Card Safety Guidelines

With Black Friday & Christmas fast approaching millions of shoppers will be hunting for online ‘bargains’ during the sales event so here are some Top Tips for Members on how to protect your Debit Card.


  • Keep your card in a safe place. Do not leave it lying around. Report it to your Credit Union or Credit Union Card Services immediately if it is lost or stolen.
  • Protect your PIN do not write it down, keep it anywhere with your Debit Card or give it to anyone.
  • Change your PIN If you believe someone knows your PIN you can change it immediately at an ATM machine or phone Credit Union Card Services on +353 (1) 693 3333 available 24/7.
  • Cover your PIN when using an ATM or PIN pad in a store. Ensure you are not being overlooked or distracted entering your PIN in a public place.
  • Sign New Cards immediately ensuring the old card is destroyed by cutting the magnetic strip as soon as the new one becomes valid.
  • Keep financial information secure (e.g. account numbers, statements, ATM and sales receipts) in a secure place before disposing of them carefully.


  • Reveal your secure credentials to anyone over the phone or online such as your Card PIN or User ID.
  • Divulge details to Cold Callers – Don’t give your card number over the telephone to “cold” callers under any circumstances. Only make telephone transactions when you have instigated the call and are familiar with the company.
  • Open suspicious emails or attachments, limiting what you share on social media.


  • Make sure your internet access is secured – The beginning of the retailer’s internet address should change from ‘http’ to ‘https’ before a purchase is made. This indicates that you are using a secure connection.
  • Look for the padlock – Click on the security icon (the padlock or unbroken key symbol) to ensure that the retailer has an encryption certificate. The link should describe the type of security and encryption being used.
  • Keep your computer and security up to date – Install a reliable anti-virus and browser security software. Ensure it has the latest updates and that it scans your computer regularly to check for malware. Make sure your browser is set to the highest level of security notification and monitoring. These safety options are not always activated by default when you purchase and install your computer.
  • Cold Callers – Never give your Debit Card details over the telephone to “cold” callers or an unknown individual. Only make telephone transactions when you have instigated the call and are familiar with the company.
  • Research your Retailer – Try to find out as much as you can about the retailer prior to making a purchase with them. While online shopping is very easy and convenient, it also allows criminals an opportunity to commit card Fraud from a distance.


  • Your Credit Union or our Credit Union Card Services team will never ask you for any account details such as your User ID, Card PIN, online PIN or any mobile PIN over the phone.
  • If you receive a call you believe may be suspicious requesting this information, please report the call immediately to your Credit Union or Credit Union Card Services on +353 (1) 693 3333

Beware of Money Transfers

  • Your Credit Union or Credit Union Card Services will never contact you and request a transfer to a third-party account to rectify an issue or outstanding payment to your account


  • Your Credit Union Debit Card is secured with a Chip & PIN. Fraud carried out on cards that have been lost or stolen is quite low these days, since the introduction of Chip & PIN.
  • Important! Credit Union Debit Card holders should still immediately report an incident of loss, theft or any suspicious activity regarding their Debit Card to their Credit Union or Credit Union Card Services on +353 (1) 693 3333 available 24/7.
  • Always keep your Card PIN secure and Cover your hand while entering your PIN at an ATM or Point of Sale key pad.
  • There are various ways that criminals try to steal cards with the most common types being:

ATM Skimming

ATM skimming is when criminals electronically “skim” the Magnetic Stripe at the back of a card in order to steal a card’s details and PIN during ATM transactions.

  • By fitting an often-unseen portable electronic card reader and mini camera onto an ATM, criminals can create a fake plastic card, which contains the real cards details – this is known as a counterfeit card that can potentially be used in foreign countries that have not yet implemented Chip & PIN technology
  • For skimmed card data to be of greatest use to the criminal, they also need to know the PIN number for the card and using the combined information, can withdraw funds from accounts.
  • The cardholder information obtained from skimming incidents is normally sold onto crime syndicates and used immediately. While the crime can happen at your local ATM the fraudulent transaction may well take place abroad.
  • It is important to check your Current Account statements regularly to identify suspicious or disputed transactions. The sooner you spot and report any purchases that you didn’t make, the sooner your Credit Union can stop further fraudulent activity on your account.

Distraction Fraud

ATM Distraction Fraud is when criminals approach you when you are using the ATM and create a distraction. During this distraction the criminals will attempt to steal your cash or your card having just previously shoulder surfed your PIN number.

  • Victims can be distracted for just a matter of seconds while taking money out of an ATM, enough time for the criminals to steal cash from their account or swap their debit card for a fake
  • Criminals will observe you entering your PIN and then place some Euro notes on the ground beside you, one criminal will then distract you and show you the money on the ground for you to pick it up while the other criminal removes your card from the machine and replaces it with another card usually from the same card provider.
  • This type of confusion fraud can be seen as very strategically planned involving a number of criminals working together in a group

A cash withdrawal at an ATM is generally, safe with the vast majority of ATM transactions happening without any problem. However, ATMs are in public areas and sometimes can attract Card data such as card number, expiry date, CVV and 3D Secure information is a valuable commodity to criminals and can be bought by and sold to other criminals. This data is used to make fraudulent online purchases, often for highly re-saleable goods that can quickly be turned in to cash.
Criminals use various tactics to get this information including:


  • the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers 


  • Vishing the fraudulent practice of making phone calls or leaving voice messages purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as account details and credit card numbers.
  • Smishing or SMS phishing, sends a text message to an individual’s mobile phone in an attempt to get them to divulge personal information. As is the case with phishing or vishing, a Smishing attack usually has a call to action for the intended victim that requires an “immediate’’ response.

Malware / Trojan

  • Trojan horse or Trojan is a type of malware that is often disguised as legitimate software. Trojans can be employed by cyber-thieves and hackers trying to gain access to users’ systems. Users are typically tricked by some form of social engineering into loading and executing Trojans on their Bogus websites.