What’s Reg E?
In a nutshell, Reg E is meant to protect credit union members who use electronic methods to transfer money and provide guidelines for electronic debit card issuers.
Regulation E applies to EFTs (Electronic Fund Transfers) such as Point-of-sale transfers (POS), automated teller machines (ATMs), Direct Deposits or withdrawal of funds, transfers initiated by telephone and Debit Card transactions. Electronic transfers excluded are wire transfers and electronic checks.
Whose accounts are covered under Reg E?
Reg E applies to consumer accounts such as checking accounts, money market accounts and savings accounts.
Whose accounts are NOT covered under Reg E?
Reg E doesn’t apply to business accounts, including business checking or business savings accounts. And it doesn’t cover credit cards either. Credit cards are protected under the Fair Credit Billing Act which outlines your rights and responsibilities for disputing unauthorized charges.
OK…what does it do for me?
Reg E outlines your rights for disputing ATM and debit card transactions errors, fraudulent or accidental ones!
Reg E lets you dispute the following types of errors:
Incorrect EFTs to or from your account(s)
Omission of an EFTs
Computational or bookkeeping errors made by the credit union regarding an EFT
Receipt of an incorrect amount of money from an ATM or other electronic terminal
Errors involving preauthorized transfers
Requests for additional info or clarification concerning an EFT
Ok…now what do I do?
Don’t wait if you believe there is an error on your account, call us! We are here to help you through the process.
If a LOST or STOLEN card is reported before any unauthorized charges are made: Your maximum liability is -0-!
If a LOST or STOLEN card is reported within 2 business days after learning your card was lost or stolen: Your maximum liability is $50
If a LOST or STOLEN card is reported more than 2 business days after learning your card was lost or stolen, but less than 60 calendar days after your statement is sent to you : Your maximum liability is $500
If a LOST or STOLEN card is reported more than 60 days after your statement was sent to you: Your maximum liability is all the money that was taken from your account, as well as money taken through unauthorized transactions from other accounts linked to your debit card account.
What can I do to protect myself?
1. Shop with reputable retailers
It’s best to shop directly with online retailers you know and trust. Bookmark your favorite shopping sites to get there quickly and safely. Avoid typing the name of the retailer into your browser bar. That’s because a tiny typo could land you on a fake site that looks just like the real one. Make a “purchase” on an illegitimate site and you may unwittingly hand the scammers your credit card number and other personal info.
2. Vet new-to-you businesses
Did you spot an amazing product from a new seller? Do your homework on any business you’ve never purchased from in the past. Look for online reviews and search the Better Business Bureau website for complaints. Check the “contact us” page on the website for a U.S. address and phone number. Then take it a step further: call the business to verify. Why? The FBI reported that some scammers hijack the contact info of real U.S. businesses to make their shady site look legitimate.
3. Beware amazing deals
Did you spot an ad on Facebook or Instagram offering rock-bottom prices or an eye-popping offer of free stuff? Reports of lost money from social media scams have more than tripled in the past year, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
4. Don't browse on public Wi-Fi
Avoid shopping from public Wi-Fi next time you’re sipping a latte at your favorite coffee shop. The guy staring at his phone at the next table could be a hacker spying on your online activity. And shopping online often requires giving out information that an ID thief would love to grab, including your name, address and credit card number.
5. Use a VPN
If you ever do use public Wi-Fi, protect yourself with a VPN (virtual private network). A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the server. Cybercriminals lurking nearby won’t be able to see what you’re doing or intercept your personal information. A VPN is the only way to shop online safely from public Wi-Fi in airports, cafes and other public spaces. Remember, if an offer looks too good to be true, then it probably is. The FBI found that many sites at the center of its recent spate of complaints were advertised on social media platforms.Compare prices before you buy. Unusually low prices could be a red flag that you’ve landed on a fake site that’s been set up to snag your personal information or steal your money.
6. Pick strong passwords
A strong password is like a secure lock that keeps cyberthieves out of the accounts where you store your private information. Here are some quick guidelines on how to choose a good password: Use a complex set of lower and uppercase numbers, letters, and symbols. Or consider a long passphrase that you can remember, and others are unlikely to guess. Avoid dictionary words and personal information a thief could use.
7. Check site security before you buy
Look for a lock icon in the browser bar of a site to verify that they use SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption. The URL also should start with “https” rather than just “http.” Secure websites are configured to mask the data you share, such as passwords or financial info. Shopping only on secure sites reduces the risk that your private information will be compromised while you shop. find or guess, like your kid’s birthdate, your dog’s name or your favorite sports team.
Never reuse passwords across sites. If you do, a data breach at one company could give criminals access to your other accounts.
8. Don’t fall for email scams
You might get emails or texts offering amazing bargains or claiming there’s been a problem with a package delivery. Delete suspicious messages from unfamiliar senders. And don’t open attachments or click links in messages because they could infect your computer or phone with viruses and other malware. The holidays are a great time for email scammers to send out viruses and malware in the guise of a gift or special offer. Don’t open emails from someone you don’t know or a site you haven’t visited. Another way the bad guys try to get you is with phony messages from your bank or other financial institution saying there is an alert or problem with your account. Always call the credit union directly to verify any potential problems and never enter your account information in response to an email like this.
9. Guard your personal information
Here’s a general rule: No shopping website should ever ask for your Social Security number. If a site does request this type of very personal information, run in the other direction.?Provide reputable sellers the minimum personal info necessary in order to complete a purchase.
10. Pay with credit, not debit
Always use a credit card to shop as securely as possible. First, a credit card doesn’t give a seller direct access to the money in your bank account. Second, most credit cards offer $0 liability for fraud. That means you’re not out any money if a crook uses your account info to make a purchase. Your credit card company will ask questions, investigate the fraudulent activity and send you a new card.
11. Keep an eye out for fraud
Don't wait for your bill to come at the end of the month. Go online regularly, especially during the holiday season, to view electronic statements for your credit card, debit card, and checking accounts. Look for any fraudulent charges, even originating from payment sites like PayPal and Venmo. (After all, there's more than one way to get to your money.) Or set up account alerts to notify you of any new activity on your card. When you receive a text or email notification, you can check your account to make sure you recognize the charge. If you see something wrong, pick up the phone to address the matter quickly. In the case of credit cards, pay the bill only when you know all your charges are accurate. You have 30 days to notify the bank or card issuer of problems, however; after that, you might be liable for the charges anyway.
12. Mind the details
After you make the purchase, keep the details in a safe place. Hang onto the receipt, your order confirmation number and the tracking number the seller provides. If you have a problem with the order, this information will help you get the issue resolved quickly.
13. Track your stuff
After you make an online purchase, keep tabs on it to make sure it’s headed your way. If the merchant refuses to provide shipping info or respond to your requests for the status of your order, contact your credit card issuer for help. They may remove the charge from your bill and look into the matter.
14. Report scammers
Did you get scammed? If so, file a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. Tip: If you suspect you may be a victim of ID theft, the FTC offers an identity theft recovery plan.
15. Update your software
Updating your software is one of the easiest things you can do to protect your information, but many people put it off. Software updates are often released to help improve security and fight new attacks that are being developed constantly. It may seem inconvenient to have to wait for your computer (or your smartphone) to go through updates and restart, but the protective benefits are well worth it. Next time you see an alert to update your software, do it.