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Fraud Prevention

Here are some helpful tips to keep unwanted intruders from your accounts.

Report Fraud Immediately

If you suspect any kind of fraud, time is of the essence in protecting yourself. No case of fraud is too small to report. If you suspect anything is amiss, please notify us right away.

  • Fraudulent emails and Websites: (310) 324-1544 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Lost or stolen checks or debit/ATM card(s): (310) 324-1544
  • Lost or stolen credit cards: (310) 324-1544
  • Suspicious transactions on your accounts: (310) 324-1544

If you become a victim of identity theft, help is available through the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at as well as the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), a national non-profit firm providing free resources to victims of identity theft.

Protecting Yourself and Your Money

Stay one step ahead of thieves and scammers by learning about their methods. We've compiled a list of common scams and frauds and ways you can protect yourself from becoming a victim.

NOTE: Nikkei Credit Union will NEVER contact you via phone, email or text message to verify personal or account information.

Online Security

Nikkei CU works to ensure your financial information remains safe and secure, but Internet security requires more than technology alone. Ultimately, when dealing with viruses, spyware, and computer hackers, each of us is responsible for protecting our own computer system. To help protect your identity, use the simple tips outlined below when you are online.

How We Work to Protect You

To help ensure your financial information remains safe and secure, Nikkei's Online Banking uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology to encrypt your personal information. Any information provided to you is scrambled en route and decoded once it reaches your browser. However, it is important to keep your browsers up-to-date.

Compatible Nikkei CU Online Banking Browsers

List of compatible browsers

  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Google Chrome
  • Safari
  • Internet Explorer
  • Opera

Tips to Keep Your Computer Safe

Keep your computer operating system up to date. If your computer is more than five years old, its operating system may not offer the same level of protection as newer systems. System manufacturers provide frequent updates to help make your system more secure, possibly automatically through email or via your Internet connection. You may also check their websites, including:
Apple Computer

  • Update your software. Regular software updates can be crucial to keeping your computer as secure as possible.
  • Install, run and keep anti-virus software updated. Anti-virus software helps reduce the risk of contracting computer viruses that can compromise your security. These programs offer continuous upgrades in response to the latest threats.
  • Be careful with e-mail. Even if a message appears to come from someone you know, a file attached to an e-mail message could contain a virus, so be sure to contact the sender by some other means to gain added assurance that the attachment is valid. Also, never reveal personal financial information in a response to an e-mail request, no matter who appears to have sent it...our home computer may be the target of a phishing scam.
  • Use strong passwords and change them often. Strong passwords give you better security against intrusion by hackers and thieves.
  • Disconnect from the Internet when not in use. Dedicated services such as DSL or high-speed cable provide a constant connection between your computer and the Internet. Even if you have a firewall installed, as an additional step to help protect yourself, disconnect from the Internet when not in use to avoid unwanted access to your computer's data.
  • Use secure Websites for transactions and shopping. Make sure the Web page you're viewing offers encryption of your data. Often you will see a lock symbol in the lower right-hand corner of your browser window, or the Web address of the page you are viewing will begin with "https://...". The "s" indicates "secured" and means the Web page uses encryption.

Telephone and Mobile Phone Security

Beware of Telephone Scams
One common telephone scam is when a thief, 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 will know your address and which financial institution issued the card, and will ask for the code in order to verify that 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 personal or account information to anyone who calls you. The card issuer already knows this information and will never call you to verify it.

Mobile Security Tips
When you use a mobile device for browser or text-based account access, keep these tips in mind:

  • Use the keypad lock or phone lock function on your mobile device when it is not in use. These functions protect your device to make it more difficult for someone else to view your information.
  • Frequently delete text messages from your financial institution, especially before loaning out, discarding, or selling your mobile device.
  • Never disclose via text message, instant messaging, online chat, phone or email your personal or financial information, including account numbers, passwords, Social Security number, or birth date.
  • If you lose your mobile device or change your mobile phone number, remove the old number from your mobile banking.
  • Avoid storing your banking password or other sensitive information on your smartphone where it could be discovered if your phone is stolen.
  • Be cautious when using public hotspots. Carefully consider your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection settings, even at a trusted retailer, as fraudsters can spoof the name of reputable hotspots.

Beware of SMiShing
"SMiShing" occurs when a fraudster sends you a SMS/text message asking you to provide sensitive, personal, and/or financial information via a web link and false website, or a telephone number.

The most common examples of SmiShing occur when fraudsters send text messages posing as a customer's financial institution or other business that might have access to sensitive personal information. The message may direct you to a toll-free number or Website that looks just like a legitimate institution's number, but in fact it is not. Once you have called the number or clicked on the email link, they may ask you to "verify" (give them) your sensitive information such as credit card number account number and expiration date; your Social Security Number, Bank Account Number and pass code, etc.

ATM Safety

Follow these tips to protect yourself when using the ATM:

  • Pay close attention to the ATM and your surroundings. Do your automated banking in a public, well-lighted and open location.
  • Maintain awareness of your surroundings throughout the entire transaction. Be wary of people trying to help you with ATM transactions and be aware of anyone sitting in a parked car nearby. When leaving an ATM, make sure you are not being followed. If you are, drive immediately to a police or fire station or to a crowded, well-lighted location.
  • Do not use an ATM that appears unusual looking or offers options with which you are not familiar or comfortable.
  • Do not allow people to look over your shoulder as you enter your PIN. Memorize your PIN and never write it on the back of your card.
  • Do not wear expensive jewelry or take other valuables to the ATM. This is an added incentive to a would-be assailant.
  • Never count cash at the machine or in public. Wait until you are in your car or another secure place.
  • If using a drive-up ATM, keep your engine running, your doors locked and leave enough room to maneuver between your car and the one ahead of you in the drive-up line.
  • Maintain a supply of deposit envelopes at home or in your car so you can prepare all transaction paperwork prior to your arrival at the ATM. This will minimize the amount of time spent at the machine.
  • Closely monitor your statements, as well as your balances, and immediately report any problems to the credit union.
  • If you are involved in a confrontation with an assailant who demands your money, avoid harm by complying with his or her demands.

Source: The Electronic Funds Transfer Association, and the Los Angeles Police Department.

Ways to Protect Your Personal Information

Here are some easy steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft and fraud:

  • Know your billing and statement cycles. Contact the company's customer service department if you stop receiving your regular bill or statement.
  • Shred confidential papers, including offers of credit, before discarding them. Participate in Nikkei CU's FREE annual shred-a-thon.
  • Limit the use of paper statements. A paperless environment helps reduce the chance of identity theft. When you sign up for free online account access with Nikkei Online Banking, you can take advantage of free e-statements and Bill Payment. The fewer personal documents sent through the mail, the less chance there is for fraud.
  • Never carry your SSN or birth certificate in your wallet.
  • Carry as few cards with personal information as possible.
  • Don't print your SSN, birth date or credit card number on your personal checks and don't allow store clerks to do so...
  • Don't leave your wallet unattended. Vehicle glove compartments and health club locker rooms are spots that thieves go to first.
  • Choose hard-to-guess PINs and passwords. When choosing passwords for your accounts, don't use your mother's maiden name, family members' birth dates, your pet's name or other easily guessed word or number.
  • Do not place outgoing mail in your mailbox. Deposit mail in a U.S. Postal Service mailbox or at the post office to reduce the chance of theft.
  • Promptly retrieve incoming mail. Collect your mail as soon as possible every day to limit the opportunity for theft.
  • Write a list of your credit card account numbers, including expiration dates and contact information, and safely store this information in case you need to report lost or stolen cards.
  • Review your Social Security Earnings and Benefits statement annually to check for fraud.
  • Review your credit report. Look over your credit report regularly for any inaccuracies. You can get a free credit report once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus at For a small fee you can obtain a copy at any time directly from:
    • Equifax: 1-800-685-1111 or
    • Experian: 1-888-397-3742 or
    • TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800 or
    • Limit the credit offers you receive. To reduce the credit offers you receive and the information companies share about you, contact the National Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies at 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688).
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