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Let’s All Do Our Part to Prevent Fraud!

We all must be on guard to protect our personal information from fraud.  Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. Your personal information can be stolen several different ways including scams posing as a legitimate business person, financial institution or government official. Fraudsters attempt to obtain your personal information in many ways including posing as your financial institution in an email, text message or other electronic forms.

Please remember, Texas Bay Credit Union employees will not ask you for personal information in an email or text message (SMS) and will not initiate a call to you on the phone requesting personal information (member number, account numbers, credit card number, or debit card number, etc.) without you contacting us first for service.  If you are not sure or if you did not initiate the call, please call us back directly or call the number listed on the back of your debit or credit cards. 

Quick Tips

  • TIP 1: Don’t Give up Personal, Company, or Confidential Information
    • Texas Bay will never ask for personal credentials via phone, text, or email.
  • TIP 2: Beware of Urgent or Threatening Language in the Subject Line
    • Invoking a sense of urgency or fear is a common phishing tactic. Beware of subject lines that claim your “account has been suspended” or ask you to action an “urgent payment request.”
  • TIP 3: Don’t Believe Everything You See
    • Phishers are extremely good at what they do. Many malicious emails include convincing brand logos, language, and a seemingly valid email address. Be skeptical when it comes to your email messages—if it looks even remotely suspicious, do not open it.


How does Texas Bay handle your personal information?  Federal law gives consumers the right to limit some but not all sharing.  Federal law also requires us to tell you how we collect information.

You can learn why, what, and how Texas Bay Credit Union handles your personal information by by visiting our Legal page. 

Card Security

As a cardholder, you can take steps to protect yourself from card fraud, such as safeguarding your personal identity information.  Texas Bay also helps you to be vigilant against fraud with systems and tools available to you.    

Mastercard 3-D Secure is an authenticated payment system to improve online transaction security by recreating the high level of security of a physical payment environment by requesting further payment authentication.  The goal is to provide a safe and secure online payment experience across Visa, MC, and AMEX systems using a password that is validated by the card issuer and further checked by all other parties involved in the transaction.

Chip Cards enhance security to protect from fraud on both credit and debit cards.  All Texas Bay cards include chip technology for your protection.  A microchip embedded in the card adds a layer of protection against fraud for purchases made at the point of sale.  Information programmed into the chip is personalized for your account and each transaction generates a unique code, adding an extra safeguard against unauthorized use and counterfeiting.

Card Management is a FREE service within our digital banking that keeps tab on your Texas Bay credit and debit cards 24/7.  This is a great tool for controlling both personal and business spending on your Texas Bay cards.  Review balances and transactions similar to online banking but with additional features.  Control spending by setting limits or merchant types.  Prevent fraud with alerts or turning your card off if you noticed it is missing.

Text Fraud Alerts is a FREE service that helps protect you by immediately alerting you of potential fraud on your Texas Bay Mastercard® Debit Card through real-time engagement.

Are you leaving the country?  Let us know.  Due to significant fraud originating from foreign countries, Texas Bay Credit Union protects cardholders by limiting transactions outside the U.S.A.  If you plan to use your Texas Bay Platinum Rewards Credit Card or your Texas Bay Debit Card while traveling or purchasing merchandise from foreign countries, please contact Texas Bay Credit Union in advance. 

There are two ways to contact us about your plans before you leave the country.

1. Login to your Online Banking or Mobile Banking App and select Profile > Secure Form > Add Travel Plan, then complete the form with your travel information and click "Submit"

2. Call us at (713) 999-4152 during business hours.

Please provide the following information when you call:
  • Credit Card number that you will be using when traveling
  • Contact phone number
  • Dates of travel and destination(s)
Not contacting Texas Bay before conducting transactions with your credit or debit card outside of the U.S.A. may result in a temporary block.  We want to be sure you are covered during your travels.

Fraud Resources

What is fraud?  How can you help prevent fraud?  What do you do if you experience fraud?

The following topics can help answer these questions and more:

Suspect Fraud?

If you suspect fraud on your account, notify us by calling 866.299.7470. Also, report suspected fraud to the authorities as soon as possible:
What it is:  The scams usually involve someone supposedly spotting fraud or criminal activity on one of your accounts, offering to help “protect” your money, sometimes asking you to share verification codes, and always telling you to move money from your bank, investment, or retirement account.
How to Protect Yourself:  Texas Bay will never call you and ask for personal information or to have you transfer your money elsewhere. If you get a call or text purporting to be from Texas Bay, please immediately call (713) 999-4704 to report the call and ensure your funds are safe.

What it is:  Fraudsters gain unauthorized access to your bank accounts and make transactions without your knowledge.

How to Protect Yourself:  Use strong, unique passwords and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. Check your accounts for unauthorized transactions regularly and notify Texas Bay immediately of suspicious activity.

What it is:  You receive a check for an amount more considerable than owed and are asked to wire back the difference.

How to Protect Yourself:  Never wire money to someone you don't know. Always wait for checks to clear before using the funds.

What it is:  Smishing is SMS phishing and Vishing is voice phishing. Scammers contact you via text or call pretending to be from your bank.

How to Protect Yourself:  Never give out personal information over the phone or text. Confirm with your bank if you receive suspicious messages.

What it is:  Often a text or email that looks like a fraud alert from your bank asking if you authorized a transaction. If you respond, they’ll call as a bank representative offering to help you stop the alleged fraud. They’ll ask you to send money to yourself via transfer or person-to-person payment.

How to Protect Yourself:  Your bank will never call you to verify information or ask you to send money to yourself or to anyone. Do not give out any personal information over the phone or through email.

What it is:  Scammers call pretending to be a service provider (electric, internet, etc.) and attempt to pressure you into sending a payment to avoid having your service turned off.

How to Protect Yourself:  Service providers will not call you to make last-minute payments. Visit your account with the provider online or call to verify the status of your account.

What it is:  Pretending to be a support specialist from a known technology company, scammers try to steal information by claiming there is something wrong with the victim’s account or device. These scammers will try to trick victims into thinking that their computer is damaged to get them to allow remote access to scammers under the false claim that they can fix the issue.

How to Protect Yourself:  Support specialists from legitimate companies do not cold call to help you fix an issue with a device or account, nor will the ask for consumers to download an app or request access to their device.
What it is:  Targeting singles 50+, scammers use fake profiles on dating sites and apps or through popular social media sites. They strike up a relationship and build trust, then ask for money without ever meeting them.

How to protect yourself:  Be ware of anyone from a dating or social media site asking for money. Do not send money to someone you've never met.
What it is:  Scammers call or email and tell you that you've won a prize, then ask you to pay upfront for fees and taxes.

How to protect yourself:  Avoid providing any personal or financial information to anyone you don't know. Never make an upfront payment for a promised prize, especially if they demand immediate payment.
What it is:  A thief poses as a real charity or makes up the name of a charity that sounds real in order to get money from you. These scams often increase during the holidays, as well as around natural disasters and emergencies. 

How to protect yourself:  Ask for detailed information about the charity and call or look them up online. It is best to only give money through the charities requested donations process.
What it is:  So named in reference to the practice of fattening a pig before slaughter, these scams often involve fraudsters contacting targets seemingly at random, then gaining trust before ultimately manipulating their targets into phony investments and disappearing with the funds.

Pig butchering schemes often start with solicitations of modest investments intended to bolster your confidence. They usually involve some type of fake claim or falsified dashboard that shows assets exponentially growing, with the intent being to encourage larger and larger investments.

How to Protect Yourself:  Don't trust unexpected text or direct message from a stranger. Do not share your personal or financial information with anyone contacting you in this manner.

What it is:  Scammers send emails pretending to be from your bank, asking you to update or verify your account information.

How to Protect Yourself:  Always double-check the email address. The address should be from an @tbacu.org account. Never click on any links or download attachments from suspicious emails.

Companies selling CPNs market them as replacement Social Security Numbers (SSNs), promoting the idea that CPNs are legitimate. In reality, these companies are scam artists. They obtain SSNs by dubious means - often from children, senior citizen, or prison inmates. While SSNs are issued for free - and by the Federal government - these companies charge you for a CPN - sometimes thousands of dollars. Often, they'll tell you this is a way to protect your identity, but they're really directing you to create a false identity. Using a CPN can lead to much bigger problems than a poor credit rating. No matter how the CPN is obtained, using it on  credit application or anywhere else my be considered identity theft. More over, lying on a credit or loan application or misrepresenting your SSN is a federal crime.
What it is:  Fraudulent checks are sent by scammers for a higher amount than expected. They instruct the person to deposit the check and wire a portion of the amount back for reasons like paying for taxes, fees or supplies. Scammers can target people by pretending to be hiring mystery shoppers or personal assistants, or they may even target people selling items online.

How to Protect Yourself:  Don’t accept any checks that are for larger amounts than you were expecting. If companies are asking you to send a portion of the check via wire transfers, it’s almost certainly a scam.
What it is:  Scammers will take payment information from free trials that unsuspecting people signed up for from telemarketing calls. They’ll then begin to withdraw money from the person’s debit or credit account without the victim’s knowledge or consent.

How to Protect Yourself:  Do not give your checking account number to anyone you don’t know, especially over the phone.
What it is:  Scammers will send fraudulent checks that look like rebates or refunds for an overpayment. While these checks are typically for low amounts and can look very real, they’re scams that can rope victims into unknowingly enrolling in monthly memberships that are difficult to cancel or a high-interest loan.

How to Protect Yourself:  Don’t cash any check from an unknown sender. Make sure you read everything that came with the check thoroughly, especially any fine print.
What it is:  Scammers will catfish teens, pretending to be unknown individuals trying to befriend them with the purpose of stealing their personal information or money. They may also target teens by posting fake surveys or contests that can trick teens into giving out personal data.

How to Protect Yourself:  Advise teens to set social media accounts to private so information and pictures are not easily accessible to scammers.
What it is:  Scammers will lure teens with “free” wallpapers, ringtones, gift cards or other items to get them to sign up for their services. However, they may try to get payment information for a processing fee or for shipping and handling, which opts them into expensive, hard-to-cancel subscriptions that teens don’t realize they’re signing up for.

How to Protect Yourself:  Recommend that teens avoid opting into free trials that require payment information upfront.
What it is:  Fraudsters will trick teens into bidding and paying for items that never arrive. Alternatively, scammers will trick teens into sending in their items to sell before they’re sold or without an auction taking place. Once they’ve sent their payment or items, the auction will not take place, and the “representative” of the auction site will disappear.

How to Protect Yourself:  Encourage teens to research any auction site thoroughly, including reading previous reviews, making sure the site’s contact information is up to date and that they have the appropriate licensing.
What it is:  Fraudsters offer jobs working from home for fast and easy money. After a quick hiring process, they’ll send a fake check to the victim’s home and ask them to send a portion of the check back. Since financial institutions are required to make funds available, it may be several days before the fake check bounces. By then, the scammer is long gone, and the person is required to pay back the money to the bank/ credit union.

How to Protect Yourself:  Walk away from any job offers that require you send back portions of your check or that ask for any money upfront.
What it is:  Scammers reach out to individuals who may be enticed by the promise that they can get their debts reduced or forgiven – for a steep upfront fee. Victims typically have high credit card debt, a large car loan, or student loans. This relief or reduction of debt never comes, and the victim is robbed of their money.

How to Protect Yourself:  Reputable lenders do not require an up front payment. If a fee is charged, it will always be deducted from the loan before it’s disbursed.
What it is:  Services, goods, or apartments are listed on job or community boards for extremely low prices that seem almost too good to be true. Scammers will copy legitimate listings but replace the contact information with their own. Once payment is sent, the perpetrator  will disappear without delivering what was promised.

How to Protect Yourself:  Unless proven to be a legitimate representative of a company, do not give out any personal information or send payments to anyone you don’t know.
What it is:  Posing as lenders, loan servicers, etc., scammers will promise to refinance the mortgage, repair credit or stop a foreclosure. However, they’ll request payment for “processing fees” or trick victims into signing documents that transfer the property to these predatory companies.

How to Protect Yourself:  Be wary of companies that pressure you into deciding quickly or that say they can guarantee stopping a foreclosure.
What it is:  Scammers pose as law enforcement or debt collectors trying to collect a debt that’s not actually owed. They may go as far as threatening jail or even violence to receive payment but refuse to show any written proof of the debt.

How to Protect Yourself:  Do not offer any kind of financial information to anyone calling to collect a debt unless you initiate contact first.
What it is:  Like an upfront fee scam, lending scams happen when a victim thinks they’re applying for a loan through an online lender or lender app. Scammers then ask for bank information to send a direct deposit. Oftentimes these lenders seek out the individual and don’t require a credit check, but they do require an upfront payment for things like “insurance”, “paperwork” or “processing fees.”

How to Protect Yourself:  Be cautious of any lenders who claim to guarantee a loan approval. Reputable lenders will have a set of requirements they abide by.
What it is:  Scammers use scare tactics to force individuals to wire money, send a prepaid credit card, gift card or cashier’s check by pretending that they’re a trusted individual from a government agency like the Social Security Administration or the IRS. Victims are  threatened with jail time, lawsuits or stopping their social security checks.

How to Protect Yourself:  Any government agency will first contact you through the mail, never by phone or email.
What it is:  Scammers entice the elderly with promises of prescription or “miracle” drugs that can cure certain ailments at a majorly discounted rate but oftentimes the medication never arrives. Besides taking a hit to their financials, these scams may also send counterfeit drugs that could pose a health risk to the victim.

How to Protect Yourself:  
If purchasing prescriptions online, make sure they’re approved by your physician and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.
What it is:  Scammers trick the victim by pretending to be family, a bail bondsman or an emergency service, notifying that their grandchildren are in dire need of money. They ask unsuspecting victims for funds to be sent through peer-to-peer payments, wire money, transfer funds or
use other methods that are hard to trace.  These scams can be sophisticated and seem very real. By using information from the internet, the scammer can sound very convincing.

How to Protect Yourself:  If you get a call from someone asking for money concerning a family member, hang up and call another family member, service or business using a number from an alternate, verifiable source. Contact local law enforcement to help verify and report fraud attemp