In less than 48 hours, I will be on a plane to sunny Mexico for vacation (not that I’m counting). My family tries to go each year to beat the winter blues, and while we generally have great experiences, last year a couple of us were hit with fraudulent debit card transactions once we got home. As a financial institution, your credit union can help your members to prevent a similar fate by being proactive prior to their departure.
Here are some best practices for preventing international debit card fraud:
- Ask your members to let you know before they travel. You may want to put a sign in the lobby or a banner on your website to request that members let you know when they are planning to travel. Get all the details of their trip, including destination(s) and dates, so that you can monitor their card activity during that timeframe to make sure it matches expectations.
- Set up transaction limits. Your credit union likely already has these in place, but if not, make sure you set daily ATM and POS transaction limits, and communicate them with your member. If fraud does occur on their card, this will minimize the impact.
- Set up notifications for your member. Before your member goes on vacation, let them know that they can sign up for free calls or texts regarding possible fraudulent activity on their account. This allows them to take action right away, either by confirming the transaction is valid, or turning off their card if it is not.
- Keep current on the latest fraud trends affecting the industry. Educate your staff on the various types of international fraud, and how to identify them. For example, a few years ago there was a Bluetooth ATM skimmer gang in Mexico that was targeting certain tourist resorts. Having this information allows your staff to identify fraud in the early stages, and to recognize patterns from similar scenarios.
Hopefully these steps will help to protect your members from fraud, or at the very least, minimize the potential impact if it does occur. Keep in mind that your members are protected under Regulation E for any unauthorized transactions on their debit card, as long as they notify you within the required time frames.
Let them know that your credit union has them covered, so that they can kick up their feet and soak up some sunshine (just bring some back for us)!