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Prevent Fraud and Protect Your Identity!


Best Practices for Safe Online Banking and Protection from Fraud

Suggested Best Practices for Members to protect your account from fraud:

  • SMS (text) and voice call scams are increasingly present.
  • Please be cautious and always call Park Side at 406.862.2652 with questions or for confirmation.
  • Do not click on links included in text messages from unknown sources
  • Never reply to a SMS text message or phone call with personal information.



Please Read Before Using Online Banking!

When using Park Sides Online Banking services we require our members to:
Set and use strong PINs/Passwords:Strong PINS/Passwords are at least seven characters in length and contain the following:


  • Contain UPPER and lower case letters
  • Contain numbers
  • You can no longer use the ~ : . @ symbols in your password. Instead you may use these symbols in the password: ‘ ! # $ % ^ & * ( ) + = { } [ ] < > ? /
  • DO NOT contain your name
  • DO NOT contain common words or names
  • We strongly recommend that you change your PIN/password every 90 days.

Have current functioning Anti-virus, Anti-spyware and Anti-malware software installed: It is extremely important to have security software installed and kept up to date on any computer used for Online Banking. Failure to do so can result in your accounts being compromised by malicious software such as Trojans or keyloggers. We recommend that you update the signature files on your computer daily.

DO NOT access Online Banking from Public computers: Do not use public computers such as those in cyber cafés or public libraries for Online Banking. You do not know if the computer is infected with malicious software such as Trojans or keyloggers thus allowing hackers to gain access to your accounts. Park Side’s lobby computers are an exception to this rule, we monitor, scan and update these computers daily.

Park Side Credit Union will NEVER ask for personal or account information through email, text messages, on the website, or by phone.
If you have any concerns about calls or messages claiming to be from Park Side or any other financial institution, call us directly at one of our branches

Following these practices will help prevent unauthorized access to your accounts.


Current Scams:

We are aware of the recent communications regarding the ATM cash out scheme. As always, we are doing everything we can to mitigate and eliminate the potential threat to the credit union and our members.

There is a phone scammer calling members about past due payments. THIS IS A SCAM. The phone number this person is calling from are 310-827-4916. Please do NOT give out information to your accounts or credit cards. We will not ask for personal information over the phone.


Identity theft and account fraud continues to rise with the availability and high usage of new technology and social networking. Now more than ever it is important to protect your identity and safeguard your financial accounts both physical and online.

Park Side Credit Union is adamant about protecting its members and services from fraud. We regularly research the latest in online security techniques, fraud prevention, and assist members with ways to help protect their identity. Remember: Park Side Credit Union will NEVER ask for personal information through email, text messages, or by phone.

If you receive a request asking for your card number, password, PIN, or and other personal information please contact us immediately to report them. Do not click any links in emails or respond to phone or text messages. For further questions call your local branch.

How to Prevent Fraud

Below is a list of most commonly used methods that hackers and criminals can gain access to sensitive information.

Printable Handouts

5 Identity Theft Jackpots (and How You Can Safeguard Against Them) – Adobe PDF

Foiling Identity Theft – Adobe PDF

Internet Fraud

The Internet offers a global marketplace for consumers and businesses. But crooks also recognize the potentials of cyberspace. The same scams that have been conducted by mail and phone can now be found on the World Wide Web and in email, and new cyberscams are emerging. It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between reputable online sellers and criminals who use the Internet to rob people. You can protect yourself by learning how to recognize the danger signs of fraud. If you are a victim or attempted victim of Internet fraud, it’s important to report the scam quickly so that law enforcement agencies can shut the fraudulent operations down.

  • Know who you’re dealing with. If the seller or charity is unfamiliar, check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau. Some Web sites have feedback forums, which can provide useful information about other people’s experiences with particular sellers. Get the physical address and phone number in case there is a problem later.
  • Look for information about how complaints are handled. It can be difficult to resolve complaints, especially if the seller or charity is located in another country. Look on the Web site for information about programs the company or organization participates in that require it to meet standards for reliability and help to handle disputes.
  • Be aware that no complaints is no guarantee. Fraudulent operators open and close quickly, so the fact that no one has made a complaint yet doesn’t meant that the seller or charity is legitimate. You still need to look for other danger signs of fraud.
  • Don’t believe promises of easy money. If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam.
  • Understand the offer. A legitimate seller will give you all the details about the products or services, the total price, the delivery time, the refund and cancellation policies, and the terms of any warranty.
  • Resist pressure. Legitimate companies and charities will be happy to give you time to make a decision. It’s probably a scam if they demand that you act immediately or won’t take “No” for an answer.
  • Think twice before entering contests operated by unfamiliar companies. Fraudulent marketers sometimes use contest entry forms to identify potential victims.
  • Be cautious about unsolicited emails. They are often fraudulent. If you are familiar with the company or charity that sent you the email and you don’t want to receive further messages, send a reply asking to be removed from the email list. However, responding to unknown senders may simply verify that yours is a working email address and result in even more unwanted messages from strangers. The best approach may simply be to delete the email.
  • Beware of imposters. Someone might send you an email pretending to be connected with a business or charity, or create a Web site that looks just like that of a well-known company or charitable organization. If you’re not sure that you’re dealing with the real thing, find another way to contact the legitimate business or charity and ask.
  • Guard your personal information. Don’t provide your credit card or bank account number unless you are actually paying for something. Your social security number should not be necessary unless you are applying for credit. Be especially suspicious if someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account asks for information that the business already has.
  • Beware of “dangerous downloads.” In downloading programs to see pictures, hear music, play games, etc., you could download a virus that wipes out your computer files or connects your modem to a foreign telephone number, resulting in expensive phone charges. Only download programs from Web sites you know and trust. Read all user agreements carefully.
  • Pay the safest way. Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or the offer was misrepresented. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly. There are new technologies, such as “substitute” credit card numbers and password programs, that can offer extra measures of protection from someone else using your credit card.

This article courtesy of

Fraudulent Phone Calls

(Updated 5/13/2013)

Current false text message circulating:

“Your FCU and CU Visa card has been suspended. Please go to your personal link (site link) to unblock it.”

These messages are NOT from Park Side, they are fraudulent. Please DO NOT click on the link or respond to these messages in any way! If you have received one of these texts, please report it to your local police department. If you have responded to these texts and given your information please call us so we can close your card and order you a new one.

REMEMBER Park Side does not send out Text message warnings or automated telephone call warnings and we do not ask for account information via text message, web link or automated phone call.

(Updated 11/19/2012)

Current false text message circulating:

THE CREDIT UNION CENTER ALERT: Your CARD has been DEACTlVATED. Please call 406-888-6391.
This is a scam. If they called the number and gave out their credit or debit card information they need to cancel their card and contact the authorities. You can reassure them that the scammers did not get their cello phone number from us. This type of thing is done by auto texting numbers in the know range of cell phones numbers.

These calls are being made at random, the only way these scammer know your number is valid is if you call back or return the text message. DO NOT respond to these messages. If you have any questions call a Park Side branch and confirm.

There has been a recent outbreak in fraudulent calls claiming to be from a credit union asking for members to activate cards or claiming account has been compromised. They ask for your card or member numbers. These calls are made by automated machines that call numbers randomly. No sensitive data, addresses or phone numbers have been comprised, this is a random occurence by fraudulent means.

DO NOT RESPOND TO THESE REQUESTS. Park Side WILL NOT call you to ask for card numbers or other sensitive information. Please call a Park Side branch if you are unsure the phone call is legitimate, but do NOT release any information regarding your account over the phone.

If you have already responded to one of these calls, please call us IMMEDIATELY to have the card closed and reissued to you.

Park Side Federal Credit Union will NEVER ask for personal or account information through email, text messages, on the website, or by phone.
If you have any concerns about calls or messages claiming to be from Park Side or any other financial institution, call us directly at one of our branches.


The act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The e-mail directs the user to visit a Web site where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords and credit card, social security, and bank account numbers, that the legitimate organization already has. The Web site, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user??s information.

For example, 2003 saw the proliferation of a phishing scam in which users received e-mails supposedly from eBay claiming that the user??s account was about to be suspended unless he clicked on the provided link and updated the credit card information that the genuine eBay already had. Because it is relatively simple to make a Web site look like a legitimate organizations site by mimicking the HTML code, the scam counted on people being tricked into thinking they were actually being contacted by eBay and were subsequently going to eBay??s site to update their account information. By spamming large groups of people, the “phisher” counted on the e-mail being read by a percentage of people who actually had listed credit card numbers with eBay legitimately.


A compound of ‘phishing’ and ‘SMS’. SMiShing (SMS phishing) is a type of phishing attack where mobile phone users receive text messages containing a Web site hyperlink, which, if clicked would download a Trojan horse to the mobile phone. The term SMiShing was coined by David Rayhawk in a McAfee Avert Labs blog on August 25, 2006.

Card Skimming

The act of using a skimmer to illegally collect data from the magnetic stripe of a credit, debit or ATM card. This information, copied onto another blank card’s magnetic stripe, is then used by an identity thief to make purchases or withdraw cash in the name of the actual account holder.

Park Side Credit Union will NEVER ask for personal information through email, text messages, or by phone.

Skimming works by replacing a card reader like an ATM with a camouflaged counterfeit card reader. The counterfeit reader records all of the data on a credit, debit or ATM card as it passes through the skimmer. In addition to ATMs, other locations where card skimming happens include restaurants, taxis or other businesses where an employee will take the card from the actual account holder in order to run the charge. In these instances, the thief has fitted the card reader with a skimmer, or uses a hand-held skimmer hidden in a pocket.

Definitions courtesy of copyright 2011