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CARD FRAUD on the increase across the nation! What members should do to help keep fraud to a minimum.

Last year, card fraud – from fraudulent applications to account takeovers, data breaches and unauthorized transactions – totaled almost $11 billion in losses for issuers. Rapid changes have occurred in the market with the shift to EMV, the growth of digital applications, and the rise of mobile wallets. Fraudsters are adapting their tactics to these new channels and products, continuing to challenge issuers to mitigate card fraud.

All across the nation financial institutions, including banks and credit unions, have this year been experiencing rapid increases in both debit and credit card fraud. Bank customers and credit union members, as well as the financial institutions, have experienced frustration at the increased losses which impact everyone and drive up the costs – ultimately impacting consumers. The card-holders have the inconvenience of filling out forms to report the losses as well as experiencing delays in the use of their cards while they wait for the impacted cards to be blocked and new ones reissued.

Metro Credit Union has contracted with neural networks that monitor debit/credit card transactions for signs of suspicious activity or transactions that occur out of the area in which the account-holder usually does business, but this practice does not catch or alert us to all potential fraud. We will continue to look for and add additional processes that may provide a more secure environment.

We, like other financial institutions, do not usually know exactly how the fraudster(s) have been able to access members’ information – often through a skimming device or card breaches where information gathered is sold to gangs that work an area. Fraudsters can also go through your personal trash for discarded statements, etc. and get enough information to be able to push through fraudulent transactions. The Credit Union has policies in place to protect your information (i. e. identifying members via phone/in person, shredding documents, clean desk policy, etc.) and does not discard any information in the trash but utilizes professional shredding.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO TO HELP PREVENT OR MINIMIZE FRAUD ON YOUR ACCOUNT(S)? You, the accountholder and cardholder, are the best means to catch fraud early and keep it to a minimum by doing the following:
  1. Set up balance alerts through Online Banking on your checking account to alert you if you balance suddenly drops below the threshold you set… can then check your account transactions to see if there have been any unusual transactions that trigger a potential fraud situation for you.
  2. Check and monitor your checking account or credit card account balance frequently – many members check daily – via Home Banking access. One of the first signs of impending fraud can be a small dollar amount (sometimes even as little as $.25 or an odd amount such as $1.29) used several times, usually at a place where you have not performed transactions, just to test if the account is being monitored. If these transactions are allowed to process and not disputed and stopped, then usually larger fraud transactions occur immediately.
  3. IF YOU NOTICE AT ANY TIME A TRANSACTION, FOR ANY AMOUNT, that you did not authorize or perform, contact the Credit Union immediately at 619-297-4835 or toll-free: 1-888-907-3628 during business hours or call 1-866-596-3062 (for debit cards) after hours/week-ends to block your card and report your concerns. For a lost or stolen Visa Credit Card, call 1-800-234-5354. The Credit Union can quickly replace, via “instant issue,” a card that has been blocked due to fraud , if you go in person to one of our branches during normal business hours.

    Note: Be sure to always let METRO Credit Union know if you have used the afterhours numbers to have a debit or credit card blocked.
  4. The quickest way to catch and stop fraud is to act immediately to block any further transactions on the impacted card.

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