Fraud Information

Fraud Tips

Monitoring our members’ accounts for fraud is a top priority for us here at Vital. This is why we have fraud monitoring through both our debit and credit card providers and also why we are now issuing EMV chip cards, which are the most secure form of payment. We want to be sure you are as protected as possible, but sometimes fraud does still occur. There are certain things you can do to minimize your risk!

Ways To Avoid Fraud:

  • Never give out your card information to a person or website who you have not verified is legitimate. Do a quick online search for reviews of the company first.
  • When making a purchase, be sure to check the card slot for any signs of damage or tampering. This could be signs of a skimming device.
  • Be sure to shield your PIN number as you enter it so that no one can see what your PIN is.
  • Always shred personal documents as soon as you are done with them.

Ways to Minimize Your Loss if Fraud Occurs:

    • Be sure your contact information with us is up to date. We cannot contact you if we do not have correct information.
    • Check your account regularly.
    • Download our mobile app to quickly access balances and transactions, so you will see suspicious activity as soon as possible.
    • Let us know immediately if you notice anything out of the ordinary on your account or if your card has been lost.

We do our best to prevent fraud and minimize your loss, but we need your help too. Following the tips above as well as staying up to date on debit card blocks and issues helps us, help you!

Debit Card Fraud


If your Vital Visa DEBIT card has been lost or stolen please contact us immediately to report this. If you loose your card or notice theft after regular business hours please call 1-800-523-4175.

If your Vital Visa CREDIT card has been lost or stolen please contact us immediately to report this. If you loose your card or notice theft after regular business hours please call 1-800-808-7230.

Unfortunately, due to fraud we do sometimes have to block certain places or merchants. Please see our list of blocked states and merchants below. These do change from time to time, so if you are traveling please let us know in advance.

Blocked States:

New York – PIN only transactions allowed
Colorado – PIN only transactions allowed
New Jersey – PIN only transactions allowed

North Carolina – all ATM transactions blocked

PIN only Vendors:

These stores and vendors are not blocked but only PIN transactions are allowed.

        • Walmart
        • Walmart Super Center
        • Murphy gas
        • Food Lion
        • Kroger
        • Home Depot
        • Lowe’s
        • Belk
        • Bi-Lo

Walmart and Walmart Supercenter outside North and South Carolina are blocked for all transactions.

Gas PUMPS in Florida. You can use your card INSIDE the gas station, just not at the pump.

Postal Services outside of North and South Carolina are blocked for all transactions

Check Fraud

Anytime you receive a check you were not expecting in the mail you should be wary about depositing it. If the check is a scam it could leave you with fees you weren’t excepting and possibly your account being compromised. Here are some basic questions to ask yourself before depositing a check.

  • Is the check from an item you sold on the internet?
  • Is the amount of the check more than the selling price?
  • Did you receive the check via overnight delivery service?
  • Is the check connected to communicating with someone you do not know through email?
  • Have you been informed that you were the winner of a lottery that you did not enter? Such as a lottery from Canada or Australia.
  • Have you been instructed to ship or wire money, as soon as possible, to a large city or another country?
  • Have you been asked to pay money to receive a large deposit from another country?
  • Are you receiving pay or commission for facilitating money transfers through your account?
  • Did you respond to an email requesting you to confirm, update, or provide your account information?

All of these are red flags for check fraud. Fraudsters will try anything to get your account information or your money. Always be wary of any unknown checks. You can always take a check to the issuing bank to verify its validity if you are concerned.

Online Fraud

No one wants to think about having their personal information stolen, but we want our members to be aware that fraud happens. In today’s digital age, it happens more often than you might know.

We want to bring you the latest information about scams and ways you can protect yourself. Check out the information below on ways to keep your information safe.

Online Shopping

We know everyone loves to shop online! Especially around the holidays! While online shopping is simple and convenient, it is also an easy way to become the victim of a scam.

We have some tips below to keep you safe while shopping online:

  • Look out for fake websites and apps. Be careful of websites that look similar to legitimate websites, but may have poor grammar or misspelled words. Also, do not use any websites or apps that ask for suspicious permissions like access to your passwords or credit card information.
  • Do not click on links from unfamiliar email sources. Emails will often look very similar to ones sent by retailers or other companies you use. These links can lead you to websites that are not secure or even download viruses to your computer.
  • Be sure the website you are using to make online purchases is secure. Websites that have “https” at the beginning of their URL have a protected network connection, making them safer to use.
  • Do not use public wi-fi to shop online or access sensitive information. Public wi-fi connections may not be secure, which can expose your personal information to scammers.
  • Always be sure to monitor your accounts, credit card, and bank statements. Monitoring your accounts on a regular basis will ensure you catch fraud as quickly as possible to minimize loss.

Tax Related

The IRS this week warned consumers to be on the lookout for “new, sophisticated email phishing scams” as the holidays and the 2019 tax filing season approach. The agency said there was a 60 percent increase in “bogus” email schemes seeking to steal money or tax data in 2018.

The fraudulent campaigns are using email subject lines including “IRS Important Notice” or “IRS Taxpayer Notice.” The agency’s statement notes that these schemes can be spotted by misspellings and bad grammar; if such a message is received, taxpayers are encouraged to forward the email to phishing@irs.gov.

Further tips provided by the IRS that credit unions can provide to their members to ward off these phishing attempts include:

  • never open a link or attachment from an unknown or suspicious source;
  • the IRS never initiates random contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information;
  • phishing schemes only work if people open the message and click on the hyperlinks;
  • have in place security software to protect against malware and viruses found in phishing emails;
  • update and use strong passwords to protect online accounts; and
  • use multi-factor authentication if available.

Equifax Data Breach

Updated March 1, 2018

From Equifax’s website www.equifaxsecurity2017.com:

What happened?

Is this a new cybersecurity incident?

How many people have been impacted?

How will consumers be notified that their information may have been impacted?

Can I call Equifax customer care to find out if I’ve been impacted?

Updated September 29, 2017

Equifax, one of the largest credit reporting agencies in the United States, announced a cybersecurity incident that potentially impacts 143 million consumers. Equifax has stated that personal information, including social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and some credit card numbers, have been accessed.

Important Information

  • This is NOT a breach with VITAL FCU. The breach happened at Equifax.
  • We already have security measures in place to be sure your information is safe, including fraud monitoring on both credit and debit cards.
  • It is always a good idea to monitor your accounts and check statements regularly for suspicious activity. If you notice anything suspicious, contact us immediately at (864) 948-8200, option “2”.
  • We offer debit and credit card  e-alerts, you can login to your online banking to set these up.

What you can do to protect yourself

  • Check with Equifax to see if your information was impacted.
  • Check your credit report annually for free at www.annualcreditreport.com.
  • Sign up for credit monitoring. Equifax is offering one year free credit monitoring to everyone impacted by the breach. Go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to learn more.

We are continuously monitoring the situation to see how our members will be impacted by the Equifax incident. We will update you here with any additional information as it becomes available.

Discover more of what your Vital Federal Credit Union has to offer!

×

If you are planning to travel, please let us know ahead of time. Learn More