Data breaches are now routine occurrences. Everyone is at risk including individuals, companies and the government. Your best protection is a healthy skepticism about what personal information you share or read about others. Be aware and always on guard in all environments including internet browsing, debit & credit card usage, and online account access. Protect yourself by using strong passwords, changing passwords frequently, using unique passwords for difference websites or accounts, reviewing your account information often (promptly report discrepancies), avoid clicking on embedded links in email or texts, and practice safe access at ATMs.
Missing statements, phishing, vishing, spam & scam emails can be warning signs for identity theft. Protect yourself with knowledge! Visit the Federal Trade Commission website for identity theft information. And check your credit report records to verify your information. Everyone can check their report for free once per calendar year.
Card breaches are news headlines daily. To mitigate account fraud, we incorporate sophisticated behavioral tracking software on your debit transaction history. This is a proactive measure for your account security. Always notify us promptly of lost, stolen or misplaced debit card(s) by calling us at 715-387-8686 or toll-free 800-818-5049 during business hours. To report a problem when we are not open please phone 800-543-5073.
When we receive notification of a major breach we may contact you by phone or letter to advise you of the situation. We will not ask you for your account information. WE HAVE IT ON FILE. Depending upon the specific circumstances of the breach, your debit card may need to be deactivated and reissued. We will work with you to reduce any inconvenience.
While your debit card can be a convenient way to spend money while traveling (either domestically or abroad) we recommend you do not rely solely on its availability. Always have at least one other method of payment as a backup plan. We suggest a major credit card or our VISA® Travel Card. Rental car companies and hotels can create problems with debit cards because these merchants have additional authority to hold funds on your account.
UPDATE: Due to unprecedented international fraud activity (many foreign ATMs have illegal skimming devices) effective immediately, only U.S. debit card transactions will be authorized. Foreign transactions will be declined. For those traveling, check out our MMCCU VISA® Travel Card.
Cardholders must also take special care when using any ATM. One common way fraudsters are stealing card information is by installing devices, known as skimming devices, to ATMs and recreating cards from the stolen data. Pay special attention to the physical machine itself. If a machine appears damaged, or if parts appear to be altered, do not use that machine and contact the machine operator as soon as possible. When using an ATM, always take care to cover the keypad whenever you enter your PIN, as there may be individuals attempting to watch you enter your PIN. Be aware of individuals around you while you use an ATM, as there have been reported cases of thieves physically threatening and even harming unsuspecting ATM users for their cash and/or cards.
We partner with Elan Financial Services to offer VISA® Credit Cards for individuals and businesses. If you are an individual account holder, please contact the consumer Cardmember Service directly at 800-622-7747 with your questions. The direct number for the Fraud Department is 800-558-3424.
For business VISA® Credit Card accounts call 866-552-8855 for assistance with any issue.
Recently, there has been numerous reports of emails notifying people that their accounts have been suspended or deactivated. The email includes a link to login and update personal information. These emails appear to come from legitimate businesses. However, legitimate businesses (including MMCCU) will never email you to request personal information. Do not click on these links. Always treat these phishing attempts with a “healthy skepticism”. Just delete these emails. Do not use links in emails to contact what you think is the credit union. Contact us by going to our website, by phoning us, or by stopping in the office. There is also a new scam where the phisher is creating a letter and sending it through the mail to individuals to respond to the letter by calling a phone number. The phisher outlines in the letter that the individual must respond for their own protection. This scam is used in conjunction with other channels to steal valuable personal and financial information of the individual receiving the letter.
Vishing, (Voice phISHING) also called VoIP phishing for the Internet phones, is the voice counterpart to phishing. Instead of being directed by e-mail to a Web site, an e-mail or voice mail asks the user to make a telephone call. The call triggers a voice response system that asks for the user’s card number or other personal or financial information. The initial bait can also be a telephone call with a recording that instructs the user to phone an 800 number or another area code within or outside of the United States. Central Wisconsin has been a target of this type of scam during the past several months. Other financial institutions and their accountholders have become victims. The scenario has been that a voice message is received indicating that a credit/debit card is blocked or deactivated and the victim should call the phone number provided to reinstate access to the card. Unfortunately, we expect that scams like this will continue.
Smishing (SMS phISHING) is the mobile phone counterpart to phishing. Instead of being directed by e-mail to a Web site, a text message is sent to the user’s cell phone or other mobile device with some ploy to click on a link. The link causes a Trojan to be installed in the cell phone or other mobile device.
The types of Internet scams are almost unlimited. From getting a college degree to buying Viagra cheap and without a prescription, you can find it on the Internet. While the Internet is a modern marvel, please practice safe surfing and employ “healthy skepticism” about the information you are obtaining. Be aware of Web site spoofing where crooks create fake or counterfeit Web sites to steal your information. Use your browser’s phishing filter, check for security icons and certificates and KNOW who you are dealing with.