Your privacy and security
is very important to us.


At Patelco, your personal and financial information
is secure. We have several security measures
to help prevent unauthorized access to your account(s).

Explore the tabs below to learn more about our
privacy and security practices as well as how to
report and prevent any fraudulent activity.




Current Security Alerts & Notifications

OpenSSL "Heartbleed Bug" In The Media
A security vulnerability that can affect some secure Internet websites was recently disclosed. Read more >


NCUA (National Credit Union Administration) Telephone Scam
The NCUA recently issued an alert warning about a new telephone fraud scam. Read more >


Spoof Website Detected
Please be aware of a website that is imitating our public site for marketing purposes. Read more >


Data Breach At Target & Neiman Marcus Stores
These stores announce unauthorized access to card data. Please watch for unusual account activity. Read more >


Phishing Scam Alert
Some members have notified us that they are receiving emails asking for Online Banking information. Read more >


Patelco Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks
Patelco counterfeit Cashiers’ Checks being produced and passed to victims across the country. Read more >


Text Message Fraud Alert
Some members have notified us that they are receiving text message requests for account information. Read more >

Your privacy is very important to us.

At Patelco, your personal and financial information is secure and we are committed to respecting your right to privacy and protecting your personal information.

Important security reminder: Although Patelco may contact you for a specific reason, we will never ask you to update detailed personal or account information over the phone, via a link in an email, or through text messaging. If you receive a request to update specific account information from someone claiming to represent Patelco, it's fraudulent, and you should notify us immediately. You can report fraud by calling us at 800.358.8228 or by sending us an email abuse@patelco.org.

Privacy Notices:
  • Federal Privacy Notice – The security of your personal and financial information is our highest priority. Read our Federal Privacy Notice Form (PDF) to learn how we use and protect your information.
  • California Privacy Notice – In the state of California you have the right to restrict the sharing of your personal information by organizations. You can learn more by reading the California Privacy Notice Form (PDF).

Our right to change these policies:
These policies are effective June 1, 2013. We can change these policies by notifying you in writing. If a new policy (or policies) will be subject to opt-out rights, we will give you at least 30 days advance notice before the new policy (or policies) goes into effect, and we will disclose the means by which you can opt out of disclosure of nonpublic personal information.

If you have any questions regarding our privacy practices, please send us a secure email or call us at 800.358.8228.

More Privacy Resources:

  • Terms and Conditions – For guidelines on how to use our online sites, take a look at the Patelco Internet Terms and Conditions.
  • Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act – In adherence to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, we don’t allow children under the age of 13 to open personal accounts online or use Online Banking, unless it’s a joint account with an adult. They can still open accounts by themselves at a branch. To learn more about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), visit Coppa.org.

We monitor your accounts closely and block suspicious transactions.

At Patelco we protect you with:

  • Fraud monitoring – We keep track of how your card is used and will block suspicious activity.
  • Zero Liability Policy – If your Patelco Credit or Debit Card is lost or stolen and transactions are made, we will not hold you responsible for the transactions, provided you let us know within 60 days.
  • Prompt account credit – Your account will be credited for fraudulent transactions within 3 business days from the date you report it.

Buy online safely and easily with V.me from Visa

Speed up your online checkout
V.me lets you buy online without needing to re-enter your Patelco Visa card number and shipping details every time you check out through any website that accepts V.me purchases.

Keep your payment information secure
Make secure online purchases without sharing your full card information. Just select "Checkout with V.me by Visa" as your payment option. Then enter your email address and password, and you’re done!
Learn more about V.me by Visa >

Important tips for protecting yourself and your cards.

Sign your cards
Sign the signature panel on your credit or debit cards immediately.

Check statements and receipts
Save the receipts from your charges and compare them against your statements. Report any unauthorized transactions immediately and save those receipts. Shred any receipts you do not need.

Go paperless
Sign up for Online Banking to view your account statements electronically. This is more secure than receiving statements through the mail.

List your account numbers
Keep the list in a secure place separate from your cards with phone numbers to report if they are lost or stolen.

Sign Up for Account Alerts
To further protect you and to assist in card monitoring, please enroll in our Alerts & Notifications service through Online Banking which will immediately alert you to any transactions that post to your account. Simply log in to Online Banking, go to the All Services menu item, then under Account Information click on Alerts & Notifications to set up the alerts you would like to receive.

V.me by Visa – Buy online safely and easily
Make secure online purchases without sharing your complete card information every time. Just select "Checkout with V.me by Visa" as your payment option. Then enter your email address and password. It’s that easy!
Learn more about V.me by Visa >

Be aware at the ATM
Here are a few extra steps you can take at the ATM to protect your account:

  • Keep your ATM, Credit/Debit card in a safe place
  • Use ATMs in view of surveillance cameras
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • When you enter or exit an ATM in an enclosed area, close the entry door completely behind you and don’t allow others access to the ATM area during your transaction
  • Cover the ATM keypad while entering your PIN
  • Before you leave, make sure your card and cash are put away and do not count it at the ATM

Keep your account information safe
Never provide your Patelco Credit or Debit Card account information to anyone over the phone, via email, or through a website. We will never contact you to verify personal or account information. If this happens, please report it to us immediately.

Online and Mobile Banking is protected by Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology

When you submit personal and account information over our network, it’s protected by iron-clad Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology. It encrypts all account information transmitted through Online Banking, making it nearly impossible for anyone other than you and Patelco to access it.

Types of Protection Measures

  • Automatic sign-out after 10 minutes of being idle within Online Banking
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), an enhanced security protocol that requires you to enter an access code provided to you confidentially to login
  • Options to change your password and/or user ID every six months (something we highly recommend)
  • 24/7 firewall protection to prevent any unauthorized users from accessing your account

About Encryption

  • All information exchanged online between you and Patelco is encrypted via industry-standard technology
  • While you’re logged in to Online Banking, a 256-bit encryption codes your information into a sequence with infinite variations so it is unreadable
  • When you see an icon of a closed lock in the upper right corner of your browser window, you can be sure your data is being transmitted in an encrypted environment

Mobile Banking Security

  • Your privacy and security are protected by our Online and Mobile Banking Security Guarantee (see the Our Guarantee tab for details)
  • Account information is not stored on your phone
  • Mobile Banking also uses SSL technology and takes advantage of all the features in the same manner as Online Banking

We stand by the security of our Online and Mobile Banking services

Your privacy and security are protected per our Online and Mobile Banking Security Guarantee.

When you use Online and Mobile Banking, we guarantee that you are not liable for fraudulent transactions resulting from unauthorized use of your account information.

Your Responsibility

While we make every effort to protect your account, we expect you to keep your online user ID, password, account number(s), personal identity information, and other account data confidential. We are not responsible for:

  • Input errors or misuse of Online and Mobile Banking
  • Negligent handling or sharing of passwords
  • Exposure of sensitive information on an unattended computer screen
  • Failure to report known incidents of unauthorized account access within two (2) business days

For more details, read the Electronic Funds Transfer section in the Patelco Member Handbook.

How to Contact Us

Contact us immediately to report lost or stolen information or suspected fraudulent activity:

Online Banking security - Multi-Factor Authentication.

The security of your account information is very important to us, therefore we are constantly updating our methods to keep current and better protect you from unauthorized access and fraud.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) ensures the highest level of security for your Online Banking session and also protects against online fraud by providing a second "factor", an additional verification step beyond entering only your User ID and Password.

This second "factor" is triggered whenever login activity is considered a high risk compared to usual account activity. If MFA is triggered, we will generate an access code and send it to you. You can choose to have an access code sent to you by email, text, or automated phone call. Once you receive it, you will need to log in with not only the code, but also your User ID and your Password.

Why is MFA so important? Having MFA will reassure us that it is you logging in and will reassure you that we are monitoring your account.

To further help you understand the details of how MFA works, please review this list of frequently asked questions posed by other members.

Frequently asked questions about Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?

In order to increase online security, Patelco uses a feature called Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). Multi-Factor Authentication is a security system in which more than one form of authentication is used to verify your identity when logging in to Online Banking. Patelco uses two factors, your User ID and Password (which you create), and an access code which we generate and give to you via email, text, or telephone.

When do I need to use MFA?

This second "factor" is triggered whenever login activity is considered a high risk compared to usual account activity. If MFA is triggered, we will generate an access code and send it to you. You can choose to have an access code sent to you by email, text, or automated phone call.

What else can trigger MFA? I am using the same computer from the same location, but I am still being asked for MFA.

MFA can also be triggered if certain behavior has been detected, for example a recent change to your mailing address.

I am not an Internet expert. How easy is MFA to use?

MFA is simple to use and you don't need to memorize a new log in or password. Log in to Online Banking as usual and if you are prompted for MFA, simply follow the onscreen instructions.

You must have a valid email address or a mobile or home phone number on file to use MFA. If you need to add or update your email or phone number, please call us at 800.358.8228. You can also update your email or phone number securely through Online Banking under the My Profile tab then selecting either Change Address/Phone or Change Email from the sub-menu.

How do I get an access code?

You must have a valid email address or a mobile or home phone number on file to get an access code. If you need to add or update your email or phone number, please call us at 800.358.8228. You can also update your email or phone number securely through Online Banking under the My Profile tab then selecting either Change Address/Phone or Change Email from the sub-menu. You only need an access code if Online Banking prompts you to enter one when you try to log in.

If you are prompted to use an access code, you can choose how you would like to receive it. You can choose to have it sent to you by email, automated phone call, or text message.

Once you select your method, click "Send Access Code" and your access code will arrive within seconds of your selection.

If you selected for the code to arrive via email, and you don't receive it, be sure to check your junk mail. To ensure email delivery, add membercare@patelco.org to your contact list. If you selected for the code to arrive via text message, the receiver's name will display as "243-41" and charges may apply.

Enter the code in the appropriate box, and then click "Log in to Online Banking." If you never actually requested an access code, but receive notification of one please notify us at 800.358.8228 between the hours of Monday - Friday: 7:30am - 7:00pm PST and Saturday: 9:00am - 2:00pm PST.

What if I use the same device all the time? Do I have to enter an access code each time I want to log in to Online Banking?

No, you will only need it if we are unable to authenticate you. MFA is triggered whenever login activity is considered a high risk compared to usual account activity and you will be prompted to request an access code with MFA. Once you receive your access code and log in to Online Banking, your identity will be remembered until the next time something changes.

What is a cookie and Private Browsing?

A cookie is a piece of information sent to a browser by a web server. The browser then returns that information to the web server. This is how some web pages "remember" your previous visits. For example, an e-commerce site might use a cookie to remember which items you've placed in your shopping cart. Cookies are used for authenticating, tracking, and maintaining specific information about users. They do not collect information from the user's computer but rather store information in the form of a session identification that does not personally identify the user. Private Browsing enables you to surf the web without leaving a trail on your browser. This helps prevent anyone else who might be using your computer from seeing what sites you visited and what you looked at on the web, but also disables/clears your cookies when you browse the internet.

How should I set my cookies and browsing options for Online Banking?

If cookies are disabled/deleted and you use Private Browsing, you can still access Online Banking, however you will be asked for an access code (in addition to your User ID and Password) each time you log in to Online Banking. If you choose not to be asked for an access code each time you log in to Online Banking, make sure to enable cookies and turn off Private Browsing in your browser.

What if I do not receive my access code?

You can elect to have your access code sent to you via email, text, or an automated phone call. Patelco must have your current email address or phone numbers on file. You can verify or update your email address and phone numbers in Online Banking in the My Profile tab.

Once in the tab, then select either Change Address/Phone or Change Email from the sub-menu. If you do not receive your access code even after updating your information, please give us a call at 800.358.8228.

What is the difference between an access code and an Online Banking password?

A password is created by you and is required to access Online Banking. An access code is a random code created by us that is sent to you via email, automated phone call, or text message whenever login activity is considered a high risk compared to usual account activity.

Why add an additional layer of security?

As a leading financial institution, we take your online security seriously. We want to take whatever steps we can to protect your account against unauthorized access and fraud.

How does this additional layer of security protect me?

A User ID and Password are a good start to online security, but they simply aren't enough because you create them and they do not change unless you change them. However, a randomly generated MFA access code is sent to you where only you can get it - your email account or phone. This ensures that you are the person entitled to log in to that account. Plus, the MFA code is only good for two hours after it is generated so it cannot be used after it expires. For MFA to remain efficient, it is important that you keep your email and phone numbers current in Online Banking.

I already have anti-virus software and a personal firewall. Why do I need this security feature?

Anti-virus software and personal firewalls provide great protection against viruses and hackers and should be kept up to date. MFA adds another layer of security and protects against threats that anti-virus software and a personal firewall do not, such as stolen User ID and Passwords. MFA supplements, but does not replace, your other personal security software.

Is my personal information still secure?

Yes. In fact, we feel your personal information is more safe with MFA. We are helping to ensure that only you can access your personal information through Patelco's Online Banking. In addition, Online Banking is protected by iron-clad Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology. It encrypts all account information transmitted through Online Banking, making it nearly impossible for anyone other than you and Patelco to access it.

Will Patelco send me an email or link to a website for account maintenance or other updates?

No. Patelco will never attempt to reach out to you to verify your personal or account information by any means including over the phone, via email, or through text messaging. If you do receive a request from someone claiming to represent Patelco, it's fraudulent, and you should notify us immediately. You can report fraud by calling us at 800.358.8228 or by sending us an email at abuse@patelco.org.

What should I do if I cannot access my Online Banking or obtain my access code?

If you have difficulty accessing Online Banking or do not receive your access code, please call us at 800.358.8228 or send us a secure email at patelco.org/contact.

Types of Fraud

Keeping current on the types of fraud will make you more aware and help you to better protect your accounts.

Phishing emails and spoof websites.
Phishing emails will direct you to a website that resembles Patelco’s website where you will be asked to provide your account information. You may even be asked to call a phone number to provide account information. See an example of a fraudulent email >

      How to identify phishing emails and spoof websites

  • Personal information requests. Emails from Patelco will never ask you to reply with account or personal information of any kind.
  • Urgent requests. We will never threaten that your account will be closed if you fail to comply with any request for information
  • System and security updates. We will never ask you to confirm important information due to system upgrades or maintenance.
  • Offers with a catch. We will never ask for your feedback and then ask for your account number to receive a reward for your feedback.
  • Poor grammar, spelling, and design. Lack of professional presentation is often a big hint of fraudulent emails and websites.

       If you receive a suspicious email claiming to be from Patelco, forward it to us immediately at abuse@patelco.org.

      How to protect yourself against phishing emails and spoof websites

  • Make sure it is Patelco’s website when you log in to Online Banking. When you enter the URL www.patelco.org in your browser, the address bar should turn green if the browser is secure.
  • Immediately delete any suspicious email that asks you for personal information. Do not reply, click any links, or open any attachments.
  • Always remember that Patelco will never request that you confirm or update any personal or account information via email.

Malware - malicious software
Malware, also referred to as malicious software, includes viruses, spyware, and trojans that are designed to damage a computer system, steal personal information, and commit fraud. To protect yourself from malware you should never:

  • Download a file or attachment unless you know the source well and can trust them
  • Click on or open anything that asks for personal or financial information
  • Go without security and system software to protect your computer

Vishing attempts
Vishing uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to leave an automated message on your phone warning you that your account has had unusual activity. The message urges you to call a number claiming to be a Patelco phone number. You could get a similar message through email or text. Do not give any information and contact us immediately.

SMShing - Text message fraud
SMShing is phishing via SMS text message. The text message lures you into providing financial or personal information or clicking on links that will put viruses on your mobile device. Never respond to a text that requests personal or financial information. Patelco will never ask you to provide information in a text message.

What you can do to protect yourself.

When you connect to the Internet using any kind of device, you are at risk. You can help protect your privacy and information by:

  • Creating good passwords. Use capital letters, numbers, special characters, and more than six characters. Be cautious of the sites you visit and the information you share. Do not use the same password for every account.
  • Installing anti-keylogging software. This will detect and block your keystrokes from hidden malware that could be installed on your computer to steal your private information.
  • Making sure your computer has a firewall. This will prevent unauthorized users from accessing your computer.
  • Using email responsibly. Do not send any personal or account information via email, especially your Social Security number.
  • Being cautious when using instant messaging (IM). Never include any personal or account information.
  • Shopping safely. Make sure that the Web site uses secure technology. When checking out, verify that the Web address starts with https. Look for an icon of a locked padlock at the bottom right of the checkout screen or that there is a statement explaining that the pages are secured through a security technology vendor.
  • Keeping your browser software current. It is important to install any operating system and software updates (sometimes called patches or service packs) as soon as they become available.
  • Being knowledgeable when downloading an application (app). It is important to review the privacy policy and understand what data the app can access.
  • Monitoring your account. Check your account often to catch fraud early. We recommend that you set up account alerts in Online Banking to keep you aware of payments and other transactions.
  • Not responding to a suspicious text or email. Requests for personal information and immediate responses are almost always a scam. Patelco will never ask you to update your personal information via text or email.

Protect yourself, your money and your personal information.

As long as you have something of value, there will be thieves who want to take it from you. Stay one step ahead of them by learning about their methods.

Important security reminder: We will never attempt to contact you to verify your personal or account information over the phone, via email, or through text messaging. If you receive a request from someone claiming to represent Patelco, it’s fraudulent, and you should notify us immediately. You can report fraud by calling us at 800.358.8228 or by sending us an email at abuse@patelco.org.

We’ve compiled a list of common scams to help you become familiar and be better able to identify them to keep your information safe.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is defined as using someone’s Social Security number, driver’s license number, credit card number, or other identifying information to commit fraud or other crimes. The information is obtained by:

  • Gathering personal information shared on the internet through phishing, spoof websites, or spyware
  • Stealing IDs and credit or bank cards from wallets and purses
  • Stealing mail such as bank and credit card statements
  • Looking through dumpsters or household trash for documents with personal information

This information is used to open bank accounts, apply for credit in your name, and run up huge debts. The victim will then build a bad credit history with the credit bureaus. The victim doesn’t become aware of identity theft until they apply for credit and are denied.

Reporting and resolving identity theft

If you discover unauthorized purchases on your account, remember that you are not held liable provided that you:

  1. Contact us immediately at 800.358.8228 or visit your branch to report it.
  2. Contact the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file and request a credit report. The fraud alert lets creditors know that they should contact you before opening any new accounts in your name. When you make a request of one of the three bureaus, the other two bureaus will be notified automatically and all three credit reports will be sent to you free of charge.
  3. File a police report and submit a copy to your creditors
  4. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC maintains a database of identity theft cases used by law enforcement agencies for identity theft investigations.

Consider Patelco ID Theft Protection

While no protection plan is 100% fool proof, our Identity Theft Protection program can help prevent identity theft by providing:

  • Daily credit monitoring from a major agency, so you can see who is accessing your credit information
  • Personal credit reporting, giving you easy access to your Equifax credit profile, including your FICO credit score
  • Educational Seminars for important tips and information
  • Up to $25,000 identity theft insurance coverage to recover lost funds

Victims of identity fraud often spend thousands of dollars over the course of several years clearing their credit and reputations. Get and stay protected.

Our protection plans start at just $24.95 per year for individuals or $44.95 for families, and we have the plan that’s right for you in terms of cost and coverage.

To learn more about the services mentioned above, visit Identity Fraud online, or call 866.4ID.FRAUD (866.443.3728).

Phishing & Spoofing

Phishing emails and spoof websites.
Phishing emails will direct you to a website that resembles Patelco’s website where you will be asked to provide your account information. You may even be asked to call a phone number to provide account information. See an example of a fraudulent email >

How to identify phishing emails and spoof websites


  • Personal information requests. Emails from Patelco will never ask you to reply with account or personal information of any kind.
  • Urgent requests. We will never threaten that your account will be closed if you fail to comply with any request for information
  • System and security updates. We will never ask you to confirm important information due to system upgrades or maintenance.
  • Offers with a catch. We will never ask for your feedback and then ask for your account number to receive a reward for your feedback.
  • Poor grammar, spelling, and design. Lack of professional presentation is often a big hint of fraudulent emails and websites.

If you receive a suspicious email claiming to be from Patelco, forward it to us immediately at abuse@patelco.org.

How to protect yourself against phishing emails and spoof websites

  • Make sure it is Patelco’s website when you log in to Online Banking. When you enter the URL www.patelco.org in your browser, the address bar should turn green if the browser is secure.
  • Immediately delete any suspicious email that asks you for personal information. Do not reply, click any links, or open any attachments.
  • Always remember that Patelco will never request that you confirm or update any personal or account information via email.

Phone & Mail Fraud

Telephone Lower Interest Rate Scam

This is a scam in which someone claiming to be from Patelco Card Services, calls and states that if you provide your card number and last four digits of your Social Security number, that they will then be able to lower your interest rate.

How to Protect Yourself

  • • Patelco will never call you asking you to provide your credit card numbers or personal identification numbers in an effort to get a lower interest rate.
  • If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be able to lower your Patelco interest rate who requests this information, please call us immediately at 800.358.8228 or email us at abuse@patelco.org.

Telephone Credit Card Scam

This is a scam in which someone, claiming to be from the Security and Fraud Department of a credit card company, calls you to verify the 3-digit security code on the back of your credit card. Often, the thief knows your address and which financial institution issued the card. They will ask for the code claiming to make sure you are in possession of your card. In reality, they want the code so that they can use it to purchase goods and services online.

How to Protect Yourself

  • Never release any card information to anyone who calls you. The card issuer already knows this information and will never call you to verify it.

SMShing - Text message fraud

Mass text messages to mobile phone users are being sent in certain areas that are designed to get the user to share account information with a phone call or return text message.

One example is a Patelco member who received the following message:
"Dear Key Point Credit Union customer, we regret to inform you that we had to lock your bank account access. Call 1-800-419-XXXX to restore your bank account."

The member was obviously confused, since she was not a Key Point Credit Union member, but she called the number anyway and it prompted her to enter her 16-digit credit card number and its expiration date. She hung up the phone and called Patelco, which was the right thing to do.

While we have not yet heard of Patelco’s name being used in this type of scam, we urge you to be aware. Several credit unions from all over the country have been affected or named in these scams. It seems the thieves do not target only the members of a credit union, but non-members as well, because they rely on confusion and scare tactics to steal personal information.

How to Protect Yourself

  • Never reply to a text message or call a number you receive from a text message. If you call by mistake, never enter any information. If you want to call your bank, use the phone number you regularly use, not a phone number you receive in a text message
  • Never click on a hyperlink provided in a text message that claims to be from Patelco or any other institution
  • Do not be intimidated by a text message that suggests dire consequences if you do not immediately provide or verify information
  • If you have any reason to believe the contact is legitimate, call Patelco to be sure at 800.358.8228.
  • Use the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) website, www.onguardonline.gov. Consumers can take interactive quizzes designed to enlighten them about identity theft, phishing, smishing, spam, and online-shopping scams. Elsewhere on the site, consumers can find detailed guidance on how to monitor their credit histories, use effective passwords and recover from identity theft.

Important: Patelco will never send unsolicited emails or text messages asking members to provide, update, or verify personal or account information, such as passwords, Social Security numbers, PINs, credit or debit card numbers, or other confidential information.

Safety Tip: If you receive an email asking you to click on the link to update/verify information do not click on the link. You can hover over a link to determine the destination. If it is web address that you do not recognize do not click the link. If this occurs, please let us know by sending us an email at abuse@patelco.org.

Mail Fraud

Anytime the U.S. Mail is used to further a crime, no matter how the crime originated, the crime is considered mail fraud. This often takes the form of illegal sweepstakes or foreign lottery notifications, phony credit card offers, and advance-fee loan schemes. In most cases, you are asked to either purchase something or pay fees up front before you can receive your prize or whatever service the scam advertises.

How to Protect Yourself

  • If an offer seems too good to be true, it most likely is. Ignore it.
  • Learn about the types of mail fraud from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Credit/Debit Card Fraud

Skimming & ATM Tampering

Thieves can tamper with an ATM to steal your ATM card number and PIN. They may use devices such as skimmers and false fronts to read the information on the magnetic strip or to trap a card. To steal your PIN, they may also hide miniature cameras near the keypad, install a fake keypad over the real one, or stand close to the ATM. Devices can also be installed at an ATM, a gasoline pump, and even on a handheld machine.

How to Protect Yourself

When you use your ATM, you should:

  • Look for signs of tampering such as adhesive tape residue, exposed wires, unusual attachments, or signs with special instructions
  • Pay inside at gasoline stations. If you pay outside, run your card as credit so you do not have to use your PIN
  • Watch as your card is swiped. Try to always maintain possession of your card or swipe it yourself. At the very least, watch your Debit/Credit card during your transaction.
  • Be aware of people hovering too close when you enter your PIN or of people who offer assistance
  • Contact us immediately if your card is not returned or if cash is not dispensed
  • Never go alone, especially at night

Protecing your card and personal identification number

To protect your card and PIN you should:

  • Treat your Credit/Debit card like you would your cash and checks
  • Not leave your Credit/Debit out in the open so someone isn’t tempted to use it
  • Never write your PIN on your Credit/Debit card or tell anyone your PIN
  • Use your Credit/Debit card as Credit so you do not have to enter your PIN
  • Try to always keep your eyes on your Credit/Debit card during a transaction, so your card will not be switched or used for another purchase unauthorized by you.
  • Watch your Credit/Debit card during a transaction for suspicious or unauthorized purchasing activity and to make sure the card is not switched
  • Never give out information about your Credit/Debit card over the telephone.
  • If your Credit/Debit card is lost or stolen or you suspect fraud, report it immediately by calling us at 800.358.8228.

Check Fraud (Cashier’s Checks, Money Orders) & Money Laundering

Counterfeit Checks/Money Orders/Cashier’s Checks

This is a popular fraud in which someone sends you a counterfeit check to purchase something you’re selling online. Often, but not always, the check is for an amount over what you request, and the payer will ask that you cash the check and wire the overpayment back. Sometimes, the "buyer" will tell you to keep some of the overpayment for your "troubles." If you cash the check, you become liable for the full amount once it’s found to be counterfeit.

How to Protect Yourself

  • Don’t cash suspicious checks. Notify Patelco and we’ll attempt to confirm the legitimacy of the check.
  • Be cautious of overseas buyers. If possible, sell locally, especially for high dollar items such as cars or jewelry.
  • Consider having payment wired to your bank account or sent through a service like PayPal.

Money mule scams (Money Laundering)

You could unknowingly become a middleman for criminals trying to launder stolen funds. Red flags that you may be part of and to watch out for include requests to:

  • Become a U.S. money transfer agent for overseas companies
  • Open a new bank account to receive money from someone you don’t know
  • Accept large sums of money into your personal bank account for a new job
  • Transfer or wire funds out of your personal bank account to people you do not know

If you are a victim of this type of scam, you may not only have your bank account closed and credit ruined, but you may also be responsible for paying back the stolen funds.

Help us fight fraud. Report suspicious online activity.

It’s important to know how to recognize suspicious activities and warning signs of fraud. For example, you could receive emails or texts that direct you to seemingly legitimate sites, but then you are asked to enter your account number or update other personal information. If this happens to you, report it to us immediately.

How to report suspicious emails, text or spoof websites:

  • Email: If you receive a suspicious email claiming to be from Patelco, forward it to us immediately at: abuse@patelco.org .
  • Text: If you receive a suspicious text message, immediately forward it to us at abuse@patelco.org. If possible, provide the number the text came from and screen shots of the actual text message. You may also report a suspicious text by calling us at 800.358.8228.
  • Spoof Website: If you encounter or are directed to a suspicious website, claiming to be Patelco please notify us at abuse@patelco.org. If possible, provide the website address (URL) and any screen shots of the website. You may also report a suspicious website by calling us at 800.358.8228

Ways to identify phishing and spoofing emails/texts/sites include:

Phishing emails and spoof websites.
Phishing emails will direct you to a website that resembles Patelco’s website where you will be asked to provide your account information. You may even be asked to call a phone number to provide account information. See an example of a fraudulent email >

How to identify phishing emails and spoof websites

  • Personal information requests. Emails from Patelco will never ask you to reply with account or personal information of any kind.
  • Urgent requests. We will never threaten that your account will be closed if you fail to comply with any request for information
  • System and security updates. We will never ask you to confirm important information due to system upgrades or maintenance.
  • Offers with a catch. We will never ask for your feedback and then ask for your account number to receive a reward for your feedback.
  • Poor grammar, spelling, and design. Lack of professional presentation is often a big hint of fraudulent emails and websites.

If you receive a suspicious email claiming to be from Patelco, forward it to us immediately at abuse@patelco.org.

How to protect yourself against phishing emails and spoof websites

  • Make sure it is Patelco’s website when you log in to Online Banking. When you enter the URL www.patelco.org in your browser, the address bar should turn green if the browser is secure.
  • Immediately delete any suspicious email that asks you for personal information. Do not reply, click any links, or open any attachments.
  • Always remember that Patelco will never request that you confirm or update any personal or account information via email.

To report a lost or stolen ATM, or Credit/Debit Card

If you your card has been lost or stolen, call us immediately. Your cards are protected by our Zero Liability Policy, This policy credits the amount back to you for the fraudulent transaction. Contact us promptly to file a claim or if you have any questions.

To report a lost or stolen ATM or Credit/Debit Card(s) please call us at:

  • Within the United States: 800.358.8228, option 4, ext 1301. After hours questions regarding Credit Card transactions: 800.543.5073.
  • Outside of the United States: 925.468.6300. Long distance charges may apply.

Once you report your card(s) lost or stolen, please be aware that:

  • Patelco will cancel/block your lost or stolen card(s) immediately and send a replacement. Please note that once your card is blocked, it cannot be unblocked
  • You should notify merchants with whom you’ve set up automatic payments from your card(s)
  • Once Patelco issues you a new card(s), you have to call the merchants to re-establish your automatic payments with your new card(s)

To report a lost or stolen checkbook or suspicious account activity:

Call 800.358.8228 if you’re within the continental United States and call 925.468.6300 outside of outside of the United States. If possible, provide the check number for the last check that was written or the name of the person or business to whom it was written. Digital copies of your checks are available through Online Banking.

Sign Up for Account Alerts
To further protect you and to assist in card monitoring, please enroll in our Alerts & Notifications service through Online Banking which will immediately alert you to any transactions that post to your account. Simply log in to Online Banking, go to the All Services menu item, then under Account Information click on Alerts & Notifications to set up the alerts you would like to receive.

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is defined as using someone’s Social Security number, driver’s license number, credit card number, or other identifying information to commit fraud or other crimes. The information is obtained by:

  • Gathering personal information shared on the internet through phishing, spoof websites, or spyware
  • Stealing IDs and credit or bank cards from wallets and purses
  • Stealing mail such as bank and credit card statements
  • Looking through dumpsters or household trash for documents with personal information

This information is used to open bank accounts, apply for credit in your name, and run up huge debts. The victim will then build a bad credit history with the credit bureaus. The victim doesn’t become aware of identity theft until they apply for credit and are denied.

Reporting and resolving identity theft

If you discover unauthorized purchases on your account, remember that you are not held liable provided that you:

  1. Contact us immediately at 800.358.8228 or visit your branch to report it.
  2. Contact the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file and request a credit report. The fraud alert lets creditors know that they should contact you before opening any new accounts in your name. When you make a request of one of the three bureaus, the other two bureaus will be notified automatically and all three credit reports will be sent to you free of charge.
  3. File a police report and submit a copy to your creditors
  4. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC maintains a database of identity theft cases used by law enforcement agencies for identity theft investigations.

Consider Patelco ID Theft Protection

While no protection plan is 100% fool proof, our Identity Theft Protection program can help prevent identity theft by providing:

  • Daily credit monitoring from a major agency, so you can see who is accessing your credit information
  • Personal credit reporting, giving you easy access to your Equifax credit profile, including your FICO credit score
  • Educational Seminars for important tips and information
  • Up to $25,000 identity theft insurance coverage to recover lost funds

Victims of identity fraud often spend thousands of dollars over the course of several years clearing their credit and reputations. Get and stay protected.

Our protection plans start at just $24.95 per year for individuals or $44.95 for families, and we have the plan that’s right for you in terms of cost and coverage.

To learn more about the services mentioned above, visit Identity Fraud online, or call 866.4ID.FRAUD (866.443.3728).