Five ways to protect yourself from credit card fraud this holiday season

CO-OP Financial Services advises consumers be proactive to prevent card-related fraud

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA (November 19, 2015) — Beginning with Black Friday (November 27), millions of Americans are expected to once again put their credit cards hard at work during the holiday season.

According to ShopperTrak, shoppers in the U.S. spent approximately $9 billion in stores during Black Friday 2014, the majority of transactions using debit and credit cards. Reports from comScore show that U.S. e-commerce spending the day after Thanksgiving rose 26 percent to more than $1.5 billion in 2014.

“Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, which means card usage is much higher than usual,” said Jennifer Kerry, Vice President, Credit Card Services for CO-OP Financial Services, a financial technology provider to credit unions. “Fraudsters see Black Friday as an easy opportunity to take advantage of a much larger pool of consumers, ranging from data hacks stealing card information from large retailers, to criminals targeting individual cardholders with online scams.”

To help combat card-related fraud, the U.S. payment industry is adopting EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) technology as a new security standard for credit and debit cards. Already used globally, EMV chip cards are making their way into the hands of U.S. consumers, and merchants are upgrading to new EMV terminal platforms…many in time for the holiday buying season. Consumers can also expect broader support for near field communication (NFC) and tokenization technologies, which enable and secure digital wallet applications such as Apple Pay and soon Android Pay and Samsung Pay.

“Security technologies such as EMV and tokenization can dramatically reduce exposure to card fraud,” said Kerry. “Make no mistake, though, consumers are still at risk when they shop online and need to proactively protect themselves from fraud by employing financial security best practices.”

Kerry encourages consumers to follow these five steps this holiday season:

  • Ensure you’re using a secure internet connection

Secure communications between you and your web server help prevent cyberattacks, especially when utilizing untrusted networks at places like coffee shops or libraries. Before entering credit card information online, check to see that the URL begins with https:// and an icon of a lock appears to the left of the web address, signifying a secure network connection. Additionally type in a trusted URL for a company’s website into the address bar of your browser and bypass the link in what could be a phishing message or unsecure site.

  • Use a variety of difficult passwords

With the seemingly endless number of sites requiring a password, using a password manager such as 1Password is a quick way to regain your sanity and security. By randomly generating unique passwords for each website, you reduce the risk of one stolen password compromising security in other areas of your life.

  • Monitor card use

Monitor transactions and report any suspected fraud immediately. Download a mobile app such as CardNav by CO-OP, which allows consumers to set controls for card usage, receive real-time alerts when unapproved transactions occur and even temporarily disable their own cards. 

  • Keep your personal information safe

Do not provide personal or financial information to unsolicited requests for information.    Remember that reputable companies let you come to them rather than approaching you to gather information or take action. Additionally, don’t open messages from unknown senders.

  • Protect your hardware

Update your operating system regularly and make sure you have the best security software products installed on all your devices. Experts in the industry suggest using antivirus protection and a firewall.

For more financial security tips from CO-OP, visit

About CO-OP Financial Services

CO-OP Financial Services is a payments and financial technology company whose mission is ensuring the success of the credit union movement. CO-OP payments solutions, engagement services and strategic counsel help credit unions optimize member experiences to consistently provide seamless, personalized multi-channel offerings, while delivering secure, sophisticated fraud mitigation service. For more information, visit


Bill Prichard, APR
Director, Public Relations
CO-OP Financial Services
(909) 532-9416

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