Keep your cards close and your personal information closer

We love the convenience of electronic services, credit and debit cards. But that convenience comes with a responsibility to be street smart. Here's what to consider.



Before you use an ATM, take a look around and survey the area to make sure they're secure. We use ATMs daily, but you still need to take some simple precautions:

  • Only use well-lit ATMs and avoid any ATMs in secluded locations
  • For night-time ATM transactions, bring a friend with you
  • If you notice anyone who looks or acts suspicious at an ATM, leave immediately and go to a different ATM

When you're using the ATM, position yourself so your body blocks the monitor screen. And never leave your receipts at the ATM.



University Credit Union Mastercards are enhanced with the latest level of protection – chip technology. Chip cards have a microchip embedded in the card to provide additional security features and the ability to be used at chip-enabled terminals – locally or around the world.

Your UCU Mastercard has both chip and magnetic stripe technology. That means, regardless of what type of terminal a merchant has, you’ll be able to use your card anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

Shop with confidence knowing that the chip in your card can help protect you from fraud. Read more about your Chip Mastercard.

Credit Card Security Tips

1. Don’t give your account number to anyone on the phone unless you've called a reputable company. If you’ve never done business with them before, do an online search first for reviews or complaints.

2. Carry your cards separately from your wallet or purse to minimize your losses if someone steals it. Carry only the card or cards you need for each outing.

3. During a transaction, keep your eye on your card. Make sure you get it back before you walk away.

4. Never sign a blank receipt. Draw a line through any blank spaces above the total. Save receipts to compare with your statement.

5. Open your bills promptly – or check them online often – and reconcile them with the purchases you’ve made. Report any questionable charges to the card issuer.

6. Notify your card issuer if your address changes or if you'll be traveling.

7. Don’t write your account number on the outside of an envelope and don't keep your account number in your wallet or purse.

Upgrade your existing UCU Mastercard

If you have an older UCU Mastercard and want to upgrade to the new chip-enabled card, please visit a branch or call a Financial Services Specialist at 800.UCU.4510.



Many foreign countries have switched to debit/credit cards with embedded chips. Visa® provides some tips for dealing with this situation if you are traveling abroad.

Before You Travel

  • Notify University Credit Union before traveling internationally to help ensure that legitimate purchases are approved.
  • Make sure your Visa® Debit Card will not expire while you are away.
  • Keep your Visa® Debit Card account number and the lost/stolen customer service telephone number (Visa® International 973.682.2652) in a safe place, separate from your wallet or handbag.
  • Check UCU’s Schedule of Fees and Charges for foreign ATM transaction fees.


During Travel

  • In countries that have adopted chip technology, particularly in Europe, international visitors may continue to use their non-chip-enabled cards; most chip terminals will recognize and process a magnetic stripe card.
  • If you encounter a merchant who is hesitant to accept a non-chip card for payment, encourage the merchant to swipe the magnetic-stripe card through the terminal and follow the terminal prompts to complete the transaction.
  • If, for some reason, you are unable to use your Visa® card to make a purchase at a merchant location, you should be able to obtain cash from a local ATM.


If you have any further questions, call us at 800.UCU.4510.



Online Banking is a go-to resource we use every day. Make sure you stay vigilant.

  • Don’t reveal your password to anyone else. Your password is designed to protect the privacy of your account information. If you think your PIN has been compromised, change it online immediately.
  • Don’t walk away from your computer in the middle of a session.
  • If anyone else is likely to use your computer, clear your memory cache or close and re-open your browser in order to eliminate copies of recently viewed pages. How you clear your cache will depend on the browser and version you have. This function is generally found in the preferences menu.
  • Use anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-malware programs on your computers to help protect your information and your computer from use by unwanted users. Additionally, keep the signature files updated by downloading and installing program updates on a daily basis.
  • As much as possible, avoid using a public computer to access your personal information. There could be potential risks, including computers that are infected with viruses and/or malicious software, such as Trojans and keylogger programs that may be able to capture entered and viewed personal information.

If you suspect fraud on your account, call 800.UCU.4510 immediately.

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