Account Security

At Great NorthWest FCU, the security of member information is a top priority. We are strongly committed to the safety and confidentiality of your personal information. Here are some important things to note so you can help us in our mission.

What to Expect From Great NorthWest FCU

•Great NorthWest will NEVER call, email or otherwise contact you and ask for your Online Banking user name, password, or other Online Banking credentials.

•Great NorthWest will NEVER contact you and ask for your full credit or debit card number or PIN.

•Great NorthWest will NEVER ask via email or text for your personal information, such as your Social Security number, card numbers, PINs or passwords. Great NorthWest does not conduct financial transactions via email. If you receive such a request via email or text, please do not respond or click on any links within it.

Fraud Prevention

Great NorthWest FCU provides a 24/7 fraud monitoring service to better protect our members from fraudulent activity.

They may contact you regarding suspicious transactions from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM.  The following are examples only but are typically the most common reasons that will trigger a phone call.

  1. The Frequency of transactions.  Example:  If you only use your card once a day every day and then there are several charges within a twenty-four-hour period.

  2. The time of the transaction(s).  Example:  If you only use your card between the hours of 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM, then there is a transaction that occurs at 10:30 PM. (Call won’t go out until after 9:00 AM the following morning.)

  3. Where the transaction(s) occur.  Example:  If you live in Ilwaco and don’t travel or use your card out of the area, and then there is a transaction coming out of Seattle.

  4. The transaction amount.  Example:  If you use your card on a regular basis for everyday purchases, but no big-ticket items, then there is a transaction for $1200.00.

  5. The transaction type.  Example:  If you use your card here, there and everywhere but only at brick and mortar locations, then there is a transaction conducted online.


  • The analyst will not ask for complete information, only partial social security number and partial card number

  • The analyst will review the transactions in question after verification

  • Analysts will block the card if fraud is confirmed, any further action including new card orders and disputes must be followed up with the credit union directly

If at any time, you are not comfortable in speaking with the representative, end the conversation and call us directly.

In addition to the phone calls from Visa Fraud Prevention Services, we also have a system which monitors activity in REAL TIME.  Where VFPS may call you after the transaction happens to confirm whether the transaction was legitimate or not, this system will stop the suspicious transactions from being authorized.  It is a minute-by-minute monitor and stays on top of current fraud trends.  There are situations of “false-positives” where a legitimate transaction may be denied.  In this case, contact the Card Department to suppress monitoring to allow you to re-initiate the transaction for approval.

Tips for Protecting Your Accounts Online

1. Set good passwords. A good password is a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters. Your passwords should be something that is not easily guessed.  You should change your passwords frequently. Do not choose an Online Banking password that is the same as your email or social media passwords. Never write your password down or share it with others.

2. Don’t reveal personal information via email or text. Emails and text messages can be masked to look like they are coming from a trusted sender when they are actually from someone else.

3. Do not click on unsolicited links in emails. Opening unknown files attached to emails can be dangerous especially when they are from someone you do not know as they can allow harmful malware or viruses to be downloaded onto your computer. Make sure you have a good antivirus program on your computer that is up-to-date.

4. Web sites are not always what they seem. Be aware that if you navigate to a Web site from a link you don’t type, you may end up at a site that looks like the correct one, when in fact it’s not. Take time to verify that the Web page you are visiting matches exactly with the URL that you would expect.

5. Monitor account activity. Monitor your account activity regularly either online or by reviewing your monthly statements and report any unauthorized transactions right away. Always contact the credit union by phone at 360-533-9990 if you feel your personal information has been compromised.

Online Security

To protect the information you provide us online, we use multiple levels of security. The application information we accept online and our Online Banking service relies on industry standard “Secure Sockets Layer” (SSL) encryption to secure your transaction information and communication. When you visit our Web site, you can access site information, without revealing your personal identity. However, in order to help us identify you for future site visits, we use “cookies” to track your visit. A “cookie” is a piece of information that our web server stores on your computer hard drive and retrieves later. The cookie will not request, require or collect personal identity information and you remain anonymous. Your member information is not accessed by or stored within a cookie in any way.

Email Security

The Credit Union does not consider email to be a secure form of communication for sensitive information. Please do not email personal or account information to the credit union. If you need specific account assistance please call the Credit Union at 360-533-9990 so we can assist you and protect your personal and account information.