Protect Yourself from Credit and Debit Card Fraud
Credit and debit card fraud is on the rise, especially during this time of the year. Recent high-profile stories of fraud and stolen personal information from trusted retailers such as Target and 7-Eleven stores have many consumers feeling on edge.
Frank Abagnale, a world-renown fraud expert best known as the subject of the 2002 movie Catch Me if You Can, believes that "prevention is the only viable course of action" against fraud.
"The safety and security of our members' accounts is our top priority," said Barbara Barry, Chief Member Experience Officer of NuVision Federal Credit Union. "Not only do we closely monitor current trends and risks related to fraud, we also want to provide our members with information they can use to help protect themselves."
Indeed, there are many ways you can help protect yourself from becoming the latest victim of credit and debit card fraud. Here are some preventive measures you can take:
Guard Your Personal Information. Never carry your social security number with you. Never pre-print your social security number or driver's license number on your checks. And never give out personal information over the telephone or by e-mail, no matter who calls to solicit or who they say they represent.
Invest in a Document Shredder. Shred all documents containing any personal or financial information before throwing them in the trash. Always take ATM receipts with you and shred them at home.
Surf the Internet Safely. Don't use public Wi-Fi to check sensitive financial information, or to make purchases using your credit card.
Protect Your Mailbox. Your mailbox can be vulnerable to thieves who want to steal your credit card or other personal information. Take all of your outgoing mail to a secure mail drop box. Consider installing a lock for your mailbox and coordinate with your postmaster to use it after delivering your mail. You can also have all check re-orders sent directly to NuVision for you to pick up.
Sign Your Credit Cards. Did you know that if you do not sign your card, you void any protection rights you have with the credit card company? Always sign the back of your credit cards, and write "Check ID" next to your signature for an extra layer of protection.
Know What's On Your Credit Report. You can receive one free credit report per year, but many consumers don't take advantage of this service. The three credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) also offer a credit watch service for a fee. Visit their web sites for more details.
Beware of ATM Skimming Devices. A skimming device is a small piece of plastic or metal made to look exactly like a part of an ATM machine. It is attached over the card reader using tape, glue, or other adhesives. Thieves use skimming to steal card information. If you notice a loose piece of plastic, wires, or any similar devices attached to the ATM, DO NOT use the machine and notify branch staff immediately during business hours or call the police.
For additional information, go to www.privacyprotection.ca.gov or www.consumer.gov/idtheft.
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NuVision Federal Credit Union
7812 Edinger Avenue
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Your savings are federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government.