ATM Safety Tips

  • Use ATMs that are in well-lit areas.
  • Observe your surroundings. Be aware of anything suspicious. When in doubt, leave the area.
  • Do not open locked ATM vestibule doors for others, or allow any unknown persons to enter the ATM area while you are making your transaction. Authorized customers should have their own access.
  • Upon entering or exiting an ATM, be sure to close the door completely.
  • Have your card in hand when approaching the ATM.
  • Avoid counting cash while at the ATM. Put away your card and cash after completing your transaction.
  • Stand directly in front of the ATM during a transaction. Shield the keypad with your hand or body when entering your PIN.

Credit & Debit Card Safety Tips

  • Sign the back of your card immediately upon receipt.
  • Remember your PIN. Do not write it on your card.
  • Be cautious of who you’re giving your card number to. Unless you have initiated the call, never provide your card information over the phone.
  • Check your receipts and statements.
  • Keep a list of your credit card numbers and the numbers to call if your card is lost or stolen. Keep them in a separate and secure place.

Personal Information Protection Tips

  • Verify who the person you’re speaking with is before sharing personal information such as your Social Security Number and bank or credit card account information over the telephone, in person or on the Internet.
  • Do not carry Social Security cards, passports or birth certificates with you unless they are needed that day.
  • Monitor bills and bank statements frequently, and immediately report anything suspicious.
  • Receive your account statements electronically.
  • Safely store cancelled checks, new checks and account statements.
  • Pawtucket Credit Union will never initiate an email request asking for your online ID or password.
  • Personal Identification Number (PIN), Social Security, driver’s license or credit card account numbers should not be written on checks, or on your ATM, credit card or debit card.
  • Tear or shred pre-approved credit offers, receipts (including ATM receipts) and other information that could link your name to your account numbers.
  • Check your credit report periodically and be sure all information is up to date and accurate.
  • Treat your mail carefully. You should never use an unsecured mailbox for mailing materials containing sensitive information. Mail these pieces at the post office.

Security Measures PCU Takes

Mail Returns and Address Change Requests

If mail is returned to us due to an incorrect address, or if an address change is requested, we always confirm the identity of the person making the request to correct or change the address. Once a positive confirmation has been made, we will then and only then, release mail or complete a change of address request.

Credit Report Fraud Alerts

If a fraud alert is included on a member’s credit report indicating that identity theft has previously occurred, or a member wants extra measures taken to verify their identity when an account or loan is opened:

  • We will call the number that is included with the fraud alert to confirm the authenticity of the new account/loan request.
  • We may require additional identification to be presented in order to positively identify the applicant.
  • We will also review these reports for possible identity theft indicators such as activity that is not consistent with the person’s history.
I.D. Verification

I.D. verification software is used when a new account is opened. This software enables us to confirm that the information presented by the applicant matches information contained in the I.D. verification database.

Photo Documentation Alterations

Photo documentation presented to us is carefully reviewed for alterations to ensure its validity and that it matches the person presenting it.

Error Resolutions

When notified of an error or unauthorized charge regarding electronic transmissions, we follow specific timeframes in which the matter will be resolved.

Pawtucket Credit Union is committed to protecting the privacy of its members. Members can help by following these simple guidelines:
  • Use caution when disclosing your account numbers, social security numbers, etc. to other persons. If someone calls you explaining the call is on behalf of the Credit Union and asks for your account number, do not provide it. Official Credit Union staff will have access to your information and will not need to ask for it.
  • Protect your account numbers, credit and debit card numbers, PINs (personal identification numbers) and passwords. Never keep your PIN with your card, which can provide free access to your accounts if your card is lost or stolen.
  • Keep your information with us current. If your address or phone number changes, please let us know. It is important that we have current information on how to reach you. If we detect potentially fraudulent or unauthorized activity or use of an account, we will attempt to contact you immediately.
  • Be wary of offers that mention Pawtucket Credit Union but do not contain our logo or address. Although our name is mentioned, these companies are probably not affiliated with PCU. Please report anything suspicious to our Security Officer so that we may take action if necessary.
Our Privacy Notice is available in PDF format.

What Is Identity Theft?

Identity theft occurs when your personal information is obtained without your knowledge in order to commit fraud or theft. Personal information refers to your name, date of birth, social security, driver’s license, credit card and bank account numbers. The crime takes many forms. Identity thieves may rent an apartment, obtain a credit card, or establish a telephone account in your name. You may not discover the theft until you review your credit report or a credit card statement and notice charges you didn’t make – or until you’re contacted by a debt collector.

Identity thieves attempt to obtain personal information in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to: stealing wallets, stealing financial statements from the mail, submitting a change of address form at the post office, or rummaging through trash for personal data.

Signs Of Identity Theft

  • If you find new accounts on your credit report that are not yours.
  • If you receive credit cards that you didn’t apply for.
  • If you are denied credit or are offered less than favorable credit terms for no reason.
  • If you get calls from creditors or debt collectors regarding merchandise or services that you did not buy.

What You Should Do If You Believe Someone Has Stolen Your Identity

At Pawtucket Credit Union we recognize the consequences of identity theft and want to assist you if you are a victim of this crime. Please follow the steps below so that we can help you in a timely manner:

  1. Contact us immediately to close any accounts that have been tampered with or established fraudulently.
  2. File an Identity Theft Report with your local police, state police, or other law enforcement agency. Obtain a copy for your records. Identity Theft Reports entitle you to certain legal protections, click here to find out more.
  3. Print and complete the ID Theft Complaint Form located at the Federal Trade Commission website. Click here for more information on how to file a complaint.
  4. Contact one or all of the three major credit bureaus listed below to place a fraud alert on your credit file. You also can order a credit report to identify any unauthorized activity.
    • Equifax
      1.800.525.6285 (TTY: 800.255.0056)
      P.O. Box 105069, Atlanta, GA 30348-5069
    • Experian
      1.888.397.3742 (TTY: 800.972.0322)
      P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
    • TransUnion
      1.800.680.7289 (TTY: 800.553.7803)
      Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634
  5. The fraud alert requests creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the other two credit bureaus will be automatically notified, and all three credit reports will be sent to you free of charge.
  6. Submit the completed FTC affidavit and law enforcement incident report to any Pawtucket Credit Union branch or mail to:
    • Pawtucket Credit Union
      Attn: Security Department
      1200 Central Avenue
      Pawtucket, RI 02861

Further questions or concerns? Contact our Security Office at (401) 722-2212 for assistance. You may also visit one of our branch locations to pick up an Identity Theft Assistance packet. Designed to assist you in resolving disputes, click here to learn more about a variety of Identity Theft Tools available to you.

For more information about fighting identity theft and reporting fraud, visit the Federal Trade Commission.

Examples of Common eMail Scams

The “Nigerian” Email Scam

Con artists claim to be officials, businesspeople, or the surviving spouses of former government honchos in Nigeria or another country whose money is somehow tied up for a limited time. They offer to transfer lots of money into your bank account if you will pay a fee or “taxes” to help them access their money.


Email or pop-up messages that claim to be from a business or organization you may deal with – say, an Internet Service Provider (ISP), bank, online payment service, or even a government agency. The message may ask you to “update,” “validate,” or “confirm” your account information or face dire consequences. Pawtucket Credit Union will never send you an email asking for this information unless you have initiated the request.

Check Overpayment Scams (Fake Check Scams)

A response to your ad or online auction posting, offering to pay with a cashier’s, personal, or corporate check. At the last minute, the so-called buyer (or the buyer’s “agent”) comes up with a reason for writing the check for more than the purchase price, and asks you to wire back the difference after you deposit the check. It’s a phony story but might take awhile to discover. Once discovered, your bank wants the money back. The bank is required by law to give you access to the deposited funds within a few days, but they can’t be sure the check is valid by then. The responsibility rests on you for the checks or money orders that you deposit.

Pay-In-Advance Credit Offers

News that you’ve been “pre-qualified” to get a low-interest loan or credit card, or repair your bad credit even though banks have turned you down. But to take advantage of the offer, you have to ante up a processing fee of several hundred dollars.

Debt Relief

Emails touting a way you can consolidate your bills into one monthly payment without borrowing; stop credit harassment, foreclosures, repossessions, tax levies and garnishments; or wipe out your debts.

Investment Schemes

Emails touting “investments” that promise high rates of return with little or no risk. One version seeks investors to help form an offshore bank. Others are vague about the nature of the investment, but stress the rates of return. Promoters hype their high-level financial connections; the fact that they’re privy to inside information; that they’ll guarantee the investment; or that they’ll buy it back. To close the deal, they often serve up phony statistics, misrepresent the significance of a current event, or stress the unique quality of their offering. And they’ll almost always try to rush you into a decision.

Email Security

Never send sensitive information via regular unsecured email. Pawtucket Credit Union has secure email available within Online Banking. Should you need to contact the Credit Union with account specific questions, call or secure email us with your concerns and contact information. We’ll respond using the necessary security precautions.

Pawtucket Credit Union’s Security Measures

Pawtucket Credit Union employs a number of powerful security measures to protect you online.
Secure Site

Our web site address begins with “https://” which means your session is secure and your transactions will be encrypted using the latest encryption software technology. A “lock” icon will appear in the bottom right hand corner of your screen or in the address bar of your browser window – both are indications that you’ve entered a secure site.

Secure Logins

Each time you sign in to your online banking account via you’ll be asked to provide a user ID and password.

Online User ID Change

You may change your user ID or password at any time by clicking on Preferences and then Security within Online Banking. We strongly recommend you make both your user ID and password something that is known only to you and is easy to remember. To keep them secure, do not share them with anyone.

Time Out Sessions

If you leave your computer unattended or forget to exit, we will automatically end your online banking session after a few minutes. We refer to it as a “time-out” and another way we work to keep your information safe and secure.

State-of-the-Art Encryption Technology

Information exchanged within Online Banking is encrypted for your protection. Encryption is the process by which information is translated into un-interpretable code and then back into a recognizable form.


Our data systems are protected by firewalls that are set up between our system and the Internet.

Detecting Fraud

The best detector of fraud and identity theft is you. Through proactive monitoring, you’ll be the first to notice any unusual activity and act fast before damage can occur.

  • Over 50 percent of all identity fraud is first discovered by the victim.
  • Email alerts will ensure you receive timely notification of Important Account Activity.
What You Should Look For
  • Accounts you didn’t open and debts on your accounts that you can’t explain.
  • Fraudulent or inaccurate information on your credit reports, including accounts and personal information like your Social Security number, address(es), name or initials, and employers.
  • Failing to receive bills or other mail. Follow up with creditors if your bills don’t arrive on time. A missing bill could mean an identity thief has taken over your account and changed your billing address to cover his tracks.
  • Receiving credit cards that you didn’t apply for.
  • Being denied credit, or being offered less favorable credit terms, like a high interest rate, for no apparent reason.
  • Getting calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise or services you didn’t buy.
Check Your Credit Report Annually

An amendment to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of the major nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.

To order your free annual report from one or all the national consumer reporting companies, visit, call toll-free 877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

You can print the form from Do not contact the three nationwide consumer reporting companies individually; they provide free annual credit reports only through, or by calling 877-322-8228, or requesting by mail:  Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

Click here for more information on credit reports.

Types of Fraud

Pawtucket Credit Union is committed to our member’s financial well-being. The information below can help you to identify many types of fraud:

Online Fraud

The following list contains various types and examples of Online Fraud.

Phishing and Spoofing
  • Sometimes criminals may send you email that looks like it has come from Pawtucket Credit Union. These emails may even ask you to call a phone number and provide account information. Unless you have initiated the request, Pawtucket Credit Union will never ask you to reply in an email with any personal information, such as your bank account number, Social Security number, ATM or Debit Card PIN.
  • Unexpected messages requiring urgent action on your part because your account may be closed if you fail to confirm, verify or authenticate your personal information. We will not ask you to verify your personal information in this way.
  • Claims, via email, that the Credit Union needs to confirm important information due to system and security upgrades. We will not ask you to verify information in this way.
  • Offers asking that you fill out a short survey in exchange for money that will be credited to your account. But, in order to receive payment, you must provide your account number for proper routing of the credit. We will not request your account number in this way.
  • Misspellings and grammatical errors are often the mark of fraudulent emails or websites.
Money Mules

Victims (Money Mules) are lured by the promise of making large sums of money for minimal work. The money mule is sent stolen money which they then send back through a wire or transfer. This type of fraud is similar to money laundering only done online. In some cases, victims of these scams not only have their bank accounts closed and financial reputation ruined but are often left financially responsible for returning the stolen funds.


  • Overseas companies requesting money transfer agents in the US
  • Opening new bank accounts to receive money from someone you don’t know
  • Accepting large sums of money into your personal bank account for a new job
  • Transferring or wiring funds out of your personal bank account to people you do not know

Malware or “malicious software” is often used to steal personal information and commit fraud. Malware includes viruses, spyware and trojans designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system. Updated security and system software can protect your computer from malware threats.

Examples of malware distribution points:

  • Downloads from file sharing and social networking sites
  • Attachments and free software from unknown sources
  • Pop-up advertisements asking for personal or financial information
Keylogging Malware

Keylogging Malware is a software program that records keystrokes entered on the PC on which it’s installed. It then transmits a record of these keystrokes to the person controlling the malware over the internet.

Click here for more information on malware.

Man-In-The-Middle / Man-In-The-Browser Attack

By “inserting” himself between the customer and the financial institution, these fraudsters literally hijack the online session.

  • By intercepting the authentication credentials you’ve submitted and log in to your accounts.
  • By modifying the transaction content or by adding additional unauthorized transactions which, in most cases, are fund transfers to accounts controlled by the person committing the fraud.

VoIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol are automated computer generated messages notifying consumers that their account has experienced unusual activity.

Mobile Fraud
Fake Mobile Banking Apps

Criminals may develop and publish fake mobile banking applications attempting to steal your Online Banking credentials.

Tips for recognizing an unofficial Pawtucket Credit Union application:

  • The application is being promoted on a third party site, somewhere other than the official application store for your mobile device.
  • There is a charge for downloading the application – Pawtucket Credit Union does not currently charge for mobile application downloads.

Smishing is phishing that happens via an SMS text message. A text message is sent tricking you into replying with financial or personal information. A virus can also be snuck onto your mobile device by clicking on links contained within the message. Don’t respond to a text message that requests personal or financial information. We will never ask you to respond in this way.

Stolen Devices

While offering convenience, mobile phones and tablets are easy to lose or steal, putting your information at risk.

Tips To Safeguard Your Mobile Device:

  • Password-protect your device.
  • Enable an automatic screen-locking mechanism to lock the device when it’s not actively being used.
  • Keep a record of the device’s make, model and serial number in case it’s stolen.
Traditional Online Threats

Viruses, malware and other programs that steal your personal information or financial details are also able to infect some mobile devices. Anti-virus programs are supported depending upon the type of device you use.

Fraud Prevention

Pawtucket Credit Union is committed to our member’s financial well-being. The information below can assist you in your fraud prevention efforts:

Safeguard Your Social Security Number
  • Do not provide your Social Security number unless you have initiated the contact and have confirmed the business or person’s identity.
  • When choosing a Personal Identification Number (PIN) or password, do not use your full or partial Social Security Number.
  • If you must provide your Social Security number in an email or on a website, ensure that it is secure, encrypted, and you know how the recipient will protect it.
  • Never record your full Social Security number on a check, traveler’s check, gift certificate, etc., unless required by law. In most cases, the last 4-digits of your SSN should be enough.
  • Don’t carry your Social Security card with you.
  • Have funds deposited directly into your account using direct deposit.
Secure Your Computer
  • Anti-virus and anti-spyware protections detect and remove viruses, spyware, etc. that can steal your personal information.
  • Operating system and software updates should be installed as soon as they become available.
  • Keep your web browser updates current.
Online Fraud Prevention Tips
  • Choose a password that’s hard to guess – not hard to remember. A combination of letters, numbers and special characters make the strongest passwords.
  • Emails sent offering you a prize or a discount may ask you to choose a User ID and password (most people use the same access information for several accounts. Thieves will collect your login information and try them at other sites, like financial institutions or credit card sites).
  • Don’t open an email from senders you don’t know.
  • Fraudulent emails often include misspellings and poor grammar. If you have any doubts about the authenticity of an email, do not respond.
  • Monitor your online account for unusual activity.
  • We recommend that you change your password every 60 days.
  • Update your anti-virus software frequently. Common anti-virus software includes McAfee and Norton.
  • Beware of emails with a sense of urgency, attempting to rush you into action like “Update now or we’ll close your account…”. Pawtucket Credit Union will never notify you in this way.
  • Not all email is secure. Do not include personal or sensitive data in or in response to an email.

Mobile & Online Banking

Step 1: Protect Your Computer / Mobile Device

  • Install and update your anti-virus and anti-spyware software frequently.
  • Keep your computer and mobile device operating systems up to date.
  • Make sure to keep your web browser software up to date by installing the most recent version to all devices used to access mobile/online banking.
  • Avoid using public wifi as hackers can position themselves between you and the wifi access point.  If you must use public wifi, be sure to update any file sharing or privacy settings to help prevent hackers from planting infected software on your device.
  • If your computer or mobile device operating system has a firewall, enable it.

Step 2: Keep Your Information Secure

  • If you do not recognize the sender of an email or have any doubts about the authenticity of an email, do not respond and delete it immediately.
  • Do not open the email or click on links or attachments, especially if they tell you the problem is urgent or the attached file ends in “.exe”.
  • Don’t give out personal information. Check a website’s privacy policy before you give them your email address.
  • Always use secure passwords. A secure password consists of upper- and lowercase letters and numbers.
  • Never share your password with anyone.
  • Do not include personal or sensitive data in, or in response to, an email.
  • Monitor your account activity closely and watch for unusual activity.
  • When you finish your online and/or mobile banking sessions, be sure to log out.
  • Do not store financial or personal information on your laptop, phone, or mobile device.

Step 3: Practice Safe Web Browsing

  • Only allow popups from sites that you authorize.
  • Do not give out personal information to blogs, forums, and other social networking sites.
  • Only make online purchases using secure sites that encrypt your information. To determine if a site encrypts your information, look for the locked padlock icon in the browser and “https:” in the address line.
  • Never access a website from a link in a suspicious email.
  • Access online banking sites by typing the address directly into the browser’s address bar.

Step 4: Protect Your Laptop, Phone, and/or other Mobile Devices

  • Be suspicious when installing applications/programs that require you to provide information that has nothing to do with the application’s purpose.
  • If you use your laptop, phone, or other mobile devices to conduct mobile banking, and your device becomes lost or stolen, contact your financial institutions and cell phone provider immediately.
  • Never leave your laptop, phone, or other mobile devices logged on and/or unattended in public.
  • Password protect and lock your laptop, phone, or other mobile devices when not in use.
  • Do not store financial or personal information on your laptop, phone, or mobile device.