Credit/Debit Card Chip Technology is HERE!
Due to increased data breaches at major retailers, LVECU is now issuing all LVECU credit and debit cards with the latest EMV Chip Technology at expiration. Chip card technology is here and major retailers have already started to upgrade their payment terminals. This new technology will revolutionize the card payment industry. EuroPay, Mastercard and Visa created a partnership known as EMVco. This partnership has resulted in a card payment device that will be more secure for cardholders. The new device, known as EMV Chip Card, includes an embedded microchip in every card. The EMV Chip Card is already used throughout most of Europe and Asia and is currently in the introductory stages here in the U.S.
The magnetic-striped credit and debit cards that you use today contain “static” data, or payment data that does not change. The data stored in the magnetic stripe includes your 16-digit card account number, expiration date and 3-digit security code (CVC). Chip cards contain the same data and more. Each purchase or transaction that you make generates “dynamic” or unique data that is encoded in a safe mode. EMV helps protect you even if your card or card data is lost or stolen. The technology protects against the creation of counterfeit cards because the “dynamic” data is only good for a single purchase or use, and changes with each new purchase.
Though you will begin to see the new card readers at many retailers, the new machines will still be able to process your transaction using the old magnetic-striped card as well. Don’t worry, Visa’s Zero Liability protection will remain on all cards whether you have the new EMV Chip Card or the magnetic-striped card. The Zero Liability protects you from any unauthorized transactions on your Visa debit or credit card. However, even though you are protected by Visa, we encourage you to monitor your LVECU debit card activity through e-Tran home-banking and your LVECU credit card activity through eZCardInfo.com.
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Pennsylvanians Cautioned About Medical Phone Scam
Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane warned consumers about unsolicited telephone calls from scammers claiming to be from a government or non-profit health organization. Callers tell consumers that they are entitled to compensation as a result of a recent surgery. Consumers run the risk of identity theft and credit card fraud by providing information.
Although the caller may ask about surgery or a specific surgical procedure, the Attorney General's Health Care Section, who was alerted to the scam by a third party medical organization, does not believe that these callers have access to consumers' medical information. Rather, they are hoping consumers will give it to them.
The calls come from a variety of numbers including an "844" toll-free area code and blocked numbers. Callers claim to represent a governmental or non-profit health agency. Some of the names used include: “Pennsylvania Medical Center or Society;" "United States Department of Health;" "United States Health;" "American Healthcare;" "County Medical Register;" and "Medical Helpline Center."
The callers claim that consumers may be eligible for compensation relating to past surgery. The caller then probes for personal information, and possibly asks for money to secure the compensation. In an attempt to gain credibility through recent class action lawsuits advertised on TV, the scammers have mentioned surgical mesh and artificial hip implant procedures. Similar scams have been reported in other states, including New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Click here for more information and how consumers can protect themselves from these calls.
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IRS Impersonation Telephone Scam
An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.
Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are often threatened with arrrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver's license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Or, the victims are told they have a refund due, to try to trick them into sharing private information.
If the phone isn't answered, the scammers often leave an "urgent" callback request.
Note that the IRS will nenver:
- Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
For more information about this an other tax scams, visit the IRS website at: www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Scams-Consumer-Alerts
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Click here for simple precautions to help prevent card fraud:
Although you may not be able to keep hackers or dishonest employees out of your credit card processor's office, you can take simple defensive measures to keep thieves from stealing your credit card information from the garbage.
Here are some common sense precautions:
- Make sure the credit card company has your current phone number so the company can contact you if it sees suspicious charges on your card.
- Don't use a debit card for online purchases. Unlike credit cards, most debit cards don't have a limited fraud liability.
- Don't authorize payment or give out personal information over the phone unless you call a specific creditor and know its reputation.
- Review your credit card and checking account statements regularly. Many thieves will "test out" a card by charging small amounts.
- Notify your card issuer if a monthly statement fails to arrive in the mail.
- Shred pre-approved credit card offers, statements, and bills that contain account numbers or other personal information before throwing them away.
- Keep a record of your account numbers, their expiration dates, and the card issuer's phone number in a safe place--but not in your wallet.
- When traveling, be careful about using your credit card at internet cafes or anywhere with wireless connection.
- Check your credit report at least once a year. If you are a victim of fraud, call the fraud unit of one of the three national credit card bureaus--Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion--to alert them and have a fraud alert placed on your file.
These are just a few suggestions on how to keep your personal information secure. Should you have any questions regarding this information please do not hesitate to contact a credit union representative.
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Identity fraud is when someone pretends to be you and usually makes a huge mess of your financial life. This type of crime usually happens when a thief (be it a thug in dark clothes breaking into your home, or a clerk at the local convenience store) steals your financial information, from something as little as a discarded credit card receipt, credit union receipt, deposit slip, etc. This individual may purchase merchandise using this information, or even open fraudulent credit card accounts or checking accounts in the victim’s name.
Follow some of these important steps to help lessen the chance of such a crime ever happening to you:
- Examine all financial statements.
Reconcile monthly financial accounts as soon as you receive them. Report discrepancies to the appropriate company. Review your personal credit report at least one a year.
- Limit your paper trail.
Keep receipts and check carbons in a safe place. An even better option is to destroy anything that will not be needed for future reference. Destroy blank checks from closed accounts and expired credit cards. Also, destroy any “junk” mail you receive offering loans or credit cards.
- Guard your purse or wallet.
Keep them safe in your possession, even in your home. Do not leave them visible in your car.
- Protect your personal identification numbers.
Never keep your PIN in the same place as your ATM or credit cards, such as your wallet. And certainly NEVER write them down on your cards (It’s been done).
- Beware of phone scams.
NEVER give any personal information to anyone over the phone unless you initiated the call AND you feel comfortable with the situation (ex: ordering through a catalog). This includes Social Security numbers, bank/credit union account numbers, credit card numbers, PIN’s etc.
- Check your mail.
Be aware of when financial information is due to come in to your mail – bank statements and credit cards especially. Also, if you haven’t received any mail in a few days, you may be a victim of mail diversion fraud. This scam involves a criminal forging your signature on a change-of-address form to divert your mail to an address where they can obtain all of your pertinent information. If you suspect this has happened to you, contact your post office immediately.
- Protect yourself online.
As with telephone scams, NEVER use your financial information online unless you are sure you are on a secure site. If in doubt, find another means to transact your business other than on the computer.
Check out the Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft site for more information.
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Hundreds of consumers have found themselves the victims of an e-mail scam known as “phishing". It involves high-tech fraudsters who pretend to be a legitimate financial institution, credit card company, or even regulator. Hiding behind the anonymity of the internet, the fraudsters send out “official-looking” e-mails designed to trick consumers into divulging financial and personal information such as account numbers, passwords, user names, Social Security Numbers, and other sensitive data. In most cases, the e-mail claims that there is an account problem or warns of a possible fraud threat. Either way the whole idea is to convince the consumer there is an immediate need to update their financial information. It is important to educate our members not to respond to these types of e-mails.
If you receive an e-mail from Lehigh Valley Educators Credit Union requesting financial information or any other personal or sensitive data:
· Treat the e-mail with suspicion.
· Do not reply to the e-mail or respond by clicking on a link within the e-mail message. Lehigh Valley Educators Credit Union will never ask you to provide any kind of confidential or financial details via an e-mail request.
· Contact Lehigh Valley Educators Credit Union as soon as possible to report the suspicious e-mail. You can reach Lehigh Valley Educators Credit Union by calling 610-820-0145 or visiting www.lvecu.org.
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Vishing: Identity Theft Threat
Your credit union is committed to protecting your personal information and your financial accounts. A part of that commitment is to provide timely information on the many scams and fraud schemes that criminals use in an attempt to steal your money or your identity. Having that knowledge
will help each member avoid being a victim of fraud.
Identity thieves often use fake web sites and e-mails that appear so realistic they have tricked many people into providing their private financial information. But many identity thieves are also using a computer technology called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) that enables them to make anonymous calls to your phone for a crime called “vishing.”
For example, you may get a call from an identity thief saying that your credit card has been used illegally. You’re asked to dial a fake toll-free number in order to “confirm” your account details and credit card number.
Once you provide this information to the thief, it is used to run up charges on your account and leave you with a financial mess to clean up. Your credit rating may also be affected.
Tips To Protect Yourself
It can be hard to determine when you are the target of a vishing scam and when your credit card provider is making a genuine attempt to contact you because of a problem with your account.
But following these tips can help:
• If you receive a phone call asking you to “confirm,” “update” or “verify” credit card account numbers or other financial information, hang up even if the person claims to be from your credit card provider. Then, call the customer service number on the back of your card or your statement to check if the call was legitimate. If it was, they will know it.
• When a caller asks for the three-digit security code on the back of your credit card, do not provide it unless you made the call, using the customer service number on your credit card or account statement.
• Some telephone numbers can be faked with VoIP. Even if your Caller ID shows that a caller is using a number in your area, you should be suspicious of any caller who wants you to “confirm,” “update” or “verify” your financial information over the phone.
• If you’re notified by e-mail that there is a problem with your account and you’re asked to respond to the e-mail or call a toll-free phone number, don’t do it. Instead, use the toll-free number on your credit card or account statement.
• Be wary if the caller does not address you by your first or last name.
• Report any vishing attempts to your credit union or credit card provider as soon as possible.
Presented by the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, an independent trade association representing federally chartered credit unions nationwide.
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Learn About Scams
Annual Credit Report.com
Federal Trade Commission - ID Theft Information
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