Protect your debit and credit cards from high-tech criminals!
It’s that time of year again when many consumers are using credit and debit cards to make holiday purchases. As the popularity of payment cards has grown, so has the number of criminals trying to take the very valuable details, including the cardholder’s name, the card’s account number and expiration date.
Your card’s information is in high demand by criminals wanting to make a counterfeit version of your card to make purchases.
What can you do to protect your cards from thieves?
- Never give your payment card numbers to UNSOLICITED e-mail, text or phone calls. Legitimate businesses understand this and would never ask you for your card information in this manner.
- Be cautious and aware at the checkout counter, ATM, and gas pump. There are credit and debit card reading devices known as skimmers that look suspicious such as a plastic sleeve inside a card slot, or attached to the outside of the machine. Be on alert if any employee swipes your card through two devices…..the second device could be recording your account information to make a fraudulent card.
- Closely monitor your credit union statement and credit card bills as soon as you receive them. In the case of fraudulent activity your protections may be stronger the quicker you report the problem. It’s easier to monitor your accounts more often using online banking (CU-ONLINE) or our mobile phone banking application.
- Review your credit reports for warning signs of fraudulent activity. Those reports will show your history of paying debts and other bills. If you see a credit card or loan you didn’t sign up for this could be a signal you are victim of ID theft. Get your free report 1-877-322-8228 or at www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Memorize your PIN (personal identification number). Never write your PIN on the back of the card.
- When making purchases online be sure the website is secure. Check to be sure the site has an “s” in its URL:https//. Scroll over the lock icon to confirm the site is verified.
- Keep your cards in the same order in your wallet. This makes it easier to discover if one of them is missing.
- Contact your credit union or other issuer immediately to report a lost or stolen card.
- By regulation using your credit card versus your debit card offers you more consumer protection.
If you’re ever the victim or target of credit or debit card theft or fraud, catching it fast and reporting it to your card issuer are key to resolving the situation.
Happy and safe shopping to you!