Debit Card Safety Tips
Card fraud is an ever-growing concern worldwide. Your best defense is to take precautions to protect yourself while doing transactions. As part of our ongoing commitment to safeguard our members, here are several suggestions we have put together to help you reduce risk:
Card and PIN Safety
- Report lost or stolen cards immediately.
- Sign your card on the signature panel as soon as you receive it.
- Protect your cards as if they were cash.
- Program all of your card issuers' Lost or Stolen hotline phone numbers on your cell phone.
- Make a comprehensive list of all your cards and their numbers and store it in a safe place (i.e. password protected file, safe, etc.).
- Do not leave your cards in the glove compartment of your car.
- When selecting a PIN, avoid using information that can be tied to in-wallet information (e.g., birth date, social security number, telephone number, etc.).
- Never write down your PIN or store it within your cell phone; memorize it or store in a more secure location. Also, never use your card's PIN as a password for anything else.
- Whenever possible, keep an eye on your card when doing a transaction. Ensure that you get your card back after every purchase. If any activity during the transaction concerns you, call us immediately to report the incident.
- Always check sales vouchers for the correct purchase amount before you sign them, and keep copies of your vouchers and ATM receipts.
- Check your account statements regularly
- Do not volunteer any personal information when you use your card, other than by displaying a personal ID as requested by a merchant (e.g., driver’s license).
- Do not lend your card to anyone. You are responsible for its use. We often see card misuse traced directly to members' family and friends.
- Avoid letting your check/debit card out of your sight.
Capturing card information, or "skimming," is on the rise at ATMs and gas stations. Never use an ATM or card swipe that looks like it has been tampered with, as indicated by loose or extra parts attached to the face of the machine.
If your card is captured inside an ATM or other device, call us immediately to report the incident. You may think your card was jammed by the device, but many times it is retrieved by a criminal who staged the capture and may use it immediately. In either case, you will require a replacement card.
Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Safety
- Plan ahead to minimize your time at an ATM. Prepare as much of your transaction in advance as you can at your home or office. If making a deposit, fill out your deposit slip and endorse the checks "for deposit only" to your account.
- Park as close as possible to the ATM and have your card out and ready to use immediately.
- Avoid using ATMs that are not well lit, on street corners with easy approachability from cars, or near blind spots. Use ATMs that are close to the center of a building and clear from shrubbery.
- Be aware of your surroundings as you leave the ATM. If you believe you are being followed, drive to the closest police or fire station if possible, or to a busy business and call the police.
- When you approach an ATM location, look around and be alert to your surroundings, especially in areas unfamiliar to you. If you observe any suspicious person or unusual activity near the location at any time, do not use it and go somewhere else. At night, if the ATM location is not well lit, do not use it and go somewhere else.
- Consider going to an ATM location with someone you know and trust. Do not accept assistance from anyone you do not know and trust when using an ATM.
- Prevent others from seeing you enter your PIN when using an ATM. Consider using your hand/body to shield the view of the keypad.
- If you notice anything suspicious or any other problem arises after you begin your transaction, cancel the transaction. Recover the card you are using from the ATM and leave.
- When your transaction is complete, recover your card, your receipt, and any cash you have requested from the ATM and promptly leave the area. Do not display money taken from the ATM. Put the money away and wait until you are in a safe place to verify it.
- When using any drive-up facility, lock your car doors and roll up all the windows except the window you are using. If you keep your engine running, be sure your car is in "park" or "neutral" and the brake is set.
- Do not let anyone else use your card. Do not disclose your PIN to anyone else, even if the person is offering assistance. Do not write your PIN on your card. If you lose your card or it is stolen or your PIN is lost or stolen, report the loss to us at once .
We very much appreciate the trust you place in us and wish to remind you that the security of our data is of the utmost importance to us.
Identity Theft Prevention
Please be aware that NorthStar Credit Union and other financial institutions, federal and state government or trade agencies will never ask you for personal information (account numbers, social security numbers, passwords, etc.) unless you first initiate the contact. Do not provide personal information by e-mail or click on links within e-mail messages or text messages asking you to verify your personal information. For more information, please visit http://www.antiphishing.org
Fighting Back Against Identity Theft:
for information about phishing. Click here
to view an informative page the Federal Trade Commission has on Identity Theft. Click here
for a printable copy of the information on Identity Theft.Click here
to obtain a free credit report. For a list of ways to protect your personal computer from cyber-attack, click here.