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Fraud Protection

One of the most troubling concerns of today’s information economy is the possibility of identity theft. You can greatly reduce your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft by understanding how the perpetrators work and following some common-sense suggestions.

What is identity theft?

Traditionally, we think of identity theft as having a wallet or purse stolen and the thief using a credit card, driver's license, or other similar identification to commit fraud. In the electronic information age of today, those concerns remain, but added to them are concerns about electronic theft of personal information such as your Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers. Once in possession of such information through tools used to commit identity theft, such as Spyware or phishing, a thief could use it to obtain and use credit cards in your name, take out fraudulent loans, or commit other criminal acts.

What is "phishing"?

Also called "carding" or "spoofing," the practice known as "phishing" is a high-tech scam in which identity thieves pose as legitimate business or service professional and request your personal information, which they then use to commit criminal acts in your name. Most often, these requests come in the form of e–mails or pop–up screens that ask you to validate or update your personal information. The information may then be used to transfer money, make payments, and commit other illegal acts. Email scams also may carry worms or viruses that can further harm you by planting potentially damaging viruses in your computer system. They look legitimate, and they direct you to official-looking Web pages that seem to be created by or affiliated with organizations with whom you do business. Unfortunately, they're not. Remember: Legitimate companies will not ask you for sensitive personal information via e–mail. Do not reply to such e–mails or click on any links in these messages. When in doubt, contact the company directly by 1-800-362-6299.

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Phony Websites

Often used to perpetrate e–mail fraud schemes, a phony Web page or Web site is similar to that of the legitimate company, using a URL address that is similar to that of the reputable business. For example, the address of the phony Web site or Web page may use a common misspelling of the company’s name or may add a word, symbol, or number before or after the name. Even if you do not receive an e–mail directing you to such a site, you may accidentally mistype the address of a legitimate site in your browser and end up on the phony site. The perpetrator’s hope is that you will continue to conduct your online transactions as usual, entering personal information, account numbers, and passwords.

How can I be certain that I'm using the legitimate NetAccess site?

Your browser address line should turn green and display the FIA Card Services SSL Certificate.

This image displays browser address in green along with the FIA Card Services SSL Certificate.

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How can I avoid becoming a victim of identity theft?

Here are some tips that will help minimize your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft:

  1. Create strong passwords. Combine letters and numbers, and never use pet’s or children’s names. Consider periodically changing passwords Use different passwords for banks vs. email, social networking or online merchant sites.
  2. Maintain anti-virus and anti-malware software on your devices, and install updates as quickly as possible. Many banks offer free and reduced tools which you can take advantage of.
  3. Carefully manage information sharing in social media outlets, especially your address, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, and other personal identifiers. Make sure you know who you’re communicating with personally.
  4. Handle financial documents and applications with care. Shred any old, unwanted bank statements and especially all pre-approved credit offers. Know your billing cycles and contact creditors when bills fail to show up.
  5. Be aware of the warning signs of phishing scams. Most banks won’t request personal information via email or text. Keep an eye out for suspicious emails, urgent pleas for money, or offers that sound too good to be true. If in doubt, contact your bank through a trusted means (number on the back of the card, bank website, etc).
  6. Sign up for e-alerts or text alerts from your bank to notify you immediately of any suspicious activity
  7. Network protection. Use firewall software to protect computer information. Secure your home Wi-Fi network, and never conduct banking transactions on open networks, like at coffee shops or restaurants
  8. Check for “https” in the address line when banking or shopping online – an indication that the website is encrypted and secure.
  9. Monitor your accounts on a regular basis - even daily. There’s no better way to ensure unauthorized transactions are detected as soon as possible.
  10. Check your credit report annually – while account fraud can be detected via online monitoring and carefully reading your statements, your identity could still be used to open new accounts in your name without your knowledge. Order your free annual credit reports on-line at: www.annualcreditreport.com

Web Sites

  • Bookmark trusted Internet destinations, or if you enter a Web site address directly, recheck it to ensure you have entered the correct address before providing personal information on a site.
  • Be suspicious of an information-collecting Web page that is an “orphan” page. In other words, if you cannot locate a home page for the company, or the home page has an “under construction” message on it, be wary.
  • Look for the presence of an “@” symbol anywhere in the page URL. This usually indicates a fraudulent Web site.
  • Make sure you know the person/entity to whom you are giving information over the Internet.

FIA Card Services is committed to ensuring your personal and account information are protected, both off and on the Internet. If you suspect fraudulent activity related to your FIA Card Services account(s), please contact us immediately by calling the toll free number on the back of your credit card or 1-800-362-6299. As a reminder:

  • FIA Card Services does not ask for personal or account information to be submitted via e–mail.
  • FIA Card Services will never transmit personal information, such as an online account password, via e–mail.
  • If you call FIA Card Services or receive a call from FIA Card Services, please remember we will never ask you to provide us with your online account password.

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What do I do if I think I may be a victim of identity theft?

If you receive a suspicious message that appears to be coming from FIA Card Services, or discover a potentially phony FIA Card Services Website, please let us know by calling 1-800-362-6299. For your convenience, we are available 24 hours a day.

We take these incident reports seriously and work with our internal investigations team and law enforcement agencies to investigate them. If you suspect fraudulent activity related to your FIA Card Services account(s), please contact us immediately at 1-800-362-6299.

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About chip cards

  • Why does my credit card now include a chip?

    As chip technology will soon become the security standard in the U.S., many merchants are beginning to accept chip cards and we want you to be ready. You'll enjoy greater security when making purchases at a chip-enabled terminal since the chip provides better protection against counterfeit fraud. Chip technology is already used in over 130 countries around the world, including Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom, so you'll enjoy greater acceptance when traveling internationally.

  • What is a chip card?

    A chip card is a standard-size plastic credit card that contains an embedded microchip as well as the traditional magnetic stripe. The chip encrypts information to increase data security when making transactions at a chip-enabled terminal.

  • What is a smart card or an EMV card?

    You may hear chip cards referred to as "smart cards" or "EMV cards" – they’re all different ways of referring to the same type of card. Similarly, an EMV terminal is the same as a chip-enabled terminal.

  • Where can I use my chip card?

    Many merchants, across the U.S. are beginning to accept chip card transactions and this will continue to grow within the coming years. Chip technology is already used in over 130 countries around the world, including Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom, so you'll enjoy greater acceptance when traveling internationally. Your chip card will still work at terminals where only magnetic stripe transactions are accepted.

  • Are chip cards secure?

    Yes. Chip technology has been around for over two decades and is already the security standard in many countries around the world. When purchases are made using the chip feature at chip-enabled terminals, the transaction is more secure because of a unique process that is used to determine if the card is authentic. This makes the card more difficult to counterfeit or copy.

    While magnetic stripe cards are still considered secure, chip technology is the next step to providing enhanced security to our customers. Whether you use the magnetic stripe or the chip to make your purchase, you can have confidence in the protection and security features we provide for all credit card accounts.

    Remember, if you notice any suspicious activity on your account, notify us immediately by calling the number on the back of your card.

  • Will chip cards prevent third-party data breaches?

    Chip card technology provides an additional layer of security when used at a chip-enabled terminal. The technology may help reduce certain types of fraud resulting from data breaches; however, it will not prevent a data breach.

  • Will chip cards prevent all fraud from happening?

    No. As the industry continues to develop new ways to protect consumers, perpetrators continue to look for new ways to commit fraud. Chip cards provide an additional layer of security at chip-enabled terminals, on top of the fraud prevention monitoring we currently provide. As always, your purchases are also covered by our zero liability protection, where FIA Card Services credits your account back for fraudulent charges.

  • Will chip cards allow others to track my location?

    No. Chip card technology is not a locator system. The chip on your card is limited to supporting authentication of card data when you make a purchase.

  • Is a chip card the same as contactless payment (for example, PayPass, PayWave)?

    No. Contactless cards employ near-field communication technology (NFC), which has a radio antenna that transmits account information, and works by waving or tapping your card in front of a device. Chip cards must be inserted face-up into a chip-enabled merchant terminal that allows the chip to make contact with the reader to authorize and complete a transaction. (Remember to keep your card inserted into the terminal while the transaction is processed.)

  • Do the same benefits come with my chip card that I had with my prior card?

    Yes. You'll continue to enjoy the same benefits with your chip card as you do today with your credit card.

Using chip credit cards

  • How does a chip credit card work?

    It's easy. If the retailer has a chip-enabled terminal, simply insert your chip card face up in the terminal. The chip card will remain in the terminal while the transaction is processed. To authorize your transaction, just follow the prompts on the terminal as you do today.

    You'll be prompted for a signature to complete the purchase. When traveling internationally, on rare occasions, you may be asked to provide a PIN. Should this occur, just enter the credit card PIN assigned to your card. Your card is available to be removed from the terminal once the transaction is completed.

    If the retailer is not equipped to read the chip card, just swipe as you do today. For transactions made over the phone or online, nothing changes.

  • Do I need a PIN to make purchases with my credit card? What is Chip & Signature and Chip & PIN?

    You have a Chip and Signature credit card, so in most instances, you should not need a PIN to make purchases with your credit card. The term "PIN" or "Signature" simply refers to how you will authorize the transaction–by entering a PIN or by providing your signature. When using your FIA Card Services chip credit card, you'll be prompted for a signature to complete the transaction. On rare occasions, you may be asked to provide a PIN. Should this occur, just enter the credit card PIN assigned to your card.

    The enhanced security against counterfeiting is contained within the chip itself. The chip makes the transaction more secure by encrypting information when completing a transaction at a chip-enabled terminal. As a result, both Chip & PIN and Chip & Signature transactions offer enhanced security against counterfeiting.

    You may request a PIN by calling the number on the back of your card. Please allow 7-10 days for delivery of your PIN.

  • Now that I have a chip credit card, do I need to notify the bank before I travel internationally?

    We recommend that you set a travel notice on any card(s) you plan to use while traveling, so your card access isn't interrupted. To set a travel notice call the number on the back of your card to speak with a FIA Card Services associate. For your protection, we'll continue to monitor card activity even when a travel notice is set. If you encounter any issues while traveling, we're here to help.

  • Are there any situations where I could experience issues using my chip credit card?

    When traveling outside the U.S., some card readers at unattended terminals (such as public transportation kiosks or gas pumps) will require a PIN. In these situations, enter the credit card PIN assigned to your card. Some international self-service terminals do not accept U.S. issued credit cards and may display a message such as "Transaction Canceled". This is known to happen on French Toll Roads or Automated Fuel Dispensers, depending on location. In these cases, please locate an attended terminal to complete your transaction, or plan for an alternative payment method, such as local currency.

    On the rare occasions when you are asked to provide a PIN to complete a purchase, enter the credit card PIN that was assigned to your card when the account was opened. If you do not have the PIN, you may request a new one by calling the number on the back your card. Your new, randomly generated PIN will be mailed to you along with a form that allows you to choose your own PIN if you desire. Please allow 7-10 days for delivery of your PIN through standard USPS mail.

    If you need assistance, please contact us toll-free at the number on the back of your card, or internationally at 302.738.5719 (you can call collect).

  • When can I expect to receive a credit card with chip technology?

    If you don't have a credit card with chip technology today, you'll receive one when your old card expires or needs to be reissued. Until then, use your standard card with the magnetic stripe. Some credit cards may not be available with chip technology at this time.

  • Are there any additional fees associated with chip credit cards?

    There are no additional fees associated with chip credit cards.

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