Our commitment to you
We’re committed to your financial wellness – which includes the safety of your money and information. As your trusted resource against scams, we’re here to answer your questions and help you make smart decisions – so if you’re ever unsure about something, call us immediately at 800.358.8228 or visit your local branch.
Stay informed and protect yourself
Unfortunately scammers don’t take time off — they become even more active in vulnerable times. We’re here to help you feel safe and informed.
3 tips to stay safe
Avoid PPP-related scams asking for fee payments (January 2021)
We want to remind all of our members who are business owners that there is no fee to apply for a federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. If you are dealing with a company or financial institution to obtain a PPP loan, apply for a grant, or get a PPP loan forgiven, any fee requested is unnecessary and is very likely a scam. Additionally, there is no fee charged by California to apply for the state’s Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.
Watch out for COVID vaccine-related fraud (January 2021)
As the two vaccines recently approved by the FDA begin to be distributed, we encourage our members to be alert as fraudsters are already offering to provide early access to the vaccine for a fee. These fraudsters are promising people that they can get the vaccine sooner than permitted under the applicable vaccine distribution plans.
COVID-19 vaccine fraud may include false promises of vaccine access, the sale of unapproved and illegally marketed vaccines, the sale of counterfeit versions of approved vaccines, and illegal diversion of legitimate vaccines — as well as phishing schemes luring victims with fraudulent information about COVID-19 vaccines.
Visit fincen.gov/coronavirus to learn more about these scams.
Beware of scammers looking for payment via gift card (November 2020)
Gift cards are a popular and convenient way to give someone a gift. They’re also a popular way for scammers to steal money from you. That’s because gift cards are like cash: if you buy a gift card and someone uses it, you probably cannot get your money back. Gift cards are for gifts, not payments. Anyone who demands payment by gift card is always a scammer.
Many different kinds of imposters ask you to pay with gift cards. Someone might call you and claim to be from the IRS, collecting back taxes or fines. The caller might say he’s from tech support, asking for money to fix your computer. The caller might even say she’s a family member with an emergency and needs money right now. But they all have in common an urgent need for you to send money right away.
Sometimes, the scammer will call and then stay on the phone with you while you go to the store to buy the gift card. Once you buy the card, the caller will demand the gift card number and PIN on the back of the card. Those numbers let them immediately get the money you loaded onto the card. And once they’ve done that, the scammers and your money are gone, usually without a trace.
Learn more about this scam from the FTC's gift card scam alert.
Review your card transactions and respond to card text alerts (September 2020)
During the pandemic, there's been an increase in card fraud, especially with online merchants. Make sure you review your card transactions regularly in online banking, and make sure we have your latest contact information.
If you ever receive an alert from Patelco requesting verification of a card transaction, respond to the alert as soon as possible. We send alerts via text, email, or a phone call. Our alerts only ask you to verify card transactions — you will never be asked to provide PIN or other card information.
Additionally, we will never call you on the phone and ask you to positively verify a transaction you didn't make. If you get a phone callasking you to do this as a "test" to "protect" your account, you can be sure it's a scam. Learn more about our card alerts here.
Select a topic below to learn how you can protect yourself.
- Guard your personal information
- Protect your debit and credit cards
- Be ATM smart
- Use a mobile payment app
- Avoid scams by knowing these 7 warning signs
- Learn about identity theft
- Monitor your credit reports
- Don’t get phished