As you may have recently heard, there is a rash of fraud incidents happening all over Connecticut. Each time financial institutions make advances in protecting their members and customers, fraudsters find new and creative ways to breach security and steal money from people. These fraud rings create fake bank checks and fake debit cards in order to siphon money from accounts quickly before the victim has a chance to react. I’d like to take a moment to remind everyone of all the ways you can keep yourself and your family safe from fraud.
Debit & Credit Cards
Financial institutions have many tools in place that freeze debit and credit card activity if a “red flag” occurs. If cards are used out of state or in other unusual patterns the cards freeze until the activity is authenticated with the true accountholder. Typically, this will come in the form of a phone call. These preventative measures use state-of-the-art fraud detection methods, but are not foolproof. So be sure to track your card usage and don’t ignore anything that appears unusual. We now offer an entire App dedicated just to your card management. The Nutmeg Card Manager App can be used to control all your Nutmeg debit and credit cards. With this App, you can easily turn your cards on or off, set spending limits, set up alerts for purchases and card usage, and much more. This App is just another way we can help make your banking easy and help you stay protected. This App is available for download for Apple and Android devices.
A friend of mine recently mentioned that his mother was a victim of fraud at one of the large, national banks. Fraudsters used a fake debit card to make large ATM withdrawals over a one week period. Over $30,000 was taken before the victim became aware! One easy way this could have been halted much sooner is by using electronic alerts. Most financial institutions offer some form of alerts. At Nutmeg, you can get e-Alerts by text and email. These alerts can be as general or specific as you desire. You can set up alerts to be triggered for any and all transactions. If there is something unexpected that occurs, you will receive immediate notification. These alerts are great for catching unauthorized activity, but can also be used in many other ways as well. Get notification when you have a low balance, a loan payment is due, when your paycheck is direct deposited, or when an account overdraft occurs – to name just a few!
EMV Chip Technology
As you know by now, EMV chip technology is the new standard for card protection. Most retailers now use machines that accept these chips and most financial institutions are providing chip cards. At Nutmeg, we have updated all debit and credit cards to utilize EMV chip technology. This chip is more secure than your standard magnetic stripe on the card’s back. Your information is secure during your transactions at various retail locations. The only difference for you is inserting your card into the machine instead of swiping. It’s fast and easy. Most importantly, it keeps your information private from the retailer, its employees and any potential security breach.
Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay offer payment technology you can use right on your smartphone or other mobile devices. These services are becoming more and more popular and are available at a growing list of retailers. The technology is very similar to EMV chips as your card information is never shared with the retailer. Instead, your phone utilizes a one-time, randomly generated ID number called a “token” to process your payment. You never have to worry about someone fraudulently using your account because it requires your thumbprint!
Identity Theft Protection Service
If you are ever the victim of fraud or identity theft, Nutmeg offers a comprehensive recovery program to help you get back on your feet. Our ID Theft Protection Service will help you repair your credit quickly. For only $1.95/month, you can have peace of mind knowing that our trusted team will work for you in the event of identity theft. You may already be enrolled in this service. If you are not sure, please contact us.
If you ever see any unusual or suspicious activity on any of your accounts or cards, be sure to immediately contact your financial institution or call the number on the back of the card. As always, if you need assistance with your Nutmeg accounts, please feel free to contact us anytime.