Debit Card Security
Check Cards (debit cards) are a remarkable convenience that is being used by
more and more people today. As with credit cards, criminals have found ways to
victimize people who use them. We do not want you to become their next victim.
Safety at the ATM
- Observe the area for anything
suspicious before you approach the ATM. If you notice anything out of the
ordinary, visit the ATM later or use one of our other ATM locations. Help
us make your use of the ATM safer by reporting any unusual occurrences or
discrepancies as soon as possible.
- Lock your vehicle when you leave. Someone seeing you
approach the ATM may enter your car behind your back and wait for you to
- Have your Check Card in hand as you approach the
- Avoid reaching into your wallet or purse in front of
the machine. Someone could snatch it while you are distracted.
- Avoid counting cash while at the ATM.
- When using a drive-up ATM, lock your doors and roll up
all but the driver's window. Pull up close to the ATM so no one can walk
on that side of your car.
- If using an ATM after dark, make sure the ATM is
extremely well-lit and in a busy area. If someone else is using the
machine, wait in your car with the doors locked until they are finished.
- When waiting in line at an ATM, stand at least six feet
away from the person using the machine. Be considerate of their security
and privacy concerns.
Protecting your Check
Card and your account
Cards can be used three ways for purchases at most merchants that accept Visa
cards, for purchases through electronic Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals, and at
an ATM. That means you should take the same precautions as you would for a BIFCU
Visa Credit Card...
- Sign the back of your card as soon as it arrives. BIFCU's
card activation feature
helps prevent unauthorized use before your card arrives.
- Remember your PIN (Personal Identification Number).
Don't write it on your card or keep it in your wallet. Without the PIN, a
stolen card cannot be used to get cash at an ATM or be used to make
purchases at electronic POS terminals through ATM networks.
- Carry your card separately from your wallet. This
prevents loss of your card if your wallet is stolen or tampered with.
- Keep your Check Card number concealed in a check-out
line. If merchants are still using charge slips with separate carbons,
take the copies and destroy them.
- Only use your card at merchants you know and trust. A
large number of Check Card disputes involve online businesses without
adequate internal controls.
- Reduce the number of Check Cards and ATM cards you
carry. Keep an emergency phone list of Check Card companies to contact in
case your Check Cards are lost or stolen.
- Do not give your Check Card number out over the phone
unless you initiated the call. No financial institution personnel will
ever ask you for your Check Card number. The financial institution already
- Store your receipts in a safe place and compare them
with your account statement each month.
- Open your monthly account statement immediately every
month and verify all transactions. The faster you spot a problem and
report it to us, the sooner we can stop the loss and investigate the
- Do not give out your card number online unless the site
is secure (look for a closed lock at the bottom of your browser).
- After you activate your new cards, make sure you
completely cut up your old cards before throwing them away. Cut them
through the magnetic strip and through the numbers in two directions.
- Notify us in advance of your change of address in
- Report loss, theft, or fraudulent activity immediately.
If you detect fraud or
lose your card
you detect loss, theft, or unauthorized use on your BIFCU Express Check Card,
report it immediately by calling 800/472-3272.
The faster you report it, the faster we can shut off the card number, stop the
losses, and order you a replacement card(s). See the Federal Trade Commission Facts for Consumers - Credit,
ATM and Debit Cards: What To Do If They're Lost or Stolen at
for more detailed information.
disputed transaction amounts or problems with merchants, the procedure is
different. For these, you would notify us in writing as soon as possible. There
is also information on handling card disputes contained with your statement
Security measures BIFCU
BIFCU, we use every tool available to keep your Express Check Card and the
accounts it can access secure. Here are just some of the measures we take...
- Card activation For security reasons, when you get a new or
replacement Express Check Card in the mail the card must be used at an ATM
before it is activated for making purchases. Your Express Check Card will
not function until you have activated it. This prevents the card from
being used if it's stolen from your mailbox or while in transit to you.
- Neural networks These highly sophisticated programs monitor
your transaction activity for anything unusual so we can contact you about
it. Neural networks might recognize that your card is being used in Mexico and New York City on the same day.
- Expiration date confirmation As almost all Check Card
transactions through the Visa network are made, there is an electronic
confirmation made through Visa International that the card is valid, the
credit limit is available, and it hasn't been stolen. In addition, on BIFCU
Express Visa Check Card transactions, the expiration date supplied must be
correct. The one inconvenience of this security measure is that you must
update the expiration date with vendors who make regular automatic charges
to your card (such as online services, newspaper subscriptions, etc.).
- Block on Internet gambling Visa instituted this block
on cards for two reasons (1) in most states, it is illegal to gamble
across state lines, and (2) off-shore gambling has resulted in a variety
of fraud claims and financial hardship for people with compulsive gambling
- Verified by Visaฎ This optional free service
verifies card ownership when making online purchases. It's designed to
help prevent fraudulent use of your BIFCU Visa Credit Card and BIFCU Express
Check Card numbers. Visit Verified
by Visa to learn more about this service and sign up.