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Holiday Shopping Tips
Details Really Do Matter
- Fortify your wallet with two forms of plastic payment cards – credit and debit – and make sure you are aware of how much you can spend per day or per billing cycle on each one to avoid going over your spending limits.
- Are you planning on shopping like a rock star by making a huge purchase? Call ahead! Alert your card issuer as soon as possible so that they can help pave the way to a smooth transaction.
- Make sure you’ve updated your credit union card accounts with your current email, cell number and address. Purchases can be denied over something as minor as entering the wrong postal code if it doesn’t match your address on record.
Keep Safety Top of Mind
- Always put your plastic payment cards back where they normally reside in your wallet. Hasty purchases can lead to misplaced or lost plastic, which will result in delays while you wait for a replacement.
- Many retailers today accept Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and/or Android Pay. These forms of payment utilize your mobile device to create a safer payment experience using tokenization. A tokenized form of payment replaces your payment card number with a secure encrypted digital payment that can’t be used again. Who doesn’t love that idea?
- Avoid patronizing unfamiliar online retailers that offer “deals of the century.” These online merchants may not even be legitimate; the only thing they are in the market for is your credit card information. Stick to trusted retailers and brands that you know in order to avoid fraudulent activity on your payment cards.
- If you see an unusual transaction on your debit or credit card statement, it is imperative that you report this to your credit union immediately to ensure that your financial accounts haven’t been compromised – and that they remain safely out of criminals’ hands.
- Flasher Community Credit Union offers a number of options to assist you with monitoring your financial accounts. Online account connection ( link found on our website homepage ), and the CardNav mobile app (offers security alerts and SMS text messaging regarding your Flasher CCU Debit Card account ) are available for our members and their use is highly recommended as a means to keep your accounts safe. Greater awareness means greater security.
Staying safe and having convenient, easy-to-use forms of payment makes the holidays happier for everyone. Whether you are planning to shop in-person or digitally, Flasher Community Credit Union encourages all our members to be proactive and to work with us to keep their information safe.
Freezing Your Credit is Now Free
Thanks to a new law one of the best ways to protect yourself from identity theft is now free. Freezing your credit keeps criminals from accessing your credit without your consent. It essentially blocks a lender from checking your credit report, which means a criminal would be unable to open a new account using your personal data.
In order to effectively freeze your credit, you’ll need to contact all three major credit bureaus. Each bureau has its own process, but generally you’ll need to provide your Social Security number, birthdate and other identifying information.
How to Contact the Three Main BureausTransUnion:
Visit TransUnion.com/credit freeze. Transunion encourages you to add the freeze online, so it takes effect sooner. They also offers a free mobile app called myTransUnion which is available in the Google Play and Apple App stores.
Equifax: Visit www.Equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/ or call their automated line at 800-685-1111.
Experian: Visit www.Experian.com/freeze or call 1-888-EXPERIAN (1-888-397-3742)
Two things to keep in mind after you freeze your credit. It is still important to watch for fraudulent activity. Also, you will have the ability to lift the freeze when you are ready to apply for a loan using a special personal identification number PIN that you set up with the bureaus.
Deposit Slips & Payment Vouchers
The DO’s & DON’T’s of Making Deposits & Loan Payments at Flasher CCU *
- Always include a deposit slip or payment voucher with ANY deposit or loan payment either MAILED or LEFT IN THE OVERNIGHT DROP BOX. (Deposits that do not include slips run the risk of being credited to incorrect accounts. It is the responsibility of our members to ensure they are communicating their intents in an effective manner.)
- On your form of payment (check/money order) please write the loan number of the account you wish to credit when making loan payments. (i.e. XXXX L8 – House payment)
- If making a payment by mail or drop box on behalf of another FCCU member (family member or friend), OR if you do not have a deposit slip or payment voucher for your account, please include a legible note with specific instructions as to where you would like your funds credited.
PLEASE DO NOT:
- Drop cash in the overnight drop box without a deposit slip or envelope. (We have no way of knowing where this cash is to be credited.)
- Expect the staff at FCCU to know where your funds should be credited without proper documentation.
* Flasher Community Credit Union staff does their best to ensure payments and deposits are credited to the correct accounts, however, it is the responsibility of our members to effectively communicate their intents.
Funds incorrectly credited can result in:
– Overdrawn accounts – NSF &/or Late fees – Research fees
If you are in need of payment vouchers or deposit slips, please contact our office at 701-597-3391. We would be more than happy to order some for you.
USING YOUR FLASHER COMMUNITY CU DEBIT CARD
Flasher Community Credit Union Debit Card Use & Safety 101
Debit cards have become very popular with our members, but there is a lot you need to know about debit card use & safety. When you make a purchase with a debit card, the money is taken out of your checking account instantly.
If you are having an issue using your card BEFORE calling our office ask yourself the following:
- Do you have enough funds in your account to cover the charge?
- Are you current on your loan payments ( over 30 days dilenquent will shut off your ability to use your card)?
- Did you use an incorrect PIN or have forgotten your PIN? We do not have access to your PIN numbers at the office. If you have forgotten or lost your PIN we will have to reorder a new one.
- Have you recently had fraudulent activity? If there is a questionable charge, our card service will call to verify. If they do not reach someone in person, they will set your card as “lost” and no further charges will be allowed.
FRAUD NOTIFICATIONS: All Flasher Community Credit Union members with a Debit / ATM card are required to have an active cellphone number on file. This is the number our card issuing company (CO-OP) calls if any questionable activity is flagged on your card. Questionable activity may include unfamiliar online purchases, using an unsecure internet access ( i.e. non-password protected WiFi ) to make purchases, or a spike in usage during travel.
Flasher Community Credit Union encourages ALL of our members to use the Smartphone App, CardNav, to monitor their cards. Using the app will eliminate the need to call before travel (as long as the card is traveling with the phone running the app), & will allow you to manage the accounts associated with your card. You can also turn off your card and prevent any fraudulent activity & secure it if it becomes lost.
In Addition to the CardNav App, here are a few more Debit Card Safety Tips
This is the BEST way to protect your accounts. Time is of the essence to receive full fraud protection from your financial institution. Make a habit of reviewing your account online at least one a week, or even daily if you have time. The CardNav App has a setting feature that alerts you to all transactions made on your card. It has proven to immediately stop fraud on members’ accounts.
- Protect Your PIN Number.
Don’t give your PIN number to anyone who asks, and do not keep it written down anywhere in your purse or wallet. Don’t use your PIN at the gas pump, rather use it in credit card mode. Using your debit card in credit card mode may offer you extra liability protection.
- Consider Avoiding Debit Card Use Online:
Some members choose to use credit cards online since a fraudulent credit card transaction will take more time and can become an item of dispute rather than an instant removal of cash from your checking account. Check for a security symbol such as an unbroken key or padlock on each website before you order anything. These symbols indicate that your purchase is being made on a secure site.
- Examine Any ATM Carefully:
ATMS located in convenience stores, subway stations, airports, and other places have a greater risk of having a “skimming” device attached by a thief, which could store your debit card data. If the machine looks suspicious, don’t use it. Check to make sure the ATM is observed by surveillance cameras. This is also true for gas station card payments as well. It is safer to walk in a pay vs swipe at the pump.
- Don’t Use Public Wireless Access For Financial Transactions:
Make sure you are using a password protected WiFi signal to check your account balance, pay bills, and shop online so that crooks have less of a chance to capture your password and account information.
- Report Problems Immediately:
While you would certainly report it right away if your wallet was stolen and your credit and debit cards went missing, you should also report any unauthorized transactions immediately. The faster you report the problem, the quicker you can cancel your debit card and prevent additional charges. Once again, installing the CardNav app on your smartphone will allow you to shut off your card during non-business hours increasing your safety.
- Consider Filing A Police Report:
If your debit card is stolen, you may want to contact the police so that you have extra support for disputing your transactions.
The Bottom Line:
While you may find constantly using a debit card to be a great convenience, it won’t be that convenient should someone manage to drain your checking account. A little bit of vigilance and new habits on your part can go a long way in terms of preventing fraud and a damaging debit card experience.
CardNav by CO-OP Smartphone App
Flasher Community Credit Union is pleased to announce an unprecedented benefit for our Debit/ATM cardholders. We’re introducing a new app called CardNavSM by CO-OP, which lets you manage your cards by remote control in real-time from your smartphone.
In addition to letting you turn your cards on and off whenever you choose, CardNav provides instant updates to help manage your budget and help identify and stop potential fraud from happening.
CardNav adds another level of security to your cards by letting you decide how and when they can be used, and alerting you when any types of transactions you specify take place to help identify and stop potential fraud. You can even use CardNav to set personal spending limits that help you stay within your budget goals.
With CardNav, you can turn cards on or off in seconds, and use GPS to restrict transactions to businesses within a designated area or while traveling. You can limit card use to specific merchants or purchases. You also can receive alerts when you’re getting close to any personal spending limits you’ve set. CardNav also allows you to immediately check your share & draft account balances and make unlimited instant transfers when you need them.
In just minutes, you can gain the security and control of CardNav by CO-OP. All it takes to get started is a free download from the Apple App Store or Google Play & your debit/ATM card account number.
We’re on Facebook!
The Flasher Community Credit Union is now on Facebook! If you haven’t already, like our page to stay up to date on daily & weekly news, tips & tricks on managing your accounts & fun information. You can find us by clicking on the Facebook icon at the top of the home page.