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What If You or a Family Member Is a Victim of ID Theft?

You've heard all the horror stories about fraud committed when someone steals your name, address, Social Security number, credit cards, etc.

Here is some critical information to limit the damage caused if this happens to you:

Cancel your credit cards immediately. Have your card numbers and the telephone numbers of the issuers handy so you know whom to call.

File a police report in the jurisdiction where your things were stolen. This proves to credit providers that you were diligent, and is a first step toward starting an investigation.

Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately. Place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. The numbers are: Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742; and Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289.

Contact the Social Security Administration (fraud line) at 1-800-269-0271 and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

These days there are an influx of email, phone calls, and instant messages purporting to be from your credit union or an important affiliate.

Some of these messages threaten to lock access to your account unless you "click here to re-enter your password." Others promise lots of money if you complete a survey and "give us your account access info so we can deposit your cash."

There are large amounts of money at stake, so scammers work hard to make their stories sound convincing. How do you tell the real from the fake?

Tips for Identifying and Avoiding Fraud

If it makes your heart pound, it's a hoax.

Here's a rule of thumb for spotting a fake email scam: Fake emails appear urgent. The scammers appeal to your greed or fear in hopes you’ll react before you think things through. NEVER react while your heart is pounding.

Legitimate financial institutions present a conservative (okay, stodgy!) front. We don’t want you to feel like your funds are on a rollercoaster when you do business with us.

If you receive an unsolicited, urgent email supposedly from a financial institution, it’s a fake. Call us before taking any action or response. 

Don't click on web links in suspicious emails.

It's easy to set up a fake website or a false phone number. If you're suspicious about a message from AHCU, follow up using contact information from your records.

A healthy dose of caution will keep you safe on the internet!

Phishing Scams

Be aware of a recent widespread scam in which automated phone calls or texts inform victims that their ATM/Debit cards are locked.

The automated message requests call recipients to "Press 1", and they are then instructed to enter their 16-digit card number into their telephone key pad. Once this is entered, the scammers then request the card’s Personal Identification Number (PIN).

The scam artists are attempting to obtain customer card numbers and PINs in order to gain access to customer accounts via ATMs or POS (point of sale) purchases.

If you receive a call or text that you suspect is a phishing attempt, please gather as much information as you can, including the phone number of origin, and pass the information along to AHCU. Thank you!

Hoax Emails

Fraudulent emails occasionally circulate that purport to be from Associated Healthcare Credit Union. AHCU's policy is to never ask for personal data via email, text message or phone. If you receive such a message, do not respond. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Sound too good to be true? It probably is.

If you can answer "YES" to any of the following questions, you could be involved in a fraud or about to be scammed!

Did you receive a Cashier's Check from an item you sold on the Internet, such as a car, boat, jewelry, etc.?

Is the amount of the Cashier's Check more than the item's selling price?

Did you receive the Cashier's Check via an overnight delivery service?

Is the Cashier's Check connected to communicating with someone by email?

Is the Check drawn on a business or individual account that is different from the person buying your item or product?

Have you been informed that you were the winner of a lottery, such as Canadian, Australian, El Gordo, or El Mundo, that you did not enter?

Have you been instructed to either "Wire", "Send" or "Ship" money as soon as possible, to a large U.S. city or to another country, such as Canada, England or Nigeria?

Have you been asked to pay money to receive a deposit from another country such as Canada, England or Nigeria?

Are you receiving Pay or a Commission for facilitating money transfers through your account?

Did you respond to an email requesting to you confirm, update, or provide your account information?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, contact us immediately.

Automated Fraud Alerts

In addition to live agent calls when fraud is suspected, we have implemented automated notifications regarding suspect activity on your account. You may receive a pre-recorded or personal phone call regarding card transactions that have been flagged by our system. By responding, you will help us protect your account and prevent fraud.


  • Fraud is identified earlier in the process and you can respond immediately and conveniently with your phone.
  • If the transactions are valid your response will immediately unblock the card. Otherwise you will be prompted to start the fraud report process and a new card will be ordered.
  • Automated Fraud Alerts increase the number of attempts to contact you on a single fraud alert, increasing the chance for a response.


Do members need to sign up for this service?

No. As a member you are automatically enrolled.

How will the text appear when fraud is suspected?

Here is an example of the initial text from our fraud department:

A "N: response will trigger the following text:

A "Y" response will trigger the following text: