Limit your risk of financial fraud by following a few key steps during the busy, holiday season.
With Christmas less than a week away, chances are that you have been shopping recently. Make sure that you always check your accounts because fraudsters are also shopping, for your personal and financial information. There are simple things that you can do to reduce exposure to fraud. These include reviewing and reporting anything suspicious on your financial statements, notifying Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union (MEFCU) on lost or stolen cards, using trusted websites, and taking a few extra seconds at an ATM to ensure it’s safe to use.
Review and Report. Make sure to review transactions through MEFCU’s online banking portal or mobile banking app. MEFCU also sends out monthly and quarterly statements via mail or eStatements in online banking. Another way to keep an eye on card charges is to sign up for Visa Fraud text Alerts. If there are any suspicious transactions on your account, make sure to notify MEFCU right away. Also, immediately report if your credit/debit card is misplaced, lost, or stolen. One of the best ways to stop fraud is by closing or temporarily blocking the credit/debit card when it’s not in your possession. To report a lost or stolen MEFCU card, call 800-535-2129. If you need to call outside of regular business hours please call 800-234-5354. Always review every transaction and always know where your credit and debit cards are located to limit the possibility of fraud.
Use Trusted Online Sites. When shopping online, attempt to use major merchants like Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc. Even though all companies are susceptible to fraud and data breaches, the likelihood is lower with major retailers. Specifically, in the internet browser, in the address bar, the URL should start with https and not http. The letter “s” confirms the website is secure and that your information is encrypted. If a website URL does not start with “https” it means the website is not secure and the risk of fraud is higher. Protect your information by checking for the https when you shop online.
Check ATM for Skimmers and More. An ATM skimmer is a device that looks identical to an existing card reader on the machine; however, it can be removed by pulling on it. The fraudster installs the skimmer onto the ATM to read the card information. If a card reader on an ATM doesn’t come off when pulled on, then you can assume it’s safe. Fraudsters may also use a fake keypad or other items. If anything looks suspicious, use a different ATM. Also while using an ATM, make sure there is no one else that is standing too close or acting suspiciously. If they are, walk away and go to another ATM. Completing these simple steps can help keep someone from getting your card information and draining your account balance.
No one is completely safe from fraud. However, routinely following the simple tips listed above can reduce the likelihood of falling victim to financial fraud. Today there are multiple tools available to review accounts and control your finances. It also never hurts to ask questions and get assistance from MEFCU to help ensure your financial safety.