computer screen with word "security"

Account & Fraud


If you suspect that your account has been compromised or experience security-related events, please contact us immediately at 614-836-0100 or out of area at 800-241-4575. A Member Service Representative will get your call to the person responsible for handling your situation.

FirstCU Online Security

Multi-factor authentication and layered security are helping assure safer transactions for you and our members. Help us to protect you. You may be asked to provide answers to three CHALLENGE QUESTIONS when signing on to FirstCU Online Account Access. If you access your online account from another computer than where you originally signed-on (for some members this could be work or a public computer), you will be prompted to answer one of your challenge questions. This is for your safety, so that we authenticate that the person signing into your account is actually you. This is a multi-factor level of security authorization in addition to your User ID and your Password for your account security. We thank you for your attention to this request.

Guidance for Online Protection

Online Security is a Top Priority for you and for your credit union. If you use online or mobile account access, you will be interested to know what we do to protect you and what you can do to help.

Security Factors

Online security begins with the authentication process, used to confirm that it is you and not someone else who is accessing your account. Authentication generally involves one or more basic factors:

  • Something that the user knows (such as a password or PIN)
  • Something that the user has (such as your ATM or debit card)
  • Something that the user is (such as a fingerprint)
Single factor authentication uses one of these methods; multi-factor authentication uses more than one and is considered a stronger fraud deterrent. For example, when you use your ATM card, you are utilizing multi-factor authentication: factor one is something that you have which is your card and factor two is something that you know which is your PIN.

Layered Security

To assure your continued security online, your credit union uses both single and multi-factor authentication, and additional "layered security" measures as appropriate. Layered security is characterized by the use of different controls at different points in a transaction process so that a weakness in one control is generally compensated for by the strength in another. One example of this would be that you follow one process to log in (user and password) and then give additional information if there is any question about this authentication and to authorize funds transfers.

The purpose of these layers is to allow your credit union to authenticate members and detect and respond to suspicious activity related to initial login, and then to reconfirm this authentication when further transactions involve the transfer of funds to other parties.

Internal Assessments

First Service has conducted a comprehensive risk-assessment of its current methods as recommended in the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council's supervisory guidance. These risk assessments consider, for example:

  • Changes in the internal and external threat environment
  • Changes in the member base adopting electronic banking
  • Changes in the member functionality offered through electronic banking
  • Actual incidents of security breaches, identity theft, or fraud
Whenever an increased risk to your transaction security may warrant, your credit union will be able to conduct additional verification procedures or layers of control, which may include: utilizing call back voice verification, employing member verification procedures, analyzing banking transactions to identify suspicious patterns, and establishing dollar limits that require manual intervention.

Reg E Protections

Credit unions follow specific rules for electronic transactions that are issued by the Federal Reserve Board, known as Regulation E which cover different situations revolving around transfers made electronically. Under the consumer protections provided under Reg E, you can recover Internet banking losses according to how soon you detect and report them. Here is what the federal rules require: if you report the losses within two days of receiving your statement, you can be liable for the first $50; after two days, the amount increases to $500 and after 60 days you can be legally liable for the full amount. These protections can be modified by state law or by internal reporting policies at your credit union so be sure to ask your credit union how these protections apply to your particular situation.

First Line of Defense is You

Understanding the risks and knowing how fraudsters might trick you is a critical step in protecting yourself online. You can make your computer safer by installing and updating your:

  • Anti-virus software
  • Anti-malware programs
  • Firewalls
  • Operating system patches and updates
diagram of how ATM Skimming happens. Shows hidden camera, Skimmer, and keypad overlay

4 Ways to Spot a Skimmer: 

  1. Use your eyes. Check out the card reader very carefully. Do the numbers on the PIN pad look raised? Do they look newer or bigger than the rest of the machine? Does anything look like it doesn’t belong?
  2. Use your fingers. Feel the card reader before sliding your card into the slot. Do the keys feel raised? Is it difficult to insert your card? These are both red flags that the card reader may have been fitted with a skimming device.
  3. Hidden cameras are used in conjunction with the skimmer to make a video of your PIN number. The camera may be placed in a number of locations: on the ATM itself (near the keypad, above the screen, etc.) or nearby. Sometimes they’re so small they can be hidden in a tiny opening on the ATM.
  4. Watch for discrepancies in the shape, material, color, or contours of the ATM.  If you notice slashes, cracks, scratches, and other signs of mechanical damage to the ATM, find another ATM location to use.


1. Look for recent device modifications – bulky keypads, electrical tape, fresh glue, unworn plastic, etc. These can be signs of a PIN capture device being used.

2. Check for cameras – tiny pinholes provide clear views of the keypad and are a prime target for recording PINs. Security cameras designed for safety are obvious and usually mounted further away.

3. Cover the PIN pad with your other hand to keep your transaction safe from prying eyes.

4. Look for people sitting nearby who are using laptops, hand-held computers or cellphones. If they’re sitting there for more than a few minutes, they may be eavesdropping using the device.

5. Do not share your PIN with anyone you don’t want using your card (and that should be a very small circle). If you write down your PIN, keep it in a secure location away from the card. Don’t carry it in your wallet or record it in your phone.

6. Only use ATMs in well-lit, public spaces. Prefer those that offer drive-up service and don’t have buildings or heavy foot traffic nearby.

7. If you have trouble with an ATM, go to the nearest bank branch or use another ATM. Do not let strangers “help” you with the transaction.

8. Avoid ATMs in tourist hotspots like shopping malls – these high traffic areas make it easier for thieves to work.

9. Monitor your checking account statement regularly for suspicious or unknown charges.

10. Report any unusual account activity to your credit union right away.

11. Remember that POS terminals, gas station consoles and other payment locations are just as vulnerable as standalone ATMs.

12. Whenever possible, process your debit card transaction as a “credit” transaction so you will be prompted to sign for it rather than enter a PIN that can be seen by the next person in line.


The purpose of fraud is to get the consumer to provide confidential information, such as account numbers, passwords and social security numbers. The perpetrator then uses this information to gain access to an individual’s bank and credit card accounts.

Call us at (614) 836-0100 (local) or 1-800-241-4575 (out-of-area) if you need assistance or think your First Service account has been compromised.  A Member Service Representative will get you to the person responsible for handling your concern.

Beware of Unsolicited Contacts By Phone, Text or E-mail.

  • Never release personal or account information to unsolicited e-mail, telephone calls or text messages.
  • Keep your checks, plastic cards, and personal identification number(s) secure.
  • Do not wire funds to unknown contacts.
  • Sign up for online account access at FirstCU Online.

Be Safe With These Tips:

  • Beware of e-Mails (phishing)
    • Impostors can create fake web sites - down to the logo. If you get an e-mail that asks you to go to a web site and input personal details, ignore it! No bank, credit card company or your credit union will send an e-mail asking for this information.
    • Do not open e-mails, click on embedded links or open attachments from unknown senders. First Service will not contact you for personal information, or to verify information, by e-mail.
    • You can make your computer safer by installing and updating regularly your anti-virus software, anti-malware programs, firewalls, and operating system patches and updates.
  • Watch Your Mail
    • Thieves can nab your statement, a credit card bill or other valuable information and change the address hoping you won't notice. Statements arrive on a regular cycle; if yours doesn't arrive, let the company know. We provide free online e-Statements to help protect our members from mail fraud.
  • Guard Your Social Security Number
    • A zillion places will request your social security number, but you don't have to tell them. Who is entitled to know? Your employer, the DMV, your credit union or bank and the IRS.
  • Cell Phones & Text Messages
    • Do not respond to cell phone text messages from unknown sources. Thieves will send out text messages looking for personal information.
Report any suspicious scams, telephone numbers or e-mail addresses to your local or federal law enforcement agencies and the FTC at

Even though card security may contact you to verify a specific transaction you have made, you will not be asked by phone, text or e-mail for your account information, card information, your personal identification number (PIN) or your social security number. Visa and First Service have this information on file. If you receive such a call, text or e-mail, call the business direct at their published number to verify the call. For First Service accounts, dial local 614-836-0100 or long distance 1-800-241-4578 for a Member Service Representative.

Examples of RECENT SCAMS:

  • The FBI issued an alert about a new scam. This is an email you receive which threatens to make public all your private personal information, unless you pay a ransom in an electronic currency called Bitcoin.  It is easy to get intimidated by threats like this, and you might be pushed into trying to prevent possible negative consequences. However, do not fall for pressure tactics like this, because if you do, your data will be sold to other scammers who will continue to haunt you.  If you receive email extortion demands, do not answer, and do not pay anything. Report this scam to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at  Remember... Always Think Before You Click!
  • Here is a recent VISA scam, but this could be from another provider as well. The call has the appearance of being from VISA Security and Fraud Department. The difference with this Scam from others is that the caller has most of the information, which they provide to the Cardholder (instead of asking for information), and then they ask you to verify that the card is in your possession. To verify this, the caller will ask you to provide the numbers from the back of your card. That is the "missing piece of information" that the caller needs to use the card fraudulently. DO NOT PROVIDE THE CARD NUMBERS from the back of your card!  Instead, tell them you'll call VISA  directly for verification of the conversation and HANG UP!
  • A Member reported an "advertisement" on the First Service web site. We DO NOT sell ad space on our web site. This is a virus from a program on your computer and is not embedded in our site. DO NOT RESPOND to the ad.
  • Advertisements have been posted on Craigslist as part of member recruitment scams nationwide. The ads solicit current credit union members and offer $75.00 or more for their assistance in gaining membership for ineligible individuals. This Is a SCAM targeting credit unions and members across the country!
  • An IRS scam asks you to respond to them concerning your last tax return. This is fraud. DO NOT REPLY. The IRS will not ask you to verify information by e-mail or text.
  • If you are contacted and asked to provide credit union account information to verify your home or auto insurance, DO NOT REPLY! Instead, call your insurance agent at their direct number.
Legitimate Card Protection Service

BEWARE! Even though a Card Protection Service may call, a legitimate service representative will only ask you to verify a specific transaction. They will never ask you to provide personal, account, or card information. If this is your credit union or Visa or MasterCard security, they already have this information.

Safety Tip: Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Review Credit Reports at Least Once a Year.
This will help you ensure fraudulent accounts have not been opened using your personal information. Additionally, the Fair Credit Reporting Act entitles consumers to a free credit report once a year from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies. Members can receive their report by contacting the credit reporting agencies directly or by visiting

Monitor Financial Statements and Online Banking Regularly.
Get into the routine of regularly checking your statements, reviewing your account transactions, and online activities. This will help identify unauthorized account activities early, preventing potential losses to your personal accounts.

Ensure Children Understand What Information to Provide Online.
Fraudsters will often use a game or a free offer that will request personal information, or will include spy ware to track and steal information from your computer or mobile device. Parents can protect themselves by encouraging their children to limit online contact to friends they actually know, setting privacy controls to restrict access to private information, and enabling parental controls that allow access to only trusted sites.  Talk to your children about not giving out their name, address, date of birth, or any other personal information online without talking to a parent or trusted adult first.

Beware of Downloading Sneaky Apps.
Smart phone or social networking applications may provide application developers with access to your personal information, such as messages, contacts, e-mails and photos. Often, this information isn't related to the application's purpose. Instead developers may share member's information with marketers or other third parties. Consumers should read the privacy policy of each application before downloading to understand what private information they are sharing.

Shred Documents with Personal and Financial Information.
Financial statements, credit card offers and billing statements are examples of documents that should be shredded.

Look Out for Scams Involving Social Engineering.
Fraudsters may impersonate a credit union (or other legitimate organizations) to trick consumers into giving out personal account information. This social engineering tactic is often utilized as part of an elaborate scheme involving phone calls, emails, text messages and other forms of communication. First Service will not ask you to verify account information by text, e-mail or pop-up messages. We will not ask you for sensitive information over unsecured communication channels.
Here are some other helpful sites where you can learn more about online safety and security. The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, has information to help consumers, businesses, and law enforcement officials safeguard personal information and to take action if an identity theft occurs. is a one-stop national resource to learn about the crime of identity theft. Consumers can learn how to avoid identity theft – and what to do if their identity is stolen. Businesses can learn to help their customers deal with identity theft and prevent problems in the first place. Law enforcement officials will find resources that help victims of identity theft. has short educational videos that help consumers learn more about identity theft, phishing, reducing spam, and protecting their computers against unwanted intrusions. offers details about a consumer’s right to get a free copy of his or her credit report from each of the three national credit reporting companies, upon request, once every 12 months. Reviewing your credit report regularly is an effective way to deter and detect identity theft. offers details about the dangers of cyber crime and how to protect yourself and your family. get advice and tips from consumer protection experts on keeping your money safe and making smart financial decisions.

U.S. Patriot Act

The US Patriot Act is designed to help protect you, your family and our country from terrorism by providing appropriate tools to intercept and obstruct terrorist acts. In compliance with this law, First Service verifies the identity of members (as well as prospective members opening an account and non-members doing business with us) by requiring specific documents be kept on file. These documents are required for all new accounts, for existing members who are adding an additional account, when adding a signatory to an account, when executing loan documents and for all persons doing business on an account with us. We thank you for your understanding as we comply with these efforts to help maintain the security of our country.
Patriot Act Notification: To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. When you open an account or do business with us, we will ask your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver's license or other identifying documents.

Federal Law: Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 and implementing regulations prohibit commercial members from receiving deposit or other credits of any kind relating to their operation of an illegal Internet gambling business. Under the Act, any person engaged in the business of betting or wagering (as defined by the statute) is prohibited from completing "restricted transactions," or knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in unlawful Internet gambling.

First Service Federal Credit Union is required to enforce that prohibition.  It is the Policy of First Service Federal Credit Union not to open or maintain any account for commercial members held with the intent to conduct or engage in Internet gambling activity, whether legal or illegal. If the credit union discovers or determines that an existing commercial member transacts or engages in Internet gambling activity as defined by the UIGEA, the credit union reserves the right to restrict services or terminate the account relationship.

Your federal savings insurance coverage at First Service has increased to $250,000. Funds in your Individual Retirement Account are insured separate from and in addition to the $250,000 general share insurance rules.

For additional information on your account insurance coverage, please call First Service at 614/836-0100, the NCUA Insurance Call Center at 1-800-755-1030, ext. 1 or visit where you will also find an easy e-Calculator to calculate your insurance coverage.

Bauer Financial Services has given First Service a 5-STAR rating for Safety and Soundness. Learn more about their ratings.

Important Information You Should Know

The security of your account is a priority to your credit union, and we want to help you avoid scams to keep it secure. Here’s info you should know about some recent scams, along with prevention techniques.


Depositing Checks from Unknown Sources: Fraudsters frequently ask that people deposit a check into their personal account with a promise that you will keep a portion of the money for your efforts. Ask yourself – why would they not use their own accounts for check cashing? These checks are often counterfeit and may be returned or are related to illegal activity.  Upon return, you could lose money from your account or even become unknowingly involved in a crime.


Requests for Account Info: Fraudsters may pose as First Service employees and ask for information which allows them to access your account — they may email, text, or call you.    If your credit union contacts you, they have this information on file. We will never call, email or text you for personal information.  Hang up and alert your local authorities and the credit union of this scam. 


Requests for Donations: During times of heightened political events that receive media coverage, fraudsters increase their efforts to take advantage of your interest to support these causes. Funds or personal information that you provide to unverified charities could ultimately not reach their intended audience and could put your account information at risk. The FTC.Gov provides guidance to help you donate wisely and to ensure your contributions reach their intended targets. We urge you to follow their guidance.


Urgent Payments with Gift Cards or Cash:  Scammers will contact you pretending to be someone they are not, a company or agency that you may owe. They will raise an urgent and immediate demand for payment to convince you to pay with a gift card (and even cash). Legitimate companies or government agencies would not make this request.  

Tips to help keep your accounts safe

Never open or use a personal bank account to deposit or transfer funds for someone else.

Be wary of “get rich quick” or “easy money” schemes. Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

If you receive a one-time passcode you didn’t request, don’t give the code to anyone who contacts you.

Report any suspicious scams, telephone numbers or e-mail addresses to your local or federal law enforcement agencies and the FTC at

Call us at (614) 836-0100 (local) or 1-800-241-4575 (out-of-area) if you need assistance or think your First Service account has been compromised.  A Member Service Representative will get you to the person responsible for handling your concern.


First Service offers a free 1stCU Visa App to help keep your cards safe.  With this app, you will receive a transaction notification when your card is used, which gives you the added safety of turning your card off if you suspect fraudulent transaction activity or if your card is lost or stolen.
In addition to the VISA App, we encourage you to know your surroundings!
Look at the machine you are using for a skimming device. 
This device is an insert on a machine where you slide or insert your card.  If this area is not flat on the machine, do not insert your card. 
Only use outside machines, that are in well-lit areas where the machine is clearly visible.  
Please, Be Safe! More information for your safety can be found in articles above which includes additional information on ATM card skimmers.

Young couple looking at documents
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