Securing Your Accounts
While many of us are focused on buying gifts for everyone on our list this holiday season, fraudsters are more focused on stealing personal information and using it to their advantage. While you shouldn’t be afraid to spread holiday cheer by making purchases both online and in store, keeping these four things in mind can help to keep your accounts safe and secure this holiday season.
1. Choose Cash or Credit Over Debit
One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself is to pay for your purchases with a credit card or cash. Using your credit card provides more fraud protection than paying with cash or a debit card and you may be eligible for rewards on your purchases and extra warranty protection when you use your GEICO FCU credit card. If you are uncomfortable with adding to your credit card balance, paying with your debit card is the next best option. Additionally, because a debit card is tied to your checking account you expose your savings balance to potential thieves especially when making purchases online.
Also, carefully review your monthly credit card or account statements to make sure that there are no unauthorized transactions on your GEICO FCU account. If you discover any unauthorized transactions contact us immediately. We always protect you from unauthorized credit card and debit card transactions by monitoring your account for unusual transactions. If we notice any unusual transactions on your GEICO FCU credit card or debit card, we will notify you by phone or text message. If you receive this type of communication from us, follow the instructions and contact us on the telephone number provided to maximize your protection from fraud. You can also monitor activity on your GEICO FCU MasterCard® through ezCardInfo and report suspicious activity.
2. Exercise Similar Cautions Online as You Would In-Store
Shopping online can save money and reduce stress from the long lines and crowds, however, it’s also an avenue for your information to get stolen if you’re not careful. Only shop online at retailers that you know. Most importantly, never forget that if the deal is too good to be true, it probably is. When you’re buying from an online retailer that you don’t have a relationship with, search the merchant online for fraud alerts and other warnings.
Make it a habit to check your GEICO FCU accounts through online banking or on the mobile app after a day of shopping. Note transactions that look suspicious and report them either to us directly by calling us at 1-800-542-7896 or through ezCardInfo for GEICO FCU MasterCard purchases.
3. Use a Secure Network
Be just as cautious with your personal and account information as you are with your PINs and card numbers. The safest online shopping sites make sure their transactions are as secure as possible by using the "https" protocol, rather than the standard "http. If you don’t see the extra letter at the end of the URL, you may be shopping on an unsecure site that could lead to identity theft. Also, keep diligent records of all online purchases, and know how to contact the retailer if something goes awry.
4. Set Alerts for Unusual Activity on Your Account.
Set text and/or email alerts through online and mobile banking to notify you when charges and fees of a certain amount hit your account. This will allow you to actively check in with your accounts and help prevent fraudulent charges from sneaking up in your account.
GEICO Federal Credit Union is committed to helping you have a safe and stress-free holiday season by keeping your accounts and information secure. We also offer a variety of tools to help you manage your accounts 24/7 including ezCardInfo, additional credit card holder benefits, online and mobile banking and Money Management budgeting software.