Protect Yourself From Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud is a crime. And when you're the victim, it's disturbing. Credit card fraud costs cardholders and issuers hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
Even though you are no longer liable for any part of fraudulent activity on your Visa® by others, you still pay for it in terms of higher interest rates, higher costs on goods and services, and inconvenience.
Precautions you can take
- Sign the back of your card as soon as it arrives.
DCU's card activation feature helps prevent unauthorized use before your card arrives.
- Carry your card separately from your wallet, such as in a zippered compartment or business card holder.
This prevents loss of your card if your wallet is stolen or tampered with.
- Keep your credit card number concealed in a check-out line.
If merchants are still using charge slips with separate carbons, take the copies and destroy them.
- Only use your card at merchants you know and trust.
A large number of credit card disputes involve online businesses without adequate internal controls.
- Reduce the number of credit cards you carry.
Keep an emergency phone list of credit card companies to contact in case your credit cards are lost or stolen.
- Do not give your credit card number out over the phone unless you initiated the call.
No financial institution personnel will ever ask you for your credit card number. The financial institution already has it.
- Store your receipts in a safe place and compare them with your Visa statement each month.
- Open your monthly DCU Visa statement (by mail or eStatement) immediately every month and skim the transactions for ones you didn't make.
The faster you spot a problem, the sooner we can stop the loss, give you provisional credit, and investigate the problem. Report problems to DCU by going into Online Banking (see below).
- Do not give out your card number online unless the site is secure (look for a closed lock at the bottom of your browser).
- After you activate your new cards, make sure you completely cut up your old cards before throwing them away.
Cut them through the magnetic strip and through the numbers in two directions.
- Notify us in advance of your change of address in writing.
You can do this quickly online by logging into Online Banking and selecting Update My Information to fill out the Change Postal Address form. Your Online Banking password authenticates your identity.
- Report loss, theft, or fraudulent activity immediately (see below).
What to do if you detect fraud or lose your card
If you detect loss, theft, or unauthorized use on your DCU Visa, report it immediately by calling 508.263.6700 or 800.328.8797. The faster you report it, the faster we can shut off the card number, stop the losses, and order you a replacement card(s).
What to do for disputed transactions
For disputed transaction amounts or problems with merchants, notify us in writing as soon as possible. The fastest way is to log onto Online Banking, go to Account Manager, and fill out the Dispute A Transaction form. There is also information on handling card disputes contained with your statement every month.
Security measures DCU takes
At DCU, we use every tool available to keep your Visa account secure. Here are just some of the measures we take...
- Card activation – When you get a new or replacement card in the mail, you'll see a sticker on the front with a telephone number. Your credit card cannot function until you call this number and provide confirmation of your identity. This prevents the card from being used if it's stolen from your mailbox or while in transit to you.
- Neural networks – These highly sophisticated programs monitor your transaction activity for anything unusual so we can contact you about it. Neural networks might pick up that your card is being used in Mexico and New York City on the same day.
- Expiration date confirmation – As almost all card transactions are made, there is an electronic confirmation made through Visa International that the card is valid, the credit limit is available, and it hasn't been stolen. In addition, on DCU Visa transactions, the expiration date supplied must be correct. The one inconvenience of this security measure is that you must update the expiration date with vendors who make regular automatic charges to your card (such as online services, newspaper subscriptions, etc.).
- Block on Internet gambling – Visa recently instituted this block on cards for two reasons – (1) in most states, it is illegal to gamble across state lines, and (2) off-shore gambling has resulted in a variety of fraud claims and financial hardship for people with compulsive gambling problems.
- Verified by Visa – This optional free service verifies card ownership when making online purchases. It's designed to help prevent fraudulent use of your DCU Visa Credit Card and DCU Visa Debit Card numbers. Visit Verified by Visa to learn more about this service and sign up.