During the busy winter season, fraudulent activity can often increase as card transactions increase both online and in-store. It is important to remain vigilant during this time of year. To help assist you in these efforts, please view the following tips and items to be cognizant of, so you can keep your information safe while shopping online and at retail locations this season.
Card Security Best Practices
- Carry only the card(s) you plan to use. We recommend carrying both your UMassFive debit and credit cards, so if you have trouble using either card during a transaction*, you will be able to use the other as a back-up.
- Know where your cards are at all times.
- Check for evidence of tampering before you use an ATM to obtain cash. Glue and overlays on the card reader or keypad are common items to be on the lookout for.
- Monitor account activity via EZbank online and mobile banking, and/or your monthly statement. Remember you are able to set your own personal alerts within EZbank, including alerts for transactions that occur over certain amounts.
- Respond as soon as possible when an alert is received by calling the number provided. Remember that we will not ask you for any confidential information over the phone.
- Ensure computers have the most up-to-date anti-virus software.
*Why Was My Card Declined?
There may be several reasons why a card transaction is declined, including:
- Lack of funds available in your account at the time of the transaction. Be sure to check your account balances via EZbank online and mobile banking to ensure you don't have any pending funds on hold, and to also ensure that your account balance isn't below the amount of the transaction.
- Your transaction may be outside the scope of your normal purchasing habits, which could trigger our fraud protection team to decline the payment (a preventative measure for your safety).
- The merchant payment system may be experiencing issues while processing your transaction.
- You entered the incorrect card information onto an online payment form.
These are just some examples of why a card transaction may be declined. Each transaction is unique, so please be sure to contact UMassFive during normal business hour for more information on a specific transaction.
What To Look Out For
Phishing scams are used by fraudsters to obtain a card, account, or personal data through fictitious phone calls, websites, emails, and more.
- Be wary of emails from unrecognized persons or email addresses that require you to confirm personal or financial information over the internet, or call unknown numbers. These emails typically include verbiage that makes the request seem urgent to stimulate a quick response.
- Ensure that email spam filter settings are turned on to block emails from persons not on your contact list.
- Keep in mind, when an email address includes a link and requests that you visit a website, phishing websites often copy the entire look of a legitimate website, making it appear authentic. To be safe, call the legitimate enterprise first to inquire about the email you received to ensure it is valid. Businesses should never request personal information to be sent via email.
- Beware of phone phishing schemes and do not divulge card, account, or personal information over the phone unless you initiate the call.
- Not click on links, download files, or open attachments in emails from unknown senders.
Fraudsters may use charity organizations as a way to capitalize on kindness during the winter season and throughout the year. Charity fraud occurs when an individual or group deliberately misrepresents its fundraising intentions or solicits funds for phony causes.
- Request written information from the organization including name, address, and phone numbers of members of the charity.
- Be wary of 3rd party companies that claim they are collecting donations on behalf of the legitimate organization.
- Not click on links in unsolicited emails. Go directly to the websites of known charities.
UMassFive and Member Security
The Credit Union has developed and maintains a comprehensive matrix of safeguards to protect the information and assets that we are charged with protecting. For more information, please visit our Personal Security page.