Fraud Protection Center

Protecting Your Privacy, Your Identity, and Your Money

The rate of identity theft-related fraud is on the rise.  According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, an estimated 17.6 million Americans — about 7% of U.S. residents age 16 or older—were victims of identity theft in 2014.

  • Identity Theft
  • Credit Cards
  • Checks
  • ATMs
  • Internet
  • Phone
  • Privacy


If you ever receive an email or phone call purporting to be from IDB-IIC FCU, do not provide any personal information. Always log into the IDB-IIC site directly (by typing in your browser address bar) or contact one of our Member Service Representatives before divulging any information.

IDB-IIC FCU will NEVER make unsolicited phone calls requesting your personal account information.

Rental and Wire Scams a Hot Property

If you are moving or going on vacation, don’t fall for this costly scam.

Looking for a place to live or the perfect vacation rental is stressful and time-consuming. So, when you think you’ve found a great place, you naturally want to snatch it up before someone else does.

Unfortunately, scammers know this too, and that has led to what the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has labeled the “Rental Listing Scam.” This type of wire transfer scam takes place when a dishonest person advertises a rental that doesn’t exist or isn’t available in order to trick people into wiring them money.

How a Rental Listing Scam Works

You find a perfect apartment, home or vacation rental property online and email the owners for information, or a viewing. The owner writes back, explaining that to hold the rental or to move further that you need to wire transfer money, perhaps for a security deposit, first month’s rent, or application fee. Not wanting to miss out on a great place, you wire the money. Only then do you find out that the listing is bogus; the “owner” simply vanishes – with your money.

Here’s the problem: Once you wire transfer money, it’s as if you handed them cash. You can’t get it back or stop payment.

How to Spot a Rental or Wire Transfer Scam

Fortunately, if you know what to watch for, Rental Listing Scams and Wire Transfer Scams are fairly easy to spot. Here are some signs that you are dealing with a scammer, according to the FTC:

They Ask You To Wire Money

If someone you have never met or done business with asks you to wire them money, whether it’s through a bank wire transfer, Western Union or Money Gram, be very wary. According to the FTC, this is likely a scam. You should not have to wire money for an application fee, security deposit, or any other reason before signing a lease or contract. If you are asked to, it’s the surest sign of a scam, says the FTC.

They Ask for Rent or a Security Deposit in Advance

You should only be asked for money after you or a friend has seen a prospective rental property and are offered a rental lease or contract. If you can’t see it for some reason, the FTC suggests doing research on the property and owner. If you find the same listing with a different name, that’s a clue that you may have stumbled into a scam.

They Say That They Are Out of the County

Scammers will claim they can’t meet in person because they are out of the country, but they will send you the keys. Some even make fake keys. Don’t fall for this. If you are asked to wire money to someone you don’t know and can’t meet, it is likely a scam, says the FTC. And if it’s a vacation rental overseas, the FTC suggests paying with a credit card or through a reputable vacation rental site. Remember, a wire transfer is like sending cash.

Members are advised to never respond to emails, text messages or phone calls requesting your personal information. If you receive a suspicious request, immediately contact the credit union at or 202-623-3363.

IDB-IIC FCU will NEVER make unsolicited phone calls requesting your personal account information.

Yahoo Email Fraud Alert - January 2017

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received reports of fraud attempts against those with Yahoo email accounts. If you use Yahoo services or have a Yahoo email account, we’d like to alert you to these scams and offer a few pointers on how to protect yourself. These are good whether or not you use your Yahoo email with IDB-IIC Federal Credit Union accounts.

First, according to Yahoo and the FTC, any phone number you receive or find in an Internet search claiming to be for Yahoo Customer Care is fake. The FTC noted that consumers who called these alleged Yahoo Customer Care numbers were offered “Yahoo Customer Care services” for a fee.

This is a scam to get your money, or bank information. Yahoo Customer Care and Service is always free. This includes such things as resetting your password, technical support, and assistance with security concerns.

Yahoo will never ask for your password, and will never ask to remotely connect to your computer for support-related requests. Anyone claiming otherwise is a fraud and should be reported to the FTC and Yahoo.

A few things you can do to avoid scams are:

  • Change your password periodically.

  • Create a strong password using Yahoo’s password suggestions.

  • Do not call any phone numbers claiming to be Yahoo Customer Care or Service

  • Do not open emails or links in emails from parties you don’t trust and know.

Again, while no IDB-IIC FCU products or services are partnered with Yahoo, we take pride in alerting you to suspicious or fraudulent activity and giving you the knowledge to protect your accounts. This is why we have established a Fraud Protection Center on the IDB-IIC FCU website.

For updated IDB-IIC FCU phone and email directory, please visit our Contact us page at our website

Don't Let Card Fraud Ruin Your Holidays - November 2016

The holidays are fast-approaching, and for many of us that means parties, travel, shopping, and fraud. Wait, fraud? Yes, unfortunately, the holiday season is also the happiest time of the year for credit and debit card fraudsters.

Credit card fraud typically increases during the holidays because of a number of factors, including increased online and pick-up-at-store purchases (in which many retailers do not ask for your card). Other threats range from thieves going through your trash for statements to shady servers or crooked clerks taking photos of your credit or debit card. In fact, in 2014, card fraud hit almost $8 billion in the U.S. and by 2020, card fraud is expected to be more than $35 billion globally.

The point is: This type of fraud can ruin your holiday cheer faster than a stocking full of coal. Fortunately, a little precaution can go a long way toward insuring that your holidays are fraud-free and cheer-heavy.

Follow these tips to keep thieves from doing their holiday shopping with your credit or debit card:

  • Notify IDB-IIC FCU if you plan to travel by filling out a Travel Notification Secure Form. This will help us identify fraudulent charges to your account if they occur.
  • Contact us immediately if you lose your IDB-IIC FCU debit or credit card, or if you suspect a fraudulent charge has been made.
  • Only shop at well-respected online sites that offer secure, encrypted transactions.
  • Save your receipts so you can compare them with your statement.
  • Never give your credit card number to anyone who emails or calls you if you did not instigate the contact.
  • Bring only the card you need for a particular outing.
  • Draw a line through any blank spaces above the total of a dining check.
  • Don't carry your credit cards in your wallet or purse. This can minimize your losses if someone steals your wallet or purse.

In the Case of Fraud

In the case of fraud, there are some things you must do to help us minimize your liability and losses. Here are your responsibilities as an IDB-IIC FCU member:

If you do not contact us immediately, you may be liable for losses on your card. In fact, you could lose all the money in your account, plus your maximum overdraft line of credit, if you do not report suspicious activity, or a lost/stolen card at once.

Contacting us via telephone is the best way of keeping your possible losses down. If you tell us within two business days after you learn of the loss or theft of your Card or PIN, you can lose no more than $50 if someone used your Card or PIN without your permission. On the other hand, if you do NOT contact us within 2 business days after you learn of the loss or theft of your Card or PIN, and we can prove we could have stopped someone from using your Card or PIN without your permission if you had told us, you could lose as much as $500.

Also, if your statement shows transfers that you did not make, including those made by card, PIN or other means, contact us immediately. If you do not tell us within 60 days after the statement was mailed to you, you may not get back any money you lost after the 60 days, if we can prove that we could have stopped someone from taking the money if you had told us in time. If a good reason, such as a long trip or a hospital stay, kept you from telling us, we will extend the time periods.

For updated IDB-IIC FCU phone and email directory, please visit our Contact us page.

Members are advised to never respond to emails, text messages or phone calls requesting your personal information. If you receive a suspicious request, immediately contact the credit union at or 202-623-3363.

IDB-IIC FCU will NEVER make unsolicited phone calls requesting your personal account information.

Identity Theft

Identity theft can occur when an individual obtains personal information, such as your social security number, date of birth, address, and financial account numbers. Once this information is obtained, the thieves will assume or take on your identity, allowing them to illegally purchase items or obtain credit.

Read how you can protect yourself from identity theft.

Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud generally occurs when cards or card numbers are compromised. By following these simple guidelines your potential for loss can be minimized.

Tips for protecting yourself against credit card fraud

  1. Keep a list of all your credit cards including the account number and phone number to the issuing company.
  2. Review your credit card statement as soon as possible. Match charges with your receipts to ensure all charges are yours and are for the correct amount.
  3. Always sign a new credit card immediately.
  4. When making a purchase with a credit card, make sure you get the card back and the receipt. Check the receipt for accuracy.
  5. When using a credit card at a restaurant or store, make sure that all blank lines are marked through so that no one can change the final amount.
  6. Never sign blank credit card receipts.
  7. Only travel with the credit cards you plan on using.
  8. Never give the account number of the credit card over the phone unless you initiate the call.
  9. When making an order over the telephone, try to avoid using a cordless phone. Cordless phones messages can be easily intercepted by devices as unsophisticated as baby monitors and police scanners.
  10. Do not write the PIN for the account on the card.

Check Cashing Fraud

This guide provides tips for protecting yourself against check cashing fraud. Check cashing fraud occurs when individuals use information taken from your checks, or the checks themselves, to access your accounts and commit fraudulent acts. By following these simple guidelines you can greatly reduce your risk of becoming a victim.

Tips for protecting yourself against check cashing fraud

  1. Always safeguard your checks. Do not leave your checks out in an open area. Never leave your checks in your car or out on your desk at the office.
  2. Keep your blank checks and canceled checks in a safe place. Put them in a vault or other secure location. Destroy old blank checks if you are not going to use them.
  3. Limit the amount of personal information printed on the checks to your name and address. Use plain designed checks. The fancier the check the easier it is to forge the signature. Useful information for thieves includes not only your account numbers, but information used to verify your identity, such as your driver's license number, social security number, and secret codes. Don't have this information printed on your checks.
  4. Don't leave your bill payments sitting in an unlocked mailbox for pickup. Many credit thieves will steal bills from rural mailboxes at the end of driveways so they can get your account information, checking information, and even your checks. Go to the Post Office directly or use a curbside USPS mailbox (the blue metal ones) and drop your bills in the slot rather than using less secure street mailboxes.
  5. Be discreet when writing checks in public places. Write your checks carefully and leave no space in which figures or words can be inserted.
  6. When you make an error in writing a check, be sure to destroy the check or write "canceled" across it and store it with your other canceled checks.
  7. If your checks are lost or stolen, report it immediately to your financial institution.
  8. Reconcile your monthly statements as soon as you can to ensure all transactions are accurate. Contact us immediately if you do not receive it when expected. Be sure to contact your institution within that time frame to ensure that proper attention is given to reconciling the problem.
  9. When you reorder checks, mark your calendar. If you don't receive your checks within 15 working days, contact your financial institution immediately to inquire as to the status of the order.
  10. Consider alternatives to check writing. For instance, paying by phone, online, billpay or setting up automatic payments. Fewer checks mean fewer theft opportunities. the bogus website is to deceive you into entering your personal information so the scammer’s can steal your identity and commit crimes in your name.  

ATM Fraud

ATM fraud can occur when individuals lose their card, give their card to someone else to use, or when their Personal Identification Number's confidentiality is compromised. By following these simple guidelines you can greatly reduce your exposure to ATM fraud.

Tips for protecting yourself against ATM fraud

  1. Never write your Personal Identification Number (PIN) on your card or in your wallet. Memorize your PIN as soon as possible. Do not reveal your PIN to anyone not authorized to use the account.
  2. Never use your date of birth, social security number, license number or street address as a PIN -- those are the first numbers a crook will try.
  3. Don't throw away your ATM receipts at the ATM location. Keep them to reconcile your account, then dispose of them properly when you get home.
  4. Always be aware of your surroundings when using the ATM. If it is late at night, try to use a machine that is well lit and avoid dark, remote locations.
  5. Always make sure to retrieve your ATM card from the machine when the transaction is complete.
  6. Be aware of the person behind you. Make sure no one can see you entering your PIN or how much money you withdraw.
  7. Review your statement promptly to ensure all transactions are accurate. Report any discrepancies immediately.
  8. Destroy old ATM cards immediately after receiving your replacement cards.

ATM Scams

In addition to the types ATM fraud that most of us are now aware of, there are two new types that can clean out your account quickly -- card withholding and skimming.

Card withholding occurs when your card gets stuck in the ATM, you can't get it out, and you leave the card in the ATM planning to contact the financial institution the next morning. When you call you find that the card was not stuck in the ATM. What happens is that thieves put a substance into the ATM card slot which will cause your card to stick inside the ATM. They leave the ATM and wait for someone to attempt to use it. They then get in line behind you and try to watch you enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN). This is very common at drive-up ATMs where the user may not be paying attention to other people or cars nearby.

The thieves even go so far as to put up a sign on the ATM stating: "If your card gets stuck, enter your PIN three separate times to retrieve it." This gives them three tries to watch you enter your PIN. After you leave frustrated, and you're planning to contact the ATM owner the next morning, they remove your card with a pair of pliers. They can then use your card at other ATMs and Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals.

Skimming is done at businesses that offer Point-of-Sale (POS) devices for you to pay with your ATM card, such as gas stations. The thieves convince an employee to allow them to connect a lap top computer to the POS machine. The lap top is usually stored under the counter where the POS device is located. When you swipe your card in the POS device to make a payment the information on the magnetic strip on your ATM card is copied and loaded onto a disk. Thieves may also install a hidden video camera that records you entering your PIN. They then match the magnetic information to the PIN and access your accounts.

  1. Before inserting your ATM card into an ATM inspect the card slot for any residue.
  2. If there is residue, don't use that ATM. If there is a notice on the ATM about entering your PIN several times, don't use that ATM.
  3. Always cover your hand when entering your PIN: if the thieves don't have your PIN, they can't access your account.

Actions for Fraud Victims

If you suspect fraud, it is important to act quickly to minimize potential damage and your own liability. It is important to keep a detailed account of conversations you have with authorities and financial institutions.

Credit Bureaus. Immediately call the fraud units of the three credit reporting companies -- Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. Ask that your account include a statement referencing the possibility of fraud.

Creditors. Contact all creditors immediately with whom your name has been used fraudulently -- by phone and in writing. Monitor your accounts closely for any further fraudulent activity.

Law Enforcement. Report the crime to police with jurisdiction in your case. Provide any documentation that you have collected. Get a copy of your police report. Keep the phone number of your fraud investigator handy and give it to creditors and others who require verification of your case.

Financial Institutions. If you have checks stolen or bank accounts set up fraudulently, contact the institution to report the crime. Put stop payments on appropriate outstanding checks. Close your checking and savings accounts and open new accounts. If your ATM card is stolen or compromised, get a new card and PIN. When choosing a PIN, don't use common numbers like the last four digits of your Social Security number, your date of birth, license number or street address.

U.S. Postal Service. Notify the local Postal Inspector if you suspect an identity thief has filed a change of your address with the post office or has used the mail to commit credit or bank fraud.

Social Security Administration. Call to report fraudulent use of your Social Security number.

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Call to see if another license was issued in your name. Go to your local DMV to request a new number. Also, fill out the DMV's complaint form to begin the fraud investigation process. Send supporting documents with the completed form to the nearest DMV investigation office. Request a driver's license number different than your Social Security number if available in your state.

Civil Courts. If a civil judgment has been entered in your name for actions taken by your impostor, contact the court where the judgment was entered and report that you are a victim of identity theft. If you are wrongfully prosecuted for criminal charges, contact the state Department of Justice and the FBI.

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Internet Security - Phishing Scams

Phishing is an internet scam in which e-mail spam or pop-up messages are used to deceive you into divulging personal or financial information over the internet.  Phishers will send you an email or a pop-up message that appears to be from a company that you deal with – your credit card company, credit union or a government agency.  The message usually requests that you update or validate account information and it will direct you to a website that looks just like the legitimate organization’s website, but it isn’t.  The purpose of the bogus website is to deceive you into entering your personal information so the scammer’s can steal your identity and commit crimes in your name.  

Protect yourself against "Phishing Scams"

  • If you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply. And don't click on the link in the message, either. Legitimate companies don't ask for this information via email. If you are concerned about your account, contact the organization mentioned in the email using a telephone number you know to be genuine, or open a new Internet browser session and type in the company's correct Web address yourself. In any case, don't cut and paste the link from the message into your Internet browser — phishers can make links look like they go to one place, but that actually send you to a different sites.
  • Never give your personal information via e-mail.  IDB-IIC FCU will never request personal information via email.
  • If you want to update your information, go directly to our website by opening a new browser window, and typing in the address.
    Never go to our web site by clicking a link in an e-mail.
  • When entering personal account information, verify that you are on a secure website.  If the website is secure, you will find "https" in the address and a closed padlock in your browser's toolbar.
  • Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software, as well as a firewall, and update them all regularly. Some phishing emails contain software that can harm your computer or track your activities on the Internet without your knowledge. Anti-virus software and a firewall can protect you from inadvertently accepting such unwanted files.

Phone Security - Vishing Scams

Vishing is a scam similar to Phishing, the scam involves sending a spam email or pop-up message telling you that your account has been compromised and will instruct you to call a phone number to verify your account information.  An official sounding automated message will ask you to enter your personal financial information such as your 16 digit credit card number.  Some of these scams involve a telephone call to the victim directly in which the caller already has your credit card number but asks you to verify the valuable three digit security code.

Protect yourself against "Vishing Scams"

  • Never give your personal information over the phone. If you feel a call is suspicious, call the company directly to verify the authenticity of the call.
  • Beware of organizations asking for charitable donations. If you want to donate money, contact the organization yourself to make sure that your money is going to the appropriate place.

Protect Your Privacy

Fraud comes in many shapes and sizes and unfortunately, it will never go away. Nor will the money and time spent fixing it. That’s why it’s vital to ramp up your security arsenal.

While fraud operators are constantly developing new viruses, spyware and online fraud schemes, the good news is that you can take action to protect yourself against online fraud. Click the link below to find out how.


Read more about fraud protection and protecting your privacy.

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