Credit and Debit Card Safety

Keep Your Credit and Debit Cards Safe Through the Holidays—and Beyond!

The holiday season is the busiest time for spending, and we frequently pull out our credit or debit card to pay for holiday giving and travel expenses. Unfortunately there are Grinches out there looking to commit fraud and sometimes we aren’t as observant about how we share and use our cards as we should be. With a little due diligence, you can help keep your cards safe this season—and all year!

  1. Let us know you’re traveling. If you’re going out of town for the holidays, remember to let us know you’re traveling out of the area. Otherwise, we may assume out-of-area transactions are fraudulent and freeze your card until we get in touch with you. Should this happen, you can call the number on the back of your card.
  2. Monitor your accounts. Look over your statements in a timely fashion! Online and Mobile Banking makes it very convenient to pull up your account and view your latest transactions, especially during the holidays. Keep an eye on your balances and make sure you recognize the transactions. If there are any suspicious transactions, call us immediately.
  3. Signup for VISA Purchase Alerts. This free service, available for VISA Debit and Credit Cards, helps you know where your money is going so that you can track spending and keep your accounts secure. You can set alerts for transactions over a specified amount, transactions completed online or over the phone, and/or international transactions and receive real-time alerts via email, text or both. If you receive an alert for a transaction you don’t recognize, call the number on the back of your card immediately.
  4. Shop on secure sites. Avoiding long lines and shopping online can be convenient, but only if you pay attention! Be sure to buy from secure websites of trusted retailers—look for an “s” in the “https://” web address and a lock symbol. Remember, EMV Chip Cards add a layer of security to your card at in-person point-of-sale transactions, not online ones. Additionally, make sure when a browser asks if you want to save your card for future purchases, you don’t do it on a shared computer or account. To be safe, try not to save your card in your online account at your favorite store. It’s only as safe as that store’s website!
  5. Be careful with in-app and online purchases. It’s a very generous thing to give your loved one your card to make a purchase on Facebook, iTunes App Store, Netflix or whatever video game or latest app they happen to be playing. But be careful—your card information could be stored, and you could rack up hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in purchases. Ensure in-app purchases are turned off for games on your phone. Make sure that if anyone uses your card to sign up for a free trial to an online subscription like Amazon Prime or Netflix you know the date to cancel before the free trial is over, otherwise be aware that you will be automatically charged for the subscription when the trial ends.
  6. Report your lost or stolen card. If your card is lost or stolen, report it to us immediately at 800-285-3286, Option 1.