Debit Card Fraud Reaches New Levels

Your personal information may be at risk as fraudsters increase their criminal activities to gain access to your personal information, your debit card and your bank accounts. Fraudsters use information from data breaches, malware and stolen debit or credit card information to gain sufficient information to create fake customer profiles. The criminals then pose as your bank to get you to provide any missing information and gain access to your accounts.

These criminals may pose as First Federal Lakewood call center agents or send text messages that appear to come from us. These calls or messages will falsely warn you of suspicious transaction activities to get you to provide additional information such as your PIN number or security code. Or fraudsters use the illegally obtained personal information to pretend to be you, call into First Federal Lakewood’s call center and request changes to your card information.

We want to help you recognize the signs that someone is trying to get access to your debit card and account information before fraudulent activity can occur.

Text Alerts

Legitimate text alerts from First Federal Lakewood warning of suspicious account activity will never include a link. Our texts will request simple ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘help’ or ‘stop’ responses.

Text alerts from First Federal Lakewood will come from a five-digit number. We will never send texts from a ten-digit number that resembles a phone number.

Phone Calls

Phone calls, automated or person to person, will only ask for your zip code. No other personal information will be requested unless a transaction is confirmed as fraudulent.

If a transaction is confirmed as fraudulent, you will be transferred to a call center agent who will ask for more information and review transactions with you.

When confirming transactions, we will never ask for the three-digit security code on the back of your card. Please note a fraudster may say your card has been stolen and has been blocked and that the three-digit code is needed to get a new card to you.

Keep Your Account Safe

First Federal Lakewood has tools to help you know if your account experiences unusual activity. We will notify you of unusual or suspect account activity when you set up account alerts through mobile banking. Click here to get started. You can also enroll in FFL CardShield here to monitor your debit card usage and transactions.

Being diligent about your account activity, guarding your passwords and using online alerts and FFL CardShield can save you time and protect your personal information and your account.

If you receive suspicious text messages, take a screenshot of the message and email it to If you have any doubts about the validity of a caller, simply hang up and call your local First Federal Lakewood branch or the First Federal Lakewood Customer Relationship Center (216) 529-2700. Your banker will be able to help you determine if the call was fraudulent. The banker will also take steps to report the attempted fraud so that the bank can track these illegal activities.