"Once again the PFCU has come through and continues to have never let me down!"
~ Leo of Pittsford, NY, Member since 2002

Visit Balance Financial Counseling

BALANCE your finances... for free!

Pittsford Credit Union provides yet more value to your membership with our BALANCE program. We want to help you achieve your financial goals, whether that means getting out of debt, sending the kids to college, buying your first home, or retiring. That's why one benefit of Pittsford FCU membership is access to personal finance information and counseling six days a week. And it's free!

Through BALANCE, members will receive unbiased information and assistance. To use these services, simply call, toll-free, 1-888-456-2227. Counselors are available Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (EST), Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. In many cases BALANCE counselors can answer your questions immediately. If you're wondering how long something stays on your credit report or whether it's better to lease or buy a car, you'll get the answers as soon as you call. For those with more complex issues, like debt problems or budget issues, an appointment will be scheduled allowing enough time to go over your budget and discuss options. You can even prepare your budget information ahead of time.

If bill payments are an issue, simply reworking your current budget is not enough to help you get back on track. Your counselor may be able to arrange a Debt Management Plan and negotiate with creditors to reduce payments, interest charges and fees as you work toward paying off your debt. Pittsford FCU understands that personal finance affects all of us every day. Fortunately, every one can achieve financial fitness with determination and a little professional guidance. Through this benefit of membership, we're helping you to get ahead financially.

For more information about BALANCE, click here.
or contact them directly at
888-456-2227 · info@balancepro.org

Call toll-free: Monday-Thursday 8am-11pm,
Friday 8am-8pm, and Saturday 11am-8pm (EST)

Visit OnTrack Budgeting Tools

You can take control of your money. By creating a spending plan, you'll break the debt cycle and use your money for what's most important to you - retirement, a dream vacation, a down payment for a house... Whatever your goal, a strong spending plan is the foundation for reaching it.

Once you develop your plan, we'll provide immediate action steps and tools to make your money work for you. You can even choose to submit the information to OnTrack and set up a phone-based session with a financial counselor who can help you take your plan further.

Visit OnGuardOnline.gov

Provides tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your identity.

How to Avoid Fees

Avoiding Fees is Easy at Your Credit Union

Common Fees and How to Avoid Them

Members' best interests are our first priority - even when it comes to fees. In general, credit unions have far fewer fees than most financial institutions due to their cooperative, not-for-profit nature. Although the returns from our limited fees help us to offset some of our operational costs, we want our Members to be able to avoid fees whenever possible:

NSF Fees - The most common fee occurs when you have Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) in your account to cover checks or automatic payment transfers. Always keep a cushion in your account to cover any accidental bookkeeping errors, and immediately deduct all ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases.

Surcharge-Free ATMs - You'll save time and money knowing the location of Pittsford FCU's surcharge-free ATMs near where you live, work, and play. Pick up a free ATM Directory at one of our branches or check out our list of more than 60 surcharge-free ATMs in the Rochester Area.

Smart Tip: - Consider reviewing account balances online and establishing Overdraft Protection. We will transfer the amount needed to cover a check, debit, or automatic payment transfer.

Visit Credit Unions For You

Learn about the Credit Union philosophy and how they can help you. CreditUnionsForYou.com can help explain the many benefits of credit union membership and contains lots of valuable financial advice.

Visit Thrive By Five

Long before they enter school, children learn about money from many sources. Like it or not, money is a part of your preschooler's life. As a parent, you will not be the only influence on what your child learns about using money. But when you teach basic lessons about money, you increase the chance that your child's values will be similar to yours.

Visit N.A.D.A. Automobile Pricing Guide

When you're ready to buy a car, doing your homework first can save you money and help you avoid surprises. Use N.A.D.A. to find out how much the vehicle you're buying and/or selling is worth.

Visit Free Annual Credit Reports

This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Visit Credit Karma

Credit Karma provides truly free credit scores to consumers direct from the credit bureaus. Your scores are retrieved securely with no hidden fees. In addition, Credit Karma can help to show you how the various items on your credit report affect your credit score.

Visit MyMoney.gov

Mymoney.gov is the U.S. government's website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether you are planning to buy a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401k, the resources on MyMoney.gov can help you maximize your financial decisions. Throughout the site, you will find important information from 20 Federal agencies and Bureaus designed to help you make smart financial choices.

Visit MyCreditUnion.gov

MyCreditUnion.gov features 'Pocket Cents', a site dedicated to helping Youth, Tweens, and Teens, Parents and Educators, Families, Seniors, and Servicemembers learn how to make smarter financial decisions for a stronger, brighter future.

Visit 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy

360 Degrees of Financial Literacy is a free program of the nation's certified public accountants to help Americans understand their personal finances through every stage of life.

Visit Feed the Pig Savings Tips & Information

A website designed to help you feed your piggy bank. Here, you'll find fun tools, a quiz, tons of tips and other resources to help you think through your spending and savings habits.

Visit FeedthePig.org for Tweens

A fun, hands-on financial literacy program for 4 - 6 grade classes. An excellent resource for teachers or parents.

"I don't do business anywhere else."
~ Frank of Webster, NY, Member since 1975

Calculators

Use these calculators as a guideline only. Actual values may vary from the result. Call the credit union for details.

  • Loan Calculator: This calculator will return the missing Amount, Rate, Number of Payments, Payments per Year, or Payment Amount.
  • Rebate vs. Rate Calculator: This calculator will help you decide which is a better deal for you, the low rate or taking the rebate and financing with Pittsford FCU.
  • Refinance Calculator: This calculator will help you determine how much you can save on your auto loan by refinancing.
  • Mortgage Payment Calculator: You may use this calculator to estimate the amount of your Mortgage payment. This calculator can also create an amortization table based on the input you have given.
  • Savings Calculator: Determine how much you'll need to save each month to reach your goals
  • Certificate Calculator: Use this calculator to determine what your certificate dividends will be.
  • Checkbook Balancing Calculator: This calculator can be used to help balance your checkbook at the end of each month.
"You have some great employees there."
~ Lori of Pittsford, NY, Member since 1999

Security Update

You can file formal complaints concerning any suspected fraudulent e-mail with the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) at www.ic3.gov. The IFCC is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National White Collar Crime Center.

When something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

SCENARIO/METHOD:

Counterfeit Official Checks
Many credit unions report counterfeit official checks are attempting to clear their accounts.

The institution name on the checks are First Bank, Austin, Texas. The First Bank, Austin, Texas does not exist.

SCENARIO/METHOD:

Shopping spree offerings
There is a phone scam in which the callers solicit checking account and credit card numbers by offering a $500 shopping spree.

Members are contacted by a company and told they have won a $500 shopping spree, but need to provide a checking account number so the company can bill them a $4.95 "shipping fee."

With the account number in the caller's posession they will begin to debit the account for various amounts creating a loss to the member.

SCENARIO/METHOD:

Foreign Lottery Counterfeit Checks
Members receive e-mails and letters from legitimate sounding lottery organizations that assure them they are winners in lottery drawings recently held in distant countries. This is an old scam, but every time there is a large multi-state "Power Ball" jackpot, the intensity picks up. The prize money varies from lottery e-mail/letter to e-mail/letter. They may even have an "official check" to deposit. The official check is counterfeit or drawn on a non-existent financial institution.

Each lottery e-mail or letter is rich in detail about when and where the drawing was held, the lucky ticket numbers, how the fortunate person or company name was included in the drawing, who was to pay out the funds, the payer's phone and fax numbers plus his web site information, and how much money is supposed to be coming. Most often, all the "supporting" information is fictitious. However, in other cases, names of real lotteries and banks are involved, and look-alike web sites accessed through URLs similar to those of the real corporations or institutions are used by the con artists as proof that the scheme is legitimate.

The scam artist changes the names of the lottery handing out the winnings, and some of the stories about why the lucky ones are suddenly in line to receive large amounts of money for a lottery they don't remember entering is just part of the scam. Those who try to collect their "winnings" soon find themselves receiving e-mails or letters informing them that they have to pay facilitation fees before the big payouts will come to them. There are no lottery winnings waiting, but rather scam artists ready to trick people into wiring "handling fees" directly into their accounts. The "lucky" winners scramble to pay the fees while the clock is ticking, but they never receive any winnings.

The victim receives repeated cautions to keep matters confidential until final payout is made, "as part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by some participants." The thieves don't want news of false winnings being told, because if the information reaches the real lottery people, who will inform the victims about the scheme.

SCENARIO/METHOD:

NCUA's name and logo are being used in phishing spams
Recently, there have been multiple e-mail fraud attempts, known as "Phishing", that were initiated via e-mail sent to both the general public and to some credit union members that appeared to be from the NCUA. This false e-mail asked for the recipient to click on a link to verify their credit union account registration. If the recipient proceeded to do so, the link directed them to a false website and asked for their credit union account number and PIN, along with other personal information.

The NCUA does not ask credit unions members for such personal information. Anyone who receives an e-mail that purports to be from NCUA and asks for account information should consider it to be a fraudulent attempt to obtain their personal account data for an illegal purpose and should not follow the instructions in the e-mail.

If you responded to such an e-mail and provided any confidential account information, please notify the credit union immediately of the scheme. You should also change your account's PIN, and take any additional action recommended by your credit union to protect your account.

SCENARIO/METHOD:

New Twist on "how" the Phishers Continue to Phish Credit Union Members
The phishers continue to change their phony e-mails by including false fraud protection techniques as a new twist to convince your members the e-mail is from your credit union with the added educational information. Because of everyone's fraud awareness, the phishers lure your members to 'take action" and provide the information by using an "online banking" log-in which will re-direct this site to the fraudster.

The "take action" the phishers are asking your members to perform is:

  • Deactivate their card(s) temporarily to guard against fraud
  • Activate their card(s) by having them log on to an "online banking system" where the phishers are able to obtain member's card information.
  • The phishers convince members there is no need to contact your credit union to validate the email or telephone request involving the deactivation and activation process.

SCENARIO/METHOD:

FDIC targeted in phishing scheme
It has happened to NAFCU, NCUA and maybe even your credit union: the FDIC's logo and name were seen used in a phishing e-mail in a fraudulent attempt to obtain consumers' sensitive personal and financial data.

The alert, reports on an e-mail that takes consumers to a spoofed Web page that asks for a variety of data, including the consumer's name, phone number, Social Security number, mother's maiden name, driver license/issued state, date of birth, credit/debit/ATM card numbers, PINs and other data.

The FDIC warns financial institutions and consumers alike not to click on any of the links in the e-mail.

SCENARIO/METHOD:

Phony offers on cars/boats/misc. items for sale
Recently scams have developed around the sale of an item, typically cars and other motor vehicles. The scam begins with an email purchase offer for considerably more than the asking price. The surplus is supposedly meant to cover any shipping costs the buyer will encur when transporting the item to them. The seller will recieve a check in the mail that looks to be official but is actually counterfeit. The buyer advises the seller to deposit the check and withdraw the surplus amount and immediately send it to the bogus shipping company. By the time the member realizes they've been scammed their account has been hit for several thousands of dollars in addition to the reversal of the counterfeit deposit.

Visit ID Theft Prevention Tips

This website is a one-stop national resource to learn about the crime of identity theft. It provides detailed information to help you Deter, Detect, and Defend against identity theft.

Precautions We Take

Substantial measures are in place at Pittsford FCU to protect your identity against theft and fraud:

  • Privacy Policy: Protecting your privacy is of great importance to your credit union. It is important for you to know that Pittsford FCU does not, and never will, sell names or other information about our Members to third parties. We are committed to treating your confidential information with the utmost care - whether online or in-person. More Info

  • Confidentiality: We have always maintained a strict confidentiality policy to protect not only your financial assets, but your personal information as well. Access to nonpublic information about you is limited to employees who need to know that information to provide products and services to you.

  • Password Protection: Before using any of the credit union's online services, you will be required to develop your own personal, secret password that only you know. You, and only you, have access to your accounts via this password protection.

  • Virus Protection: We employ anti-virus software to protect our computer network. We recommend that you use anti-virus software as well, available anywhere computer software is sold.

  • Intrusion Prevention Systems: We use several different hardware and software solutions to ensure that unauthorized users can not access our computer systems. This helps to ensure that your private information remains private.

  • Data Encryption: Whenever you are accessing your accounts online, your transactions and personal information are encrypted. Data Encryption is a process which transposes the information which is sent from our server to your browser into a code that cannot be understood or altered without using a "key". The "key" deciphers the information from our server to be able to display on your browser.

    The Pittsford Federal Credit Union is currently using Verisign, Inc. as the Certificate Authority to supply the data encryption on Internet Banking and Network Solutions for our main website.

What You Can Do

Protecting Yourself

Keep your Login information private. We will never ask you for private information...
  • At home keep personal information safe, especially if you have roommates or are having any work done in your home. Don't keep Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) near your checkbook, ATM card, or debit card.
  • Shred any papers with confidential information before you throw them out - even the junk mail. Anything with an account number can be used in Identity Theft. This includes prescreened credit card offers, receipts, canceled checks, credit union statements, expired charge cards, doctors' bills, and insurance documents.
  • Don't give out any confidential information - such as your credit card number, social security number, or PIN number unless you initiated the contact with a business. Be careful of unexpected emails that look as if they are from a legitimate company asking you to enter some information at a linked website; sometimes phony websites can look real.
  • Check your credit union and credit card statements regularly to make sure there is no unexplained activity.
  • Keep track of when your bills usually arrive. If a bill does not arrive on time, call the company to make sure no changes have been made to your account. Often, identity thieves will change the address of a bill so that it will take you longer to figure out the scam.
  • Carefully check your credit reports regularly. Your credit reports are important tools for limiting the amount of damage a thief can cause.
  • When choosing a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for your ATM or for other purposes, use one that is hard to guess. Avoid the last four digits of your social security number, your mother's maiden name, birth dates, names of pets, or even the name of your hometown baseball team. Try to mix numbers, letters and symbols.
  • Make it harder for thieves to use your accounts. Put passwords on credit card, credit union, and phone accounts. Get credit cards with your picture on them. Call the companies that issue the accounts and find out what security options they offer.
  • Consider canceling credit cards you haven't used in a long time.
  • Use only secure sites when making online purchases. Secure pages begin with "https."
  • Don't print your social security number on your checks.

Get Your Free Credit Report

You can now get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three main credit reporting bureaus once every 12 months, thanks to a 2004 amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The three major credit bureaus have set up a central Web site, toll-free telephone number, and mailing address that you use to order your free credit reports.

Please Note: PFCU members that are asked to identify the number of their PFCU Visa account need to use the account number not the card number if asked to identify their visa account number in the identity verification process

The three credit reporting bureaus will not send you an email or call you asking you for personal information, so don't respond to such requests. They are probably scams. If you receive an email that appears to be from a credit bureau, don't click on any of the links in the email. If you receive a phone call, don't give out any personal information. Use only the Web site listed above.

Protecting Your PC/MAC

There are a few steps that you can take to increase the level of security on your PC.

  • Keep your Anti-Virus active and up to date.
  • Keep your Operating system up to date - use automatic updating.
  • Personal Firewall
  • Do not open attachments from emails unless you were expecting to receive them. Even if you know the person who is sending the email.
  • Be careful not to install any software on your computer unless you know what it is.
  • Adware/Spyware Blocker

Identity Theft Affidavit If You Are a Victim

Identity Theft Quick Checklist

If you suspect that you've become a victim of Identity Theft, take action quickly. You're more likely to protect yourself from further fraud if you respond immediately.

  • Contact each of the three major credit bureaus and request that a "fraud alert" be placed on your file.
    • Equifax: (800) 685-1111
    • Experian: (888) 397-3742
    • TransUnion: (800) 916-8800

  • Contact the security departments of the appropriate creditors or financial institutions for any accounts that have been fraudulently accessed or opened. Close those accounts, and set up passwords for any new accounts that you open.

  • If you suspect that your social security number has been used dishonestly, contact the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213 to verify the accuracy of your reported earnings and that your name is reported correctly.

  • File a police report in the jurisdiction where the Identity Theft took place. Request a copy of the report in case your financial institution or Credit Card Company needs proof at a later date.

  • Fill out an Identity Theft affidavit as soon as possible. Many creditors ask that you send it within two weeks of receiving it. Delaying could slow the investigation.

  • If you need further assistance, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at (877) 438-4338 to file a complaint. In addition to helping you solve financial problems associated with ID Theft, the FTC can refer your complaints to the appropriate government agency or organization for further action.

Resources

Equifax
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
Report Fraud: 800-525-6285
Order a Credit Report: 800-685-1111

Experian
PO Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
Report Fraud: 888-EXPERIAN or 888-397-3742
Order a Credit Report: 888-EXPERIAN or 888-397-3742

TransUnion
PO Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
Report Fraud: 800-680-7289
Order Credit Report: 800-916-8800

Federal Trade Commission
Identity Theft Clearinghouse
600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20580
Report Fraud: 877- ID THEFT (438-4338)
Social Security Administration
PO Box 17768
Baltimore, MD 21235
Social Security Fraud Hot Line: 800-269-0271

US Postal Inspection Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza SW
Washington, DC 20260
Mail Fraud Hot Line: 800-372-8347

Identity Theft Resource Center
PO Box 26833
San Diego, CA 92196
858-693-7935

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
3100 5th Ave, Suite B
San Diego, CA 92103
619-298-3396

Direct Marketing Association
Mail Preference Service
PO Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512

National Do Not Call Registry