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Protecting your credit/debit cards from fraud

Aug 19, 2013

Fraudulent activity resulting from payment card hacking is an unfortunate reality in today's world. Just last month a massive international payment card hacking ring whose actions compromised more than 160 million card numbers was discovered and stopped. 

A number of members of the Pacific community have reported being contacted by their financial institutions that their payment cards will be canceled and replaced due to suspected fraudulent activity on their accounts. However, there are steps individuals can take to help safeguard their payment card accounts.

The Office of eCommerce and Compliance suggests the following guidelines:

  • Check bankcard statements very carefully for activity that was not authorized by you.  Contact your financial institution immediately if you see anything unusual on your statement (If your institution offers online access, this may help you check your account activity more frequently)
  • Never give out financial information over the phone or in response to an email request.  Be suspicious of links sent in email no matter who they are from.  If you do receive suspicious requests for personal information, contact your financial institution to inform them of potential fraudulent activity and ask for a thorough account review.
  • Consider setting up SMS messaging attached to your financial accounts, if available, so that you are aware when transactions occur.
  • Obtain your three free credit reports each year to be sure there is no unusual activity. The Federal Trade Commission recommends that consumers use www.annualcreditreport.com to receive their free credit reports each year from each of the credit reporting bureaus.  The Pacific eCommerce and Compliance department would add that you might order one of the three reports today, another in 4 months and the last 4 months after that.  This permits a review every four months instead of once annually.

In light of the recent reports from members of the Pacific community, the Office of eCommerce and Compliance and the University Information Security Office have reviewed all University's payment processes and systems and confirmed that there has been no compromise in the integrity of the University's financial and payment systems.

The University's Information Security Office has additional information in Identity Theft Protection here.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Todd Sparrow, Regulatory Compliance Officer, at compliance@pacific.edu.