3 Myths About Credit Card Safety

Published May 4, 2018

Despite hopes and expectations that our credit and debit card information is safe from fraud, we face the reality that security breaches are a fact of life for us today. The best way to protect our card information is prevention through education. By understanding some common myths about credit and debit card security, we can begin the conversation that replaces fear and confusion with awareness and knowledge.
MYTH #1: No one can use my card without the PIN or CVV
Reality: Identity thieves and scammers can still use your card without access to the PIN, making purchases over the internet or by phone (both of which do not require a PIN). Even if your card is used in-person, with a signature prompt, most retailers don’t check to see if the signature matches the one on the card. Unfortunately, the same goes for your Card Verification Value (CVV); not all online or phone transactions require it.
MYTH #2: Signing “See I.D.” on my card prevents fraud
Reality: Again, most retailers don’t even look at the back of your card. Customers are now swiping, inserting, or dipping their card without ever needing to hand it to the merchant. If, however, they ask to see the card and “See I.D.” is signed, the merchant is supposed to have the customer sign the card, then check the signature with the customer’s driver license or passport. Sure, this may cause a momentary hiccup for a scammers, but forgery still happens. Your safest bet is to sign your card. It prevents a scammer from signing it themselves, and also validates the contract with your credit or debit card company, ensuring your right to use the card with qualifying consumer securities.
MYTH #3: Recycling my credit or debit card statement is safe
Reality: It’s not wise to recycle or throw away credit or debit card statements. Even with new-age technology that scammers love to use, traditional “bin diving” is still alive and well with scammers searching your trash and recycling bins. Which is why it’s important to shred both card statements and any expired or old cards to prevent fraud. If you don’t have access to a shredder, Maps Credit Union hosts an annual Community Shred Day each spring.
It’s difficult to guarantee perfect security. However, at Maps Credit Union we believe that by raising awareness and gaining knowledge, we stand a better chance against credit and debit card fraud. As a rule of thumb, always know the location of your cards, track transactions on your bank statement, and ensure personal and work computers have up-to-date antivirus and firewall protections in place, especially if you shop online.

For more information, including helpful links and articles on Credit and Debit Card Security, please visit:

mapscu.com > Financial Education > Online Security

mapscu.com > Financial Education > Events and Workshops

Federal Trade Commission

Credit Union National Association

National Credit Union Administration