Protecting your Debit and Credit Card information
Protecting your debit and credit card from identity theft and stolen card info is not an easy task. With the ongoing threat to personal debit and credit card information stored by merchants, it's important that members actively participate in safe guarding and protecting personal and financial information, as well as monitoring accounts for any possible losses.
Data Breeches and Stolen Card information Impacting CU members
Below is a list of a few of the larger merchants/vendors that have had their payment card data stolen and consequently have impacted our members in the last year.
- Wendy's – to date over 940 CHCU/CCU members have used their debit cards at Wendy's locations locally and across the country and had their information stolen. This threat began in October 15 and is ongoing. Until this issue is resolved, we recommend that members use cash only at Wendy's as both debit and credit cards have been impacted.
- Hyatt Hotels, Grand Resort and Casinos- affecting resort and vacation destinations 2015 – thru Feb 2016
- SuperValue/Albertsons- February – ongoing.
- Landrys, Inc- tied to hotels, gift shops, food vendors in resort and vacation areas across the country-May 2014 thru March 2015
Targeting vacationers and tourists using debit and credit cards is a lucrative endeavor for identity thieves because it's so easy and usually goes undetected for weeks or months.
Travel or gift cards are one solution to protecting your information while traveling as no personal data is imbedded in the card. And, the card is not linked to your checking or savings accounts at your financial institution.
Tips for Protecting Your Accounts and Card Security
- Report lost or stolen checks and debit or credit cards immediately.
- Monitor your transactions online regularly and report suspicious charges promptly. Consider paperless options for your bill and financial statements.
- Set up account alerts so you will be notified of withdrawals and deposits to your account and suspicious card activity.
- If you receive a replacement debit or credit card, cut up and discard your old card.
- Thieves don't need your credit card number in order to steal it. Conversely, they don't need your credit card in order to steal your identity. Identity thieves are crafty; sometimes all they need is one piece of information about you and they can easily gain access to the rest.
- The nonfinancial personal information you reveal online is often enough for a thief. Beware of seemingly innocent personal facts that a thief could use to steal your identity. For example, never list your full birthdate on Facebook or any other social-networking websites. And don't list your home address or telephone number on any website you use for personal or business reasons, including job-search sites.
- Identity thieves are sneaky; you need to be sneaky, too. There are a few simple things you can do to protect your credit card in case it falls into the wrong hands. "Sign your credit card with a Sharpie so your signature can't be erased and written over. Consultant Sarah Browne of Carmel, Calif., had all but one credit card stolen from a hotel room. The card that was spared still had the "Please Activate"sticker on it. Though Browne had activated the card, she forgot to remove the sticker. "The thieves must have known that you have to activate a new card from the phone number listed with the credit card company, so they didn't bother with it," she said, and since then, she leaves the activation stickers on all of her cards. Indeed, when a thief struck a second time at a public function, Browne's stickered cards were again left untouched.
- Go paperless in as many ways as possible. Access your financial statements at the issuer's website instead. Sign up for e-statements via CHCU/CCU Online Banking. Whatever paper receipts and financial statements you do receive should go through the shredder instead of into the wastebasket - shred anything that has any number, name, or address on it.
CHCU/CCU members have the added option of using our iphone and android device app for Online Banking. An easy and safe tool for monitoring your account activity.
Members participating in our EZShield Fraud Protection service must create an online account to activate this service and take advantage of the full spectrum of account monitoring and fraud protection services. For additional information, click here.