While holiday shopping can bode well for your credit union’s card portfolio, it’s important to keep in mind that from Black Friday on fraudsters will be even more persistent in their efforts. A point Co-op Financial Services highlights in its recent blog post, 8 Ways to Avoid Card Fraud During the Holidays and Beyond.
The blog goes on to note that in addition to fraud detection systems, analysts and strategies to prevent fraud, the best way to fight fraud is to equip and empower your members with knowledge.
Some of those expert tips to share with members include:
Buy Only from Reputable Retailers. While counterfeit goods are often hard to spot, they are common out in the marketplace – especially online. Many items sold by unknown merchants turn out to be counterfeit or resold stolen goods. Consumers should exercise caution when merchandise is priced well below the going commercial rate.
Take Extra Steps to Secure Online Purchases. While EMV chips safeguard card data at the point of sale, they don’t protect e-commerce sales. Educate members about alternative payment methods that are safer to use online and via mobile devices, such as prepaid debit cards, Visa Checkout, Masterpass, and tokenized payment options like Apple Pay.
Secure PCs and Mobile Devices. One of the most problematic security threats to holiday shoppers is located right in their homes: the personal computer. Your members may be shopping from laptops, PCs and mobile devices infected with viruses and malware that give cybercriminals direct access to their personal and account data. Advise members to install quality virus and anti-malware scanning software on all computing devices to keep data secure.
Beware of Instant Savings Discounts. Consumers are often barraged with quick credit offers that can lead to ancillary identify theft. Let members know that they need to pay close attention to how their information is being collected if they are asked to open a credit account in exchange for a discount. Members should avoid verbally providing information to sales people, and should use caution as well when filling out paper forms that can easily be pocketed by retail personnel after they have left the premises.