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Debit Card Fraud Alert

Sep 01, 2015

Recently, Holyoke Credit Union (HCU) has detected an increase in fraudulent debit card transactions affecting our members. These fraudulent debit card transactions are related to recent data breaches at many merchants and card processors. At HCU, we are committed to protecting your accounts. HCU has in place fraud prevention systems, with dedicated, experienced fraud analysts constantly monitoring your accounts 24 hours a day. Should we detect any suspicious activity, Fraud Protection Services will contact you immediately. Please note: They will not ask you for your card number, PIN number, or entire social security number. If HCU receives information that your debit card number was compromised we will notify you and reissue you a new card immediately. You also have the peace of mind that you're protected from unauthorized transactions by HCU’s Zero Liability policy.

If you are traveling and will be using your debit card, please contact us at (413) 532-7007 (Option 6) and we will ensure full access to all normal debit card transactions.

Detecting and preventing fraudulent transactions is an ongoing battle. To actively combat this increased level of fraud activity, HCU has been able to identify where fraud has been occurring in certain states within the U.S. and countries internationally. To protect our members, we have limited or restricted transactions in those locations. HCU has implemented network rules that will prohibit signature based (Credit) transactions and require you to use your PIN (Debit) when completing a transaction. This rule will only affect card present transactions. All internet or telephone transactions are not affected. If you experience a transaction being declined, please try the transaction again as a debit transaction using your PIN.

Here is a listing of states and countries where HCU has limited or restricted transactions:

Limited Transactions (which means your debit card can be used but the PIN has to be used or the transaction will be denied)

  • Central Northern States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin
  • Northeast States: Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey
  • Northern Midwest States: Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming
  • Southeast States: Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia
  • Southern States: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas
  • West Coast States: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington
  • New York: Only the Following – Long Island, Brooklyn, New York, Queens and Bronx
  • CVS – RITE AID – Walgreens: Transactions over $200 in all states except Massachusetts and Connecticut
  • INTERNATIONAL: All countries excluding The United States, Mexico and Canada for transactions over $50.00

*Holyoke Credit Union has been notified of a recent uptick in fraudulent PINLESS transactions occurring for under $50 in Walmart Stores around the country. A PINLESS transaction is where you do not have to enter your PIN at the POS terminal. After you swipe your debit card, you will immediately receive a receipt without being given the option to choose debit or credit. Merchants are able to set up limits to where they will process a PINLESS transaction for convenience and speed of the transaction; however, these types of transactions bypass the additional security of a PIN. As a result, we’ve taken precautionary steps to protect members by placing limitations on certain types of purchases at Walmart.

When making a transaction of $50 or less at a Walmart store you will be required to use your PIN. So, if you experience that your card is declined and it is for $50 or less and you were never given the option to select debit or credit, please have the merchant process the transaction and ensure that you select Debit and use your PIN. If you take those steps your transaction will be approved and process successfully.

Restricted Transactions (which means all transactions are blocked)

  • China
  • Mexico
  • Thailand
  • Dominican Republic
  • Czech Republic
  • South Africa
  • Philippines
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Honduras
  • Egypt
  • Germany
  • Jordan
  • Finland
  • North Korea
  • Balkans
  • Cuba
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Italy
  • Libya
  • Lebanon
  • Romania
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Yemen
  • Zimbabwe
  • Ukraine
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Canada
  • Malta
  • United Kingdom
  • United Arab Emirates
  • South Korea

You can assist HCU in combating debit card fraud as well. Here are a few things you can do.

  1. Save the receipts from your charges and keep them in a safe location. Check your statements regularly to verify that they properly reflect the amounts you have authorized. Report any fraudulent transactions immediately by calling HCU at 413-532-7007 (Option 6). Once you have reconciled your statements, shred all receipts and discard them at home.
  2. Use ATMs safely. Use only ATMs with surveillance cameras and that are not in a poorly lit or in a concealed location and be aware of people and your surroundings. When you enter or exit an ATM in an enclosed area, be sure you close the entry door completely. Do not open locked ATM vestibule doors for others or allow any unknown persons to enter the ATM area while you are making your transaction. Inspect the card reader prior to inserting your card to ensure no devices are attached. Guard your PIN. Memorize it and never write it down. Cover the keypad when you enter your PIN, and if you notice suspicious activity, cancel your transaction. You should also take your receipt with you, as it may contain personal information that could be helpful to identity thieves. Secure your card and cash after completing your transaction and before exiting the ATM area. Count your cash later in the safety of your locked car or home. Your ATM/Debit card is like cash, so keep it in a safe place.
  3. If you are traveling and will be using your debit card, please contact us at (413) 532-7007 (Option 6) and we will ensure full access to all normal debit card transactions.
  4. Please report lost or stolen cards immediately by calling us 24/7 at 1-800-264-5578.
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