Card fraud is an ongoing problem that requires consumers and financial institutions to remain informed and vigilant. While debit and credit cards provide the convenience of point of sale purchases, online shopping and cash withdrawals at the ATM, these types of transactions also expose you to the risk of fraud. This is why UECU takes precautions to protect members' debit and credit card accounts. To find out how, read below. You will also find additional tips for protecting yourself from card fraud.
How UECU Protects You
UECU is committed to safeguarding members’ financial safety and we monitor your credit and debit cards 24/7 for possible fraudulent activity. When we notice unusual or repetitive purchases suggesting criminals may have fabricated cards using stolen card information, one measure is to temporarily reduce our UECU cards’ daily purchase limits at certain retailer types in a geographic region. This safeguards individual cardholders and protects the credit union as a whole from absorbing greater fraud losses that would reduce the profits we return to our membership.
There are times a member’s card usage may be temporarily suspended when suspicious purchase details are flagged – such as a large dollar amount or a geographic location that is atypical for that individual. This allows UECU time to contact the cardholder to verify the purchase or identify it as fraud. For this reason, you will want to notify UECU when you plan to travel out of the country or are about to make a large-ticket purchase. It’s also essential to keep your contact information current with UECU by updating your Account Profile in Advantages Online™ home banking or calling our Member Service team at 1-800-288-6423. The home or cell phone number you have on-file will be used to alert you of any suspected fraud noticed on your UECU cards.
Tips For Protecting Yourself
- Safeguard Your Card Information
Use your card online and in-person only with trusted retailers and shield your plastic card from view when using it in public. Never relinquish your card information (card number, expiration date or security code) in response to an unsolicited e-mail, text message or phone call. Even if the solicitation appears to be generated from a reputable retailer or financial institution, do not respond. UECU will never contact you by phone, email, or by cell phone text message to request your personal information.
- Monitor Your Debit and Credit Card Accounts - Look for Warning Signs
Keep an eye out for unusual credit or debit card purchases by checking your UECU VISA® and account statements and reviewing your transactions using Advantages Online™ home or mobile banking. Make a habit of checking your account online and account statements frequently. You can also set up email and text E-Notifications™ in home banking to receive automatic alerts of ATM or purchase transactions over a certain dollar threshold. Notifications can also be set up by using merchant key words. So set up email and text E-Notifications™, sign into Advantages Online™ and click the services tab.
An additional way to protect your credit is to monitor your credit report. Members can obtain a free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, once per year. You can obtain a total of three credit reports each year. To ensure that you are monitoring your credit report frequently, request a free credit report once every four months. To access a free copy of your credit report, visit AnnualCreditReport.com
While reviewing your credit report, look for possible fraudulent activity, this may include:
- Credit cards or lines of credit that you did not apply for
- Requests or inquiries for credit that you did not make
- Information on your credit report that is inaccurate; addresses or account information
If you do notice suspicious activity, report it to the credit bureau immediately.
- Protect Your Card at the ATM
Check out your surroundings as you approach the ATM; make sure that nothing looks suspicious. Look at the machine to make sure that it appears to be well maintained and up to date. Also, be aware of anyone that could be approaching you to obtain your card information, such as someone reading over your shoulder. Touch the card reader before you insert your debit card, if it feels lose or as though it has been tampered, do not insert your card. If the card reader appears to be in-tact, complete your transaction, remove your card and be sure to retrieve your receipt. Never leave the receipt behind at the ATM; receipts should always be shredded as they may contain confidential card information.
- Add an Extra Layer of Protection with Verified by visa
Verified by visa provides additional security for your VISA Power Card™ and Advantages VISA Check Card™ while making online purchases. Verified by visa will request additional information from the card holder before completing the transaction online. This extra step provides an additional layer of security by authenticating the card holder’s identity. The coverage prevents fraudulent use of a member’s card on participating Verified by visa merchant websites and even provides full recovery of any losses that may occur if someone fraudulently uses your UECU card information on a non-verified website. To enroll your VISA Power Card™ and Advantages VISA Check Card™, click here. (Add verified by visa link).
- Lost and Stolen Cards – React Immediately
In the event that your credit or debit card information is lost or stolen, it is extremely important that you react quickly. This reduces the potential that your card information could be compromised. As soon as you notice that the card has been lost or stolen, you should contact the retailer or financial institution that issued the card to you. This is why it is necessary to write down or store the 1-800 numbers that are printed on the back of each of your debit/credit cards. UECU members also receive extra security and built-in global assistance services with their VISA Power Card™ and Advantages VISA Check Card™. During UECU’s business hours, you may report a lost or stolen card by calling us at 1-800-288-6423. After hours, for emergencies in the U.S., call 1-800-VISA-911, for emergencies outside the U.S., members can find the global numbers at visa.com/tollfreenumbers
- Learn More
Visit the UECU website periodically for additional tips and information regarding card fraud. For additional facts and resources, visit the following websites: