Card Fraud Prevention: Visa Check and Visa Credit Cards have fraud-monitoring services that trigger alerts to the credit union if a card is used in a geographic location or a pattern that is inconsistent with its history. You may occasionally receive calls to verify unusual activity. If you do not answer, a brief message may be left. Neither the credit union nor our providers will ask for your card number, expiration date, or CVC (security) code. If you are uncomfortable with the call, hang up and call the number listed on the back of your card. When travelling, contact the credit union at 800-622-5305, and we can note your account to allow legitimate transactions. So we can reach you promptly when needed, keep the credit union informed of any address or telephone number changes.
Accounts with Online Banking: Telco NetBranch employs industry leading security features to ensure that all of your transactions are conducted with the highest possible privacy and protection. All data is encrypted using 128-bit encryption, the current industry standard, and transferred via the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol between you and your Credit Union. NetBranch also offers the option of creating a unique Login ID, so that you can discontinue using your Member Number to login. We recommend periodically assessing your personal online banking risk, such as restricting disclosure of your password to only joint account holders and refraining from writing your login information down in proximity to your computer. If you have a business, be sure you are aware of who has access to your accounts online and take extra due diligence to review account activity.
Mobile Banking Security: Carolinas Telco’s mobile web and apps are secure, using 128-bit encryption that masks your sensitive information. A password is required each time you log on and your NetBranch private “picture and pass phrase” are displayed to protect against “phishing.” You should always maintain security of your phone, including using a password to access your phone. Be aware of apps that you download and make sure they are apps that you trust. Downloading apps of unknown or suspect origin could compromise your online banking credentials, or any password-protected app or web site you visit. Take caution using your device at all times.
Rights and Responsibilities: The Carolinas Telco FCU membership agreement provides certain protections to members, such as limited liability on certain transactions. You can review the current membership agreement using the Disclosures link in the footer of this page. Review your statements and/or monitor your account activity regularly through NetBranch or Telco Teller. If your statement or transaction history shows transfers or transactions that you did not make, TELL US AT ONCE at 800-622-5305.
Visa Security: You're Protected
On Visa Credit Cards and Visa Debit Cards, there sometimes is a potential for fraud. But, as long as you keep up with your transaction history on your statements or through NetBranch Account Access, take caution to whom you reveal your card information, and immediately contact the credit union should your card become lost, stolen or compromised, you should feel secure.
Carolinas Telco Visa Credit and Debit Cards are covered by Visa's Zero Liability Policy*.
In the event you experience unauthorized transactions:
The transaction-at-issue must be posted to your account before replacement funds may be issued.
Notify Carolinas Telco
To File Disputes or Notify Carolinas Telco of a Lost or Stolen Card, Contact Us Immediately!
Lost, Stolen, or Compromised - Visa® Credit Card or Visa® Debit Card
During and after business hours, call: 800-622-5305
Lost, Stolen, or Compromised - ATM Card
During and after business hours, call: 800-622-5305
Other Unauthorized Access on Your Account
During and after business hours, call: 800-622-5305
Multi-Factor Authentication is a security feature that works 24/7 to protect your Home Banking account, even when you are not online. It helps guard against fraudulent logon attempts like “phishing” (malicious requests for your personal information) and identity theft. A few important things for you to know about MFA:
Fight identity theft by monitoring and reviewing your credit report. You may request your free credit report online at www.annualcreditreport.com, by phone or through the mail. Free credit reports requested online are viewable immediately upon authentication of identity. Free credit reports requested by phone or mail will be processed within 15 days of receiving your request.
This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Free copy of your credit report at least once a year from: www.annualcreditreport.com
Ready for tax season? If you haven’t heard about tax identity theft, you may not be. Tax identity theft happens when someone files a phony tax return using your personal information—like your Social Security number—to get a tax refund from the IRS. It also can happen when someone uses your Social Security number to get a job or claims your child as a dependent on a tax return. Tax identity theft has been the most common form of identity theft reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for the past five years. Tax identity thieves get your personal information in a number of ways. For example:
More information about tax identity theft is available from the FTC at www.ftc.gov/taxidtheft and the IRS at www.irs.gov/identitytheft.
Unfortunately, tax identity theft isn’t the only way scammers are targeting taxpayers. The FTC has gotten thousands of complaints about IRS imposters who claim people owe unpaid taxes and will be arrested if they don’t pay up. They may know all or part of your Social Security number, and rig caller ID to make it look like it’s really the IRS calling. Before you can investigate, you’re told to put the money on a prepaid debit card and tell them the number — something no government agency would ask you to do.
If you owe — or think you owe — federal taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 or go to www.irs.gov. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
The IRS doesn’t ask people to pay with prepaid debit cards or wire transfers, and doesn’t ask for credit card numbers over the phone. When the IRS contacts people about unpaid taxes, they usually do it by postal mail, not by phone. Report IRS imposter scams to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) online or at 800-366-4484, and to the FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint.
If you receive a contact through Craigslist where a buyer is giving you a cashier's check far exceeding the value, or an email where the sender claims to be stuck in a foreign country, or an unsolicited secret shopper "opportunity" from someone or an entity you do not know, take caution because you may be scammed.
Secret shopper programs are used by many businesses. In fact, Carolinas Telco partners with MemberShoppers, a respected provider of mystery shopping services to credit unions across the country to coordinate our program. The big difference between a legitimate offer and one presented by a scam artist is the amount of compensation involved. The sums of money offered by legitimate companies are modest, maybe $10 to $20 for your time. A scam artist purporting to offer a secret shopper opportunity where you can make thousands of dollars is most likely setting you up for fraud.
The fraud typically involves giving you a check for a significant amount, dollars as high as $2,000 to $5,000, and much more than what you should expect for the value of the item or of your time. Be especially cautious if you are promised a cashier's check, that gives the appearance of legitimacy, because most likely the cashier's check is fraudulent. You'll then be pressured to cash the check, or deposit a check through mobile deposit, and immediately withdraw the funds from an ATM. Calls and emails will then demand that a portion of the cash be wired or mailed back to the sender, while you get to "keep the rest for your time and efforts." This is a clear sign of fraud and you are going to lose money.
The checks are most likely counterfeit, drawn off a closed account, or will return as NSF. It may take up to 10 days for checks to return, but when the check does return, your account is going to be debited for the amount of the check. Depending on the funds in your account at that time, it could leave you in the negative and YOU owing the credit union. They may also ask for your online banking credentials, such as Login ID and Password, or want to access your account with your Visa Check or ATM Card, to pressure you into withdrawing the funds as soon as possible. Never provide this information to unauthorized users.
It may be tempting to think this is a way to make extra money, but the scammers are a step ahead of you. If it sounds too good to be true, it is!
Some merchants have recently announced that their customers who used credit and debit cards there may have had their names, card numbers, expiration dates, and three-digit security codes exposed. Please note the following:
If you have any further concerns or questions please Contact us online or call 800-622-5305.
*Does not apply to PIN transactions not processed by Visa, which are protected after the first $50. Coverage may not be provided for gross negligence/fraud or delay in reporting unauthorized use. You must notify your credit union immediately of any unauthorized use.
Criminal groups across the country are taking advantage of the requirements in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by using credit repair services to dispute derogatory credit report item(s). The "companies" recruit individuals to use credit repair services to dispute derogatory credit report items and assists the individuals in applying for credit union membership under their real identities.
After joining the credit union or bank, the individuals applied for loans and credit cards during the dispute investigation period knowing the credit score would be temporarily inflated. The individuals sometimes also misrepresent their employment and income information. Upon approval of the loans, the individuals run the cards to the credit limit or maximize any funds they can gain access to, then are required to share proceeds with the credit repair "company."
If you see a sign on the side of the road advertising credit repair, it is likely involving fraud, so don't fall victim to these scams.
However, if you are a true victim of fraud, the Fair Credit Report Act is there to help you. Consumers have the right to dispute items contained in their credit report under the FCRA. The person receiving the dispute (e.g., the furnisher of the disputed data or a consumer reporting agency) is required to conduct an investigation relating to the dispute. The investigation must be completed within 30 days of receiving the dispute but may be extended an additional 15 days if the consumer provides information to the credit reporting agency that is relevant to the investigation. Upon completing the investigation (up to 45 days from the date of the dispute), the credit reporting agency must make any necessary adjustments to the disputed item.
The National Credit Union Administration warned consumers to beware of a new telephone fraud, known as a "vishing” scheme, that is using the agency’s name in an attempt to obtain personal financial information.
Individuals have been contacted by an automated phone call claiming to be from NCUA and notifying consumers their debit cards have been compromised. The call then asks the receiver to follow prompts, which request personal information, including sensitive financial data and personal identification information.
Anyone contacted by this so-called "vishing” scheme should immediately contact NCUA’s Consumer Assistance Center Hotline at 800-755-1030 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to report the scam. Operators answer calls Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern.
Posing as legitimate businesses, such as a financial institution, credit card company, Internet service provider or retailer, criminals send official-looking email or set up Web sites to trick you into providing your personal or financial information. This illegal activity is called "phishing." Beware of any email urgently asking you for:
Email and telemarketing scams take on many forms, attempting to defraud you to steal money and account information. Some warnings to be aware of:
What should I do if I think I may be a victim of identity theft? Here are tips from Annual Credit Report.
You should place an initial fraud alert on your file as soon as you suspect you might be a victim of identity theft. You can do this online at the three credit reporting companies:
Here are some other steps you can take:
When someone pretends to be you, it’s called Identity Theft. Armed with personal data, identity thieves can take over your existing accounts, open new ones, and obtain credit cards, a driver’s license, loans and more. Here are ways to help keep your personal information safe and secure online:
Up-to-date resources for the latest scam and fraud trends: www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/e-scams
Resource if your information has been compromised: www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/
Free copy of your credit report at least once a year from: www.annualcreditreport.com
If You Travel, Contact Us Before Leaving
Planning to travel soon? Contact us at 1-800-622-5305 so we can notate your account for use of your Visa Debit, Visa Credit, and ATM Cards. This is not just for international travel, as visiting other states may trigger an alert on your card as unlikely activity, so be safe and call us at 1-800-622-5305.
To fight fraud, there are security systems on the Visa and ATM networks which help institutions like Carolinas Telco discover and prevent fraud. Unfortunately, that means sometimes blocking certain types of merchants or even blocking all transactions in a specific location. This is typically done as a last resort when institutions become aware of a high probability of fraudulent cards and transactions occurring on certain merchants or in certain geographic areas. To fight fraud, and the losses that come with it, some transactions may be blocked based on the location of the merchant, even if it is a valid transaction. Even more unfortunate, it used to be only certain countries, but now, some states within the U.S. have a high propensity of fraud. So, should you attempt to use your Visa Credit Card or Visa Check Card, but a transaction is blocked, call us and let us sort out any issues to see if we can help. Many times, if you contact the credit union, we are able to assist you by making an adjustment on our systems to allow your card to be used while you travel to certain areas.
Using your card while traveling can occasionally create false alarms with our fraud monitoring service. In order to minimize any inconvenience this may cause, please contact us prior to departure. Calling our Cards Department at 1-800-622-5305, in advance, may allow us to place a travel advisory notice on your account, which will typically allow your card to be used without issue. However, in some countries, access through the Visa network may not be allowed at all. And it is not just in the third-world or in countries in distress - in Spain, there is currently a high volume of card fraud occurring which may prevent you from using your card for a legitimate transaction. When you contact us in advance of travel, we may suggest you consider cash and traveler’s checks if your cards won’t work.
Please know that this is not an issue with the credit union or our systems, or even the Visa network. This is just a case of criminals out there who are able to attempt to process fraudulent transactions, and the best way to block those transactions is to block certain merchants or geographic areas. It becomes a minor inconvenience when you are attempting a legitimate transaction, but it does reduce potential fraud losses facing the credit union and you as a member. We constantly work with Visa and our processors to stay abreast of trends to protect our members and the credit union.
There are times an email is sent to you that is legitimate. If you have sent an email to Carolinas Telco FCU, either through our online Contact Us form, or by a direct email to an employee, the email address of the sender will be from email@example.com. Depending on the type of email, you may be prompted to enter or create a password to read our response to you. Learn abour our Secure Email Encryption Program.
Our E-Statement notifications are sent by: Carolinas Telco Federal Credit Union from the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. This email provides instruction that your E-Statement is available, but it does not include a copy of your actual statement or ask for personal information.
Another type of email you may receive is a verification email if you have changed your Password or an email to authenticate your identity through our MFA system, which will also come from email@example.com. If you do not register your computer, you can choose, instead of a secret question, to be emailed a one-time, temporary Password that will give you access. This does not change your permanent Password, it only allows NetBranch to recognize the user as legitimate. An important thing to remember is that this email is only sent if you have requested the email option, so it should come at a time that you are expecting it. An easier way to enter NetBranch, if it doesn't recognize you and your computer, is by answering your secret questions, which will give you immediate access. At this step, you can also register the computer so that it will recognize you in the future.
When you create your own password, take some precaution to select one that is hard to identify. Do not use your last name followed by a number, as that might be the most obvious Password for a perpetrator to guess. Try these suggestions:
Here are some important safety reminders when conducting transactions at an ATM.
Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.
By accessing this link, you will be leaving the Credit Union’s website and entering an email site hosted by another party.
Although the Credit Union has approved this as a reliable email address, please be advised that you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of the privacy and security policies of the Credit Union’s website. The other party is solely responsible for the security of its email service. As such the security of any sensitive information transmitted is not guaranteed. We do not recommend sending any sensitive information through this channel.
Please visit our “contact us” webpage for more information on secure methods available for contacting the Credit Union.