Facts about Debit Card Fraud and how Fidelity is trying to combat Fraud
At Fidelity, we sincerely appreciate our customers and strive to offer the best service and the most efficient products possible to our customers. However, sometimes we find ourselves having to take seemingly broad precautions to protect the Bank and its customers. Unfortunately, these precautions usually involve limitations on the function of our products.
Just as many other financial institutions have suffered losses during the past few years, our Bank has absorbed significant loss amounts. We also continue to see an increase in Debit Card Fraud.
In an attempt to deter monetary losses to our customers and the Bank, Fidelity has taken some precautions to stop unauthorized transactions from being approved at the source of the activity. Unfortunately, this act also stops authorized transactions. Unauthorized transactions can originate from many sources. Some of the sources we have dealt with include transactions by family members of the cardholder, by thieves who have stolen cards, and even the use of stolen card numbers which are sold to another person or entity and then used to purchase goods or services. Sometimes these transactions are grouped in a manner that allows us to identify the perpetrator, but mostly, they are not traceable to that degree of accuracy.
In some cases, we can identify a large number of transactions with a common attribute. For example, so much Debit Card Fraud has originated from California that we have been forced to deny most traffic from the state. We realize what an inconvenience this may cause for some customers because we are customers, too. However, we believe that the amount of losses we are preventing will far outweigh the inconveniences involved. For your convenience, we can unblock any independent transaction to temporarily allow one purchase in any blocked area or retailer. During business hours, simply call our customer service department at (870) 735-8700 and ask to speak with a CSR.
In an attempt to deter monetary losses to our customers and the Bank, Fidelity has taken some precautions to prevent unauthorized transactions from being approved at the source of the activity. As a normal practice, activity from foreign countries is blocked; if you will be traveling outside of the country, please call us to have your card activated for foreign use. In addition, all grocery stores will require a PIN at the register. If you need assistance with this please contact a customer service representative at 870-735-8700. Also, please keep your e-mail information up to date inside online banking so that you may receive notices regarding future updates.
In addition to blocking places and retailers, Fidelity also offers the following fraud protection products you can take advantage of:
- Secure Lock –Fidelity is contracted with this company to study our customer’s spending habits and to alert you, or even temporarily block your card, when something seems suspicious or out of the norm for your account activity.
- Online Banking –Fidelity maintains an extensive website and offers a multitude of services online. We use the online platform to send out alerts concerning fraud and other messages from time to time. This is the best method we have to communicate with a large number of people in a quick manner
- Hold Harmless –Fidelity also has a “hold harmless” form that you can sign to hold the Bank harmless if we unblock your debit card. The understanding being that you may incur losses if your card is compromised. This unblocking would allow you the freedom to use your card even in the blocked areas.
We apologize for any inconveniences these incidents have caused our customers. We know it can be frustrating not to have access to your money, but we at Fidelity are also charged with and are committed to protecting your money.
Senior Vice President