Credit Card Safety Tips
When it comes to identity theft and credit card fraud, it's becoming more important than ever to be vigilant and take steps to protect your personal information.
The most reliable way of finding fraud before it gets out of hand is to keep a watchful eye on all your accounts and your credit reports. Notify PSFCU, if you move. That way your statements, new card and other information will follow you to your new address and won’t end up in anyone else’s hands.
- Consider changing your paper statement into paperless.
Setting up alerts can help you manage your account - and help you spot fraud. Alerts can typically be set on your PSFCU Online Banking >>Credit Card website or app. PSFCU offers a number of different alert options. For instance, you can choose to get a text or email anytime a purchase is made on the card, or you can even set a purchase limit that would trigger an alert. You can also request alerts when your balance reaches a certain threshold, when you're near your limit, when the payment date is approaching—and more. If an account is taken over, hackers may be able to intercept alerts sent by SMS text or phone call.
You can simply freeze/unfreeze your card account for extra security or if your card is temporarily misplaced. Recurring payments and rewards are still allowed to go through, plus transactions that were made before the freeze, but any new purchases are declined until you unfreeze the account. The feature can generally be activated through your PSFCU Online Banking >> Credit Card website or app, so you don't even have to speak with anyone to freeze and unfreeze your account.
Be careful when giving your credit card number over the phone; only offer it when you initiated the call and you’re talking to a bank or merchant you trust. Be suspicious of messages you receive over email, text, phone or social media, asking you to give personal information or click a suspicious link.
Most smartphones have a digital wallet. You add your credit card information and then you can use your smartphone (or smartwatch) to pay in store purchases or online when retailers offer the option. Digital wallets work by transmitting a unique, random transaction number to the merchant instead of your card number.
Your account information is encrypted in your digital wallet, and can only be accessed via password or, with most mobile devices, your fingerprint or facial recognition. And, if your card information is ever lost or stolen, banks can reissue a new one immediately to your phone, instead of having to wait days for a card to arrive in the mail.
- If you ever misplace or lose your phone, you can lock your digital wallet remotely. Plus, there are no fees for using digital wallets.
Setting up a Travel Notification can help you manage your trip and help spot fraud. Travel Notification can typically be set on your PSFCU Online Banking >> Credit Card website or app.
One-way financial institutions fight fraud is by declining transactions that seem to be wildly different than your usual pattern. Calling ahead of time can help ensure that you have access to your cards. Before traveling, consider making a copy of all the cards you carry in your wallet—that way you'll have the emergency phone numbers handy plus a list of your cards.
Guarding against hackers and scammers can help keep all of your sensitive information safe.
- Ignore deals, freebies, and awards that sound too good to be true. Disregard offers that appear to come from unusual foreign contacts, as well as requests from strangers for help.
- Ignore phone calls, emails, or texts that appear to be from the IRS. The IRS will not contact you by phone, email, text message, or social media to request personal or financial information.
- Be suspicious of anyone requesting your Social Security number, date of birth, financial account number, PIN, email, or passwords - especially if there is a request to verify your information when you were not expecting it.
- Never click a link or download an attachment inside an unexpected email. Go to the company's website and log in to your account from there.
- Never provide personal information over the phone to an unsolicited caller. If you think the call might be legitimate, hang up, and call the company directly.
The first step to safe online shopping is to check that you're shopping on a secure website. Look at the URL to find out if it's secure—it should begin with "https" not "http." The "s" indicates that the connection between your internet browser and the company's server is encrypted. You'll also see a padlock icon next to the URL in your browser.
- If you set up accounts with merchants or websites, make sure that you use strong passwords—and don't reuse the same password across multiple sites.
- Make sure your device, whether it's a computer, phone, or tablet, has the latest security updates from the system maker.
- When shopping away from home on your computer, phone, or tablet, avoid using public wi-fi to help keep your data secure.
- Even if you do everything perfectly, you may end up shopping on a retail site that has been compromised. That could leave your credit card account vulnerable.
If you lose your credit card or suspect fraudulent activity contact PSFCU right away at the number provided on the back of your card.
We can block your card and account number so no one else can use them and provide with a new card and account number.