Skip to main content

Fraud & Scam Awareness

Unfortunately, more and more Americans fall victim to account fraud and identity theft every year. Our goal is to provide members with information that may be helpful in preventing, detecting, and protecting against fraud and identity theft, and other types of telephone, email, internet, and mail scams.

Emerald Credit Union will never contact members via phone call, email, or text message requesting personal identification or account information. This includes Social Security numbers, account numbers and passwords, and any other personal confidential information. We will ask out-of-wallet questions to identify members who reach out to us, concerning their accounts.

Learn more about what financial institutions will never ask, and how to protect your accounts from phone call, email, text message, and mobile payment app scams. Check out Banks Never Ask That for helpful tips, videos, FAQs, and more.

Deep Insert Skimming

A card skimmer is a device illegally installed on an ATM, fuel pump, or other point-of-sale (POS) terminal that collects data and/or records cardholders' PINs. Fraudsters use the captured data to create fake credit or debit cards, and then steal from cardholders' accounts.

Skimming tactics are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and deep insert skimming is among the most difficult to detect. At less than a millimeter, these smaller skimmers cause less interference as victims insert their cards into an ATM or POS terminal slot. When combined with keypad overlays or tiny hidden cameras that record PINs, these sophisticated skimmers provide fraudsters with what they need to steal cardholder funds.

What Can Cardholders Do?

While ATM processors are constantly working on technology to help block these devices from their machines, cardholders can take their own steps to guard against skimmers: 

  • Choose an indoor ATM or an ATM in a well-lit area
  • Cover the keypad while typing the PIN
  • Look for tiny holes in the panels around the keypad, indicating cameras
  • Jiggle the keypad and slot reader to see if they're loose
  • Take advantage of contactless technology by tapping cards instead of inserting them into slot readers.

Bank Jugging

Bank Jugging is a crime in which the perpetrator parks and waits near a bank, credit union, check-cashing store, or ATM, and watches patiently as customers come and go. The suspect targets anyone leaving with a bag, envelope, or coin box that looks like it may contain a large amount of cash. Victims are followed and approached, and then threatened with violence or assaulted while the robber aggressively takes the cash or breaks into their vehicle. The thief will steal whatever the victim has; purse, wallet, shopping bags, and even expensive belongings. Most often the crime occurs at a new location, but sometimes right outside the targeted establishment.

Perpetrators look for individuals who are distracted, older people, or anyone who appears easy to overtake. So, what can you do to help protect yourself?

  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Look for individuals backed into parking spaces, who do not exit their vehicle.
  • Do not leave the credit union, bank, etc. if you observe a suspicious vehicle in or nearby the parking lot.
  • Do not withdraw large amounts of cash from the credit union, bank, etc. Opt for a cashier's check or electronically transfer the funds instead.
  • Hide or conceal your money before you leave the credit union, bank, etc.
  • Do not open-carry bank bags, envelopes, or coin boxes.
  • Watch for people following you.
  • If you think you are being followed, call 911. Keep the dispatcher on the phone to describe your location, your destination, etc., and keep walking/driving until the police find you.
  • If you're out running errands, make the credit union, bank, etc. your last stop.