During the holiday season, many people give their debit and credit cards the biggest workout of the year. Thieves looking to steal card numbers and personal information know this and try to capitalize on it – remember the Target data breach last year?

But you can rest assured that Verity is helping protect your accounts.

We provide credit and debit card monitoring through an outside company – Certegy. The Falcon Fraud Monitoring service contacts members if there is suspicious activity on a member’s credit or debit card. The purchase may be legitimate, but if it’s a larger dollar amount than usual, especially through a retailer you don’t normally use, then the system flags the activity and attempts to contact you to verify the purchase. If you verify the purchase, it will continue as normal and post to your account. If you didn’t authorize the expenditure, it is canceled and the funds never leave your account.

For example, earlier this year I bought a new computer. I made the sizable purchase online with my debit card. A few minutes after I submitted the order, I received an automated phone call asking me to verify the purchase. I was thrilled to get the call because it was highly unusual for me to be making that large of a purchase online with my debit card, and Verity’s monitoring system knew that. I verified the purchase and received my computer with no problems.

The fraud monitoring service runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you don’t answer the phone when the system calls, you should receive a voice mail asking you to call to verify the purchase. If the message isn’t returned, the transaction may be canceled in order to protect your account. Please note that the automated system asks for you to verify your name and the last four digits of your Social Security Number.

So during your holiday shopping this year, be sure to answer the phone if you don’t want your transactions delayed. And if you get an automated call that you’re not sure about, please contact Verity directly at (206) 440-9000 — we’re always happy to help you.

Happy holidays and happy shopping!

Kira Cox

Hi, I’m Kira. I joined Verity in early 2012 after a seven-year stint as a newspaper reporter. While I never thought my career path would veer off in this direction, I am loving my time at Verity. I recently moved from being a member services representative at the Alderwood Branch to being the marketing coordinator for the credit union.

I’m originally from Texas, but I have lived all over the country and the world, including Boston, Massachusetts, Anchorage, Alaska and Sydney, Australia. But in all my travels, the Pacific Northwest is the only place that has felt like home.

When not at work, I am usually home with playing with my son, husband, dog and three cats. During the rare times I don’t have a to-do list to plow through (and it’s not raining too hard), I can be found digging in the vegetable garden, training for a half-marathon, or grilling in the backyard.

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