Keeping your identity and money safe is our top priority and it should be yours too. This page features tips and resources to help protect yourself from identity theft, fraud and other scams.
Enroll in Online Banking and Michigan First Mobile
We offer many products and services you can take advantage of to further protect yourself from fraud and identity theft. With MichiganFirst.com online banking and the Michigan First Mobile app, you can bank anytime, anywhere and stay on top of your accounts. We use industry-leading security technology to protect your information, so you can feel safe paying bills, checking balances, depositing checks and making transfers from anywhere in the world.
Make Sure You’re Using MichiganFirst.com
Before you input your user name and password, make sure you’re on the authentic MichiganFirst.com by checking your browser address to see if it has a lock icon and the proper URL, which is https://michiganfirst.com. It should appear similar to below, depending on which internet browser you use. The example below is using Google Chrome.
Enroll in Paperless Statements and Free Card Controls
If you use our mobile app, you have plenty of extras at your fingertips to help manage your credit and debit cards and alert you if anything suspicious happens. Within the mobile app you can:
- Turn off/on credit and debits cards when not in use
- Change PIN numbers
- Be alerted anytime an international or online purchase is made
- Set spend limits
- Be alerted anytime a purchase is made above a designated amount you choose
You can also quickly and easily sign up for paperless statements, which adds added security over having paper statements mailed to your home.
ID Theft Monitoring and Recovery
Michigan First partners with NXG Strategies – one the nation’s most trusted names in identity theft recovery – to prove members with comprehensive identity theft monitoring and recovery services, starting at just $1.95/month. It is a great way to add extra protection to your entire identity, including accounts and money not at Michigan First.
Tips on How to Protect Yourself
You can protect yourself and your accounts by recognizing and preparing for online banking threats. Here are a few ways to keep yourself and your information safe:
Do not give out your username and passwords.
Giving anyone access to your accounts can put your financial information and your money at risk. This includes financial websites and apps that offer tools to help you manage your accounts, invest or prepare your taxes. Michigan First will never call, text or email you and ask for this information if you did not initiate the call.
It’s important to use a highly secure password for all your financial accounts. The most secure passwords combine letters, numbers and special characters. Never use your pet’s name, your child’s name or anything else that a fraudster could easily find out, like your address, phone number or birth date. For added security, remember to change your password regularly, and avoid using the same password for multiple sites or financial institutions.
We also recommend using an email provider that asks you to verify your identity in multiple steps.
Be careful on social media
It’s better to be cautious about the information you share on social media. Don’t use information from your social media account for your password.
Learn to spot online scams
Phishing is when an imposter tries to trick you into providing your personal information. They might impersonate us in an email, phone call or text, asking you to confirm your information or saying you’ve won something—and it might look legitimate. A few examples:
- You get an email that appears to be from a reputable company you know or do business with, like us. The email asks you to reply or go to a website that looks like MichiganFirst.com, where you’ll be asked to give your username, password, account number, personal identification number (PIN), Social Security number or other personal information.
- You get a voice mail or text message telling you your bank account will be closed, frozen or terminated unless you call or go to a website, where you’ll be asked to give personal information.
Scams often try to create a feeling of urgency or alarm, by threatening to close off an account, or offering a security update—as soon as you provide your personal information. A few more common culprits are emails, phone calls or text messages that:
- Require you to give personal or account information directly on the email or on a website; some fraudsters use pop-up windows to ask for confidential information.
- Threaten to close or suspend your account if you don’t take immediate action.
- Invite you to answer a survey that asks for personal or account information.
- Say your account has been hacked, then asks for personal or account information.
- Tell you there are unauthorized charges on your account, then asks for personal or account information.
- Ask you to confirm, verify or update your account or billing information.
- Ask you to provide account information because someone wants to send you money.
- Claim you’re getting a refund.
- Say you’ve won a contest.
Learn how to spot suspicious emails
Don’t open an email attachment, even if it appears to be from a friend or co-worker, unless you’re expecting it or you’re absolutely sure you know what it contains.
Watch out for email subject lines or emails with a generic message like “check this out” or “thought you’d be interested in this.” Make sure you know who sent the email before you open an attachment or click any links.
Look over your credit reports
At least once a year, read through your credit reports carefully. You can request a free annual credit report from each of the 3 national credit reporting agencies, even if you don’t suspect any unauthorized activity on your account.
For your free annual report, go to AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-FACTACT (1-877-322-8228). Or, request the reports directly from each agency:
Look out for credit inquiries from unfamiliar companies, accounts you never opened and unexplained debts. This can be a warning sign of fraud or identity theft.
Protect your equipment
Install the latest browsers, anti-virus and firewall software on your computer and keep it up to date.
Be cautious about offers for free anti-virus software; make sure you get your software from a reputable company. Look for anti-virus software that scans incoming communications and files for viruses, removes or quarantines viruses and updates automatically.
A firewall is software or hardware designed to block unauthorized access to your computer. It’s especially important to run a firewall if you have a cable modem or DSL line or other broadband connection, because they’re targeted often. Many current operating systems come with a built-in firewall, which you have to turn on.
Take Control of Your Own Safety
We make our products and services secure, but there are things you can do to keep your accounts safe, too:
- Don’t give your account numbers or any personal or financial information on the phone unless you initiate the conversation and you know the person or organization.
- Don’t give personal information to any stranger, even someone claiming to be from Michigan First.
- Don’t print your driver’s license, phone or Social Security number on your checks.
- Report lost or stolen checks immediately, and we’ll stop payment on the check numbers you report. When you get new checks, look through them to make sure none of them were stolen in the mail.
- Store your new and canceled checks in a safe place.
- Tell us right away if you get any suspicious phone inquiries asking for your personal or account information, or if you see anything suspicious in your account activity or on your statement.
- To help keep thieves from stealing your identity, destroy or store financial information securely (including bank statements, invoices, ATM and credit card receipts).
- Guard your PINs and passwords (hint: Don’t store them on your phone or write them on your card).
- Create secure PINs and passwords. Don’t use birth dates, your Social Security or driver’s license numbers, your address or any family names. Someone trying to steal your identity may have this information.
- If you use MichiganFirst.com or one of our apps in public or on a public or shared computer, make sure you sign out when you’re done, and delete all cookies.
Be careful when you use your device in public areas. Watch out for anyone looking to see what you’re doing.
Keep Up on the Latest Scams
The Federal Trade Commission is an excellent fraud prevention resource to stay up-to-date on current scams so you don’t get fooled.