Fight the Fraudsters: 10 Smart Tips to Prevent Credit/Debit Card Fraud and Identity Theft

Fraudsters are finding new ways to steal member login credentials, credit/debit card information and personal information, leaving people in bad financial and personal situations. However, there are credit/debit card fraud prevention and identity theft prevention steps you can take to stop the fraudsters and keep YOUR information safe. Our Executive Vice President at BHCU, Cheryl Altieri, is here with ten smart tips to prevent you from falling victim to credit/debit card fraud and identity theft, so read on to learn more!

Here’s How to Prevent Credit/Debit Card Fraud

If you’re like the majority of people in the U.S., then you probably have at least one credit card, if not more. These days, swiping or tapping a credit card at a machine or typing the info in online to make a purchase is the norm, and because it’s so quick and convenient, it’s easy to forget about the reality of credit card fraud. Luckily, these four credit card fraud prevention tips are the best ways to keep your information safe:

Get Your Shred On
When you receive your credit card billing statements in the mail, it’s vital that you don’t just throw them out. Instead, shred them!
Be Smart When Shopping Online
Online shopping is the way of the world, but you should only be making purchases on websites that are 100% secure. To figure this out, look for a lock symbol in the lower right corner of your browser and “https://” in the address bar.
Stay on Top of Your Billing Statements Every Month
This may seem time consuming, but dealing with credit card fraud will take up way more of your time! Always check your monthly statements and be on the lookout for any unauthorized charges. It’s also important to get in the habit of checking your accounts daily.
Watch for Credit Card Skimmers at Gas Stations and ATMs
Fraudsters will sometimes place a skimmer on a gas station or ATM machine. These can be found by pulling on the device that takes your credit card — if it feels loose or comes off, do not use this machine.

Now That Your Credit Card is Safe, Here Are the Best Identity Theft Prevention Tips

From opening accounts to applying for credit cards to getting approved for loans, people can do a lot of damage when they steal your identity, and it can cost you money AND negative hits on your credit score. Here are the best ways to keep that from happening:

Make Sure You’re Consistently Monitoring Your Accounts

Just like we discussed with your monthly credit card statements, although this may seem time consuming, keeping tabs on your account activity will help save you the stress (and money) of dealing with identity theft.

Take Advantage of Alert Tools
When your iSAVE checking account, savings account or iSAVE credit card hits a low balance or gets overdrawn, getting alerts from your financial institution will quickly inform you of any suspicious activity. Give us a call or utilize online banking to set these up.
Place a “Freeze” at all 3 Credit Bureaus
Creating accounts at the different credit bureaus can prevent someone from applying for credit in you name. As an added layer of protection, it makes it that much harder for someone to use your information to get credit.
Know the Most Important Identity Theft Warning Signs
These include:

      • Seeing odd charges on your account
      • Noticing accounts on your credit report that you don’t recognize or inaccurate information
      • Realizing your checks are in a strange order on your bank statement
      • Receiving an email that you weren’t approved for a credit card that you know you didn’t apply for
      • Receiving an email about changes to your address, password or information that you know you didn’t make

Be Savvy About the Scams
Scams can take place online, over the phone, via SMS, through emails and even on social media. For example, vishing and smishing are two fraud tactics that are increasing — this is when a fraudster sends an SMS text message from a credit union’s number claiming to be from the fraud department. The best way to keep your identity safe is to know the different types of scams out there.
If You’re Unsure, Call
BHCU cares about your financial well-being. If something doesn’t seem right, give us a call, even if it’s regarding a non-BHCU account!

Enjoy the best identity theft protection and credit card fraud prevention services at BHCU in Delaware County, PA! Our team is always here to help you with any of your financial questions or concerns, so contact us today.