks, take ATM cash withdrawals, and make purchases. The “friend” then tells the member to report the card lost to the financial institution, and says that the member won’t be responsible for those charges because the card has been “lost” or “stolen.” The important distinction: members ARE responsible for any transactions performed by someone to whom they have given their cards/PINs.
With this scam, a member meets someone, usually online, and after establishing trust, the person claims to be unable to access his/her bank account because the person is out of the country (e.g. in the Army, etc.). The person asks for the member’s online banking credentials so that the person can deposit a (counterfeit) check, and asks the member to then withdraw and send the money to him/her via various methods. The check comes back unpaid.
"Old Friend" Scam
We have heard of scams where someone contacts a member online, usually via social media, purporting to be a friend, usually from the past. The “old friend” chats with the member for a while, then after establishing trust, asks for the member’s online banking credentials so that the person can deposit a (counterfeit) check, and asks the member to then withdraw and send the money to him/her via various methods. The check comes back unpaid.
Computer Repair/Problem Scam
Members have received calls where the caller claims that there is a virus/problem with the member’s computer. The caller explains that he can resolve the issue/fix the computer if he’s given access to the member’s computer. The caller then requests a credit/debit card number to pay for the service. This scam provides the caller with credit card information along with data (including passwords) stolen from the computer. If you receive such a call, we highly recommend that you do not provide any information or access and that you hang up immediately. If you provide your debit/credit card information and/or allow someone access to your computer, contact us immediately.
There is a phone scam that utilizes a slightly different variation of a financial institution’s actual phone number. (For example: 1-888… instead of 1-800… or one digit off the correct phone number, such as xxx-xxx-xxx4 instead of xxx-xxx-xxx2) In most cases, it is a result of dialer error. Those who call the bogus phone number are informed that they won something, such as a gift card or a trip. To receive the prize, the caller is requested (either by a person or an automated system) to provide debit/credit card information via his/her keypad.
Please note: To contact Reliant’s Member Service Call Center, always call 800-724-9282. Any digit changes when dialing to this number will not reach Reliant.
Text Message Scam
Some members have received text messages saying that their debit cards have been blocked, and asking them to call a phone number provided. Upon calling the number, members have been asked to enter their debit card numbers. Please know that we will never contact you via text and ask you to provide any personal or account information.
If you have received this message and provided your debit card number, please contact us immediately at 800-724-9282, or 888-918-7765 after hours.
We do send Automated Fraud Alerts (AFA) via text, which require only a simple (Y) or (N) reply. Click here to read more about AFA.
“Typical” Telephone Scams
From time to time, we are made aware of automated telephone calling systems that target area financial institutions. The calls and messages claim that the person must provide his/her credit or debit card number, PIN, and other confidential account information as a result of a problem or security breach with his/her card.
Secret/Mystery Shopping Scams
These scams have reportedly come via unsolicited emails or newspaper ads that claim you can earn a living as a secret or mystery shopper by dining at elegant restaurants, shopping at pricey stores, or checking into luxurious hotels. Legitimate programs may offer small payments for giving feedback about the services they provide. Unlawful programs will ask you to pay an up-front fee, and in turn pay you in one large lump sum (e.g. $2,000 to $5,000) via check—which will typically bounce, costing you additional money.
A lottery scam begins with an unexpected email notification that “You have won!” a large sum of money in a lottery. The recipient of the message — the target of the scam — is usually told to keep the notice secret, “due to a mix-up in some of the names and numbers,” and to contact a “claims agent.” After contacting the agent, the target of the scam will be asked to pay “processing fees” or “transfer charges” so that the winnings can be distributed, but will never receive any lottery payment.
Fraud & ID Theft FAQs
If you suspect your Social Security Number has been compromised, you should contact the three credit reporting agencies to place a freeze on your credit report. If any of your debit card, credit card, or account information was compromised, or if you would like to place a password on your account, contact us immediately, and any of our Member Services staff can assist you.
If your Reliant Visa credit card is lost or stolen, you can turn it off within online banking by going to the Visa Credit Card tab and choosing Card Management from the dropdown menu. To turn off your credit card within the mobile app, select the “More” option and then scroll to select Digital Card Management from the menu. Select the credit card you wish to turn off and the Report Lost/Fraud option, and then follow the prompts.
If your Reliant Visa debit card is lost or stolen, contact Reliant during business hours at 800-724-9282 or outside of business hours at 888-918-7765.
If you suspect that your Visa debit card has been compromised through card skimming (e.g. at an ATM, gas station etc.), contact Reliant during business hours at 800-724-9282 or outside of business hours at 888-918-7765.
You can also address this concern by logging in to online banking or the mobile app, use the Card Management option (Digital Card Management in the mobile app), and select Report Lost/Fraud. Review your account history for any transactions that are not yours and report the fraudulent transactions through Card Management. You can also contact Reliant during business hours at 800-724-9282 or outside of business hours at 866-820-4887, and a representative can help you.
If the charge is on your Visa debit card, contact us Reliant during business hours at 800-724-9282 or outside of business hours at 888-918-7765.
If the charge is on your Visa credit card, you can use Card Management under the Visa Credit Card dropdown menu in online banking to flag the transaction as fraudulent and block your card.
You can also contact Reliant during business hours at 800-724-9282 or outside of business hours at 866-820-4887, and a representative can help you.
automated fraud alerts
Did you know all Reliant Credit Union Visa® credit and debit cards have the added protection of free fraud monitoring?
Our fraud detection partner continually monitors card activity to help identify and prevent fraudulent transactions. They may text you if there is suspicious activity on your card. If you are not able to respond to the text, you will receive a phone call with instructions to call 888-918-7313 to verify activity.
It’s important that you ensure we have your correct mobile phone number on file so we can reach you in a timely manner. Update your information within online banking under My Settings, or by visiting any branch location.
Automated Fraud Alerts FAQs
No, you don’t need to register. This service is automatically provided to Reliant’s cardholders. Please be sure to keep updated contact information on file with Reliant so that you receive an alert if there is suspected card fraud.
There is no cost to members to use Automated Fraud Alerts. The costs associated with sending and delivering the SMS text fraud alert messages are covered as part of the service.
To opt out of text alerts, simply reply STOP to any text alert.
You will still receive Automated Fraud Alerts via phone call and email, as long as we have that information on file.
You will not be asked to provide account information, passwords, or other sensitive information via text or email. Text alerts only require a simple yes (Y) or no (N) reply.
place a freeze on your credit report
If any of your debit card, credit card, or account information was compromised, contact us immediately. If you suspect your Social Security Number has been compromised, you should also contact the three credit reporting agencies below to place a freeze on your credit report.
1 Refer to your Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Disclosure Statement for further details on this policy.
2 To obtain a free credit report annually from each of the three credit bureaus go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228.