Financial Trust Federal Credit Union has compiled the following information and links in order to put you in touch with the most current information available on various financial topics.

Phishing Scams
You need to be on your guard against a type of email scam called “phishing.” In this scam, an identity thief sends you an email that appears to be from a legitimate company, a government agency, or even your credit union. The email asks you to reveal personal information, such as your account numbers, credit card numbers, debit card number, Social Security number, etc.

These types of emails look very convincing. Sometime they even contain links to official-looking web sites. And they disguise the fact that they are trying to steal your information by saying they need you to “update” or “verify” it in order to avoid fees or the closing of an account. Rest assured, no legitimate organization will ever contact you by email and ask you to reveal personal information.

If you receive an email requesting personal information, do not reply to it or click on any link it contains. If you think it might be genuine, contact that organization by phone using a phone number you know is accurate, not one contained in the email. Also, if you receive such an email that claims to be from Financial Trust, please let us know.

Direct Deposit
With direct deposit, your payment goes straight into your checking or savings account, so your money is there on your payment day - on time, every time. Direct deposit also protects you from fraud, lost checks and identity theft. In fact, no direct deposit payment has ever been lost or stolen.

The U.S.Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank have made signing up for direct deposit easier than ever with a new campaign, called "Go Direct." Financial Trust FCU is pleased to support Go Direct, a program that reaches out to people who could benefit from direct deposit through organizations they know and trust.

To sign up today, or for more information, call Go Direct at 1-800-333-1795, or visit

Top Tips for ATM Use
Tip 1: NEVER disclose your PIN to anyone, whether it be family members, the credit union staff or police.

Tip 2: Do not use obvious and guessable numbers for your PIN, like your date of birth.

Tip 3: Be aware of anything that looks unusual or suspicious about the ATM. If the ATM appears to have any attachments to the card slot or keypad, do not use it. Check for unusual instructions on the display screen and for suspicious blank screens. If you suspect the ATM has been interfered with, proceed to another ATM and inform the financial institution.

Tip 4: Avoid ATMs which have messages or signs fixed to them indicating that the screen directions have been changed, especially if the message is posted over the card reader. Banks and other ATM owners will not put up messages directing you to specific ATMs, nor would they direct you to use an ATM that has been altered.

Tip 5: If you feel the ATM is not working normally, press the Cancel key and withdraw your card and then proceed to another ATM, reporting the matter to your financial institution.

Tip 6: Never force your card into the card slot.

Tip 7: Keep your printed transaction record so that you can compare your ATM receipts to your monthly statement.

Tip 8: Don’t hurriedly complete an ATM transaction, and make sure to carefully secure your card and cash in your wallet, handbag or pocket before leaving the ATM.

Tip 9: Regularly check your account balance and bank statements and report any discrepancies to Financial Trust Federal Credit Union.

Check 21
What does the term “Check 21” mean?
In October 2004, the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act – or Check 21 – changed the way checks are cleared in today’s financial world.

What does Check 21 mean to me?
In addition to increased security and less cost associated with check processing, Financial Trust members will experience much faster processing of checks via the use of a “substitute check.”

How does Check 21 work?
As its legal equivalent, the actual check is “replaced” by an electronic image, which is then immediately transferred for clearance. The new way in which Check 21 allows for check clearing will result in less “lag time” between when a check is written and when it is processed against your checking account funds.

Where can I learn more about Check 21?
A Financial Trust Community member services representative will be happy to answer your additional questions about Check 21 today!

Identity Theft
Identity thieves are good at what they do because they work hard at it. To keep even the most motivated identity thief from wrongfully obtaining your information, here are a few helpful hints to remember.

Monitor your bank statements every month

Order your credit report twice a year and check for discrepancies…immediately correct any mistakes by written request**

Shred all paperwork with identifying information before throwing it away. Buy a cross-cut shredder, or use scissors to cut papers in strips top to bottom

Be aware of when new or renewed credit cards should arrive in the mail

Use fictitious words (and NOT your mother’s maiden name) as passwords on all accounts

Do your homework…ask doctors, banks, etc. what they do with your personal information and how they dispose of it

Do not put your phone number or social security number on checks

Install firewall and anti-virus software on your computer

Submit credit card information on the Internet ONLY if it is encrypted on a secure site…check for the “closed padlock” symbol in the bottom corner of the screen

Do not give personal or account information over the phone

You could be eligible for a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies:
Equifax • • 1-800-685-1111
Experian • • 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion • • 1-800-916-8800

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The links provided above are for information purposes only. Financial Trust Federal Credit Union does not maintain or contribute to the content contained in the Websites listed. By clicking the above links, you will leave the Financial Trust Federal Credit Union Website.

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