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TDECU unveils 'managed real time' fraud security system

By ALLISON MILES
July 14, 2010 at 2:14 a.m.


WHAT YOU CAN DOWhat do you do if you notice unauthorized charges on your credit or debit card?

Immediately call the number on the back of the card and notify the company of fraudulent activity, said Ron Wright, vice president of payment systems for TDECU. From there, the institution will work to right the situation.

New security measures are in place at the Texas Dow Employees Credit Union.

On Tuesday, the credit union rolled out an upgraded fraud system.

Dubbed "managed real time," the system works with the existing fraud technology and, based on card use, looks for suspicious spending behavior, said Ron Wright, TDECU's vice president of payment systems. If a purchase is flagged for whatever reason, it blocks the transaction and places a call to the account holder to verify the purchase.

"With the member's permission, the transaction will go through," he said.

The system works alongside existing security measures, which Wright likened to a set of hurdles.

The credit union sets its system at a certain level and the system monitors accounts for suspicious charges, those that differ from typical activity in terms of geographic location, amount spent or type of merchant, Wright said. Transactions must clear the hurdles security-wise.

"It can't jump over it, it's blocked." Wright said.

The security upgrade comes about two weeks after unauthorized charges appeared on a handful of TDECU debit card holders' accounts, said Luke Billeri, the company's regional vice president.

The credit union turned the issue over to its card department, which placed higher security levels on the cards the next day, he said.

The company hasn't seen any additional issues since the additional security, said Ron Wright, TDECU's vice president of payment systems.

Wright offered a few tips when it came to debit card safety.

Never give out a pin number, even to family, he said, and check devices such as ATM machines for signs someone has tampered with them. Also, when paying at a restaurant or retailer, try to keep an eye on the card.

Debit transactions are the safest form of payment but fraud will always be around, Billeri said, explaining some people are always looking to take advantage of an opportunity.

But taking security measures still helps.

"Be diligent with your card," Billeri said. "Know who you're giving it to."

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