Security Tips

You can use these helpful tips to enhance your security while you shop online or take care of your financial tasks. We're here to answer any questions and to provide guidance you need to remain vigilant against online scams and threats.

Security Tips

Safeguarding your finances is important to us

With so many merchant data breaches in the news, we want you to know that HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union is ready to help if your personal or financial data is ever compromised. We take service to our members seriously and will do everything we can to ensure action is taken quickly, to help you avoid becoming a victim of identity or account theft. We also provide security tips to encourage good habits. Should you become a victim of identity theft, HawaiiUSA offers an Identity Theft Restoration program that restores your identity to pre-theft status.

HawaiiUSA along with other credit unions are subject to strong data security standards established by Congress and federal regulators. While data breaches can happen anywhere, we are ready with a plan designed to ensure the safety and confidentiality of your sensitive data.

Unfortunately, merchants and retailers aren’t subject to these federal requirements. Many of them follow their own data security standards, but the recent rash of data breaches shows much more is needed to be done. When it comes to protecting your personal information, every measure counts.

When your debit or credit card data is breached at a retailer, the cost of card replacement or account reimbursement to you is typically paid not by the merchant where the breach occurred, but by HawaiiUSA.

We want you to know that in the event of any breach affecting your accounts, HawaiiUSA will always do what we can to make you whole. In the meantime, credit unions around the country are leading the effort to get Congress to pass legislation ensuring merchants and retailers meet a national standard for protecting any of your financial data they collect when you make a purchase. We hope you will support us in this effort.

While we can’t control what happens at merchants and retailers, we want you to know that HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union will do everything we can to assist you and your family if a breach does occur when you use your debit or credit card. You can always feel free to reach our Member Service Center at 808-534-4300.

Shopping from your mobile device has never been easier. The holiday season can be a shopper’s paradise with deals and savings galore, all accessible from the comfort of your sofa. It’s also a favorite time of year for criminals on the prowl for vulnerable shoppers. On their wish list: hacking the purchases you make on an unprotected mobile device.

  1. Don’t shop while you sip that latte.
    We love free Wi-Fi from our favorite coffee shop or bookstore. However, this public connection carries extra risks for your private information. Avoid making financial transactions or shopping online when using public Wi-Fi hot spots.
  2. Be careful which “friends” you trust.
    We’ve seen more and more hackers target social media giants such as Facebook or Twitter. You click on a link your friend recommends, not knowing their account was hacked! From free dinner offers to free iPads, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  3. Open holiday e-cards with caution.
    Global security software company McAfee advises that those cute and seemingly harmless e-cards can download viruses onto your computer when you click on a link or open an attachment. Be sure to only open e-cards from well-known and reputable e-card websites.
  4. Do homework on retailers before making online purchases.
    Be extra cautious when shopping from websites of non-major retailers. Some scammers take advantage of the busy holiday season to collect your cash without shipping goods in return. The Better Business Bureau warns shoppers to beware of these scams and also in-person transactions on Craigslist, where a seller may request that you wire money or pay in advance but never deliver the product.
  5. Track charges on your credit card and bank statements.
    Always review your statements for unfamiliar purchases, which can be the first signs of identity theft. Contact your financial institution as soon as possible to prevent an account takeover from getting worse. As long as you report a fraudulent charge early, most credit cards can offer you protection.

Content adapted from For more security tips, please visit LEAP with HawaiiUSA, HawaiiUSA FCU’s financial education community resource. Protect your family with HawaiiUSA’s affordable identity theft protection, ID Restore.

Whether you love the holiday season or not, one trend that consumers have in common is a fear of digital fraud. According to Gallup's 2014 annual Crime Poll, more than two-thirds of people surveyed shared concerns about having their credit card accounts compromised, or smartphone and computer hacked. What's interesting is that the survey shows that our focus on cyber crime now eclipses our fear of getting mugged, being a victim of terrorism, or home burglary.

With the holidays bringing a surge in transaction activity, HawaiiUSA advises members to learn healthy financial habits which can help you to spot and quickly handle any suspicious cyber crime.

  • Use a complex password on your smartphone, tablet, and computers (consider setting a limit for incorrect login attempts before the mobile device deletes personal stored data).
  • Review account statements and report unauthorized charges to Credit Card Services at (800) 654.7728.
  • Report stolen or lost credit cards immediately by calling (800) 449.7728.
  • A Card Verification Value or CVV, is a three digit number located on the back of your credit card. VISA-USA and HawaiiUSA FCU already have this information and will never ask you for it.
  • Make a list of your credit card numbers and keep it in a safe place.
  • Keep your Personal Identification Number (PIN) private and never share it with anyone.
  • Consider using an identity theft service such as HawaiiUSA ID Restore, a comprehensive recovery plan that you'll be glad to have in the event of account compromise.

For more financial education and articles, visit HawaiiUSA's Life Events Assistance Program (LEAP) website.

Although general property crime statistics have been decreasing in Hawaii over the years, it still happens on a daily basis in our islands. Criminals don’t discriminate and anyone can become a victim at any time. HawaiiUSA wants to remind our members to be vigilant when handling money and valuables in public. Here are some general safety tips to help you stay safe:

  • Don’t carry large sums of cash. Never display any cash in public.
  • If you do carry cash, don’t carry any more than is necessary. Most stores accept checks, credit cards and debit cards.
  • If you must carry valuables like important papers, jewelry, cash, etc., choose to wear clothes with inside pockets or use a small bag with a long thin strap that can be worn under your coat or clothes.
  • Beware of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas. Thieves often work in pairs. One may bump you or distract you, while the other is picking your pocket.
  • Never leave valuables unattended even with people you think you know.

It is always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings. Criminals are opportunistic. They will usually wait for an opportunity to take advantage of a victim who is unaware and not paying attention.

These tips are provided to help our members protect their valuable assets and themselves.

As cybercrimes increase, it is important that Online Banking users know how to protect their account from malicious attacks. To improve the security of your Online Banking experience and reduce the risk of using the internet, here are five essential measures that you can perform:

  • Prevent unwanted access to your account by refraining from storing sensitive data (e.g. passwords, PINs, card numbers) on your hard drive or mobile device.
  • Keep your personal firewall set to the highest level of security possible.
  • Ensure that your anti-virus software is operational and current.
  • Before you type in your User ID or Password, verify that you are on our secured web page and have an encrypted connection by checking that the internet address (URL) is indeed HawaiiUSA’s and starts with “https://”.
  • Know that you are dealing with us by making sure the name of the internet site indicated on the certificate verification matches the name of the site on your screen.

If you identify any unauthorized activity or inaccurate information on your account, immediately call us at (808) 534.4300 on Oahu or (800) 379.1300 toll-free, or email us. Download a full version of the Important Facts about your Account Authentication & Online Banking.

Debit card fraud is increasing as more and more people use them. In 2010, debit card fraud represented 36% of all card fraud, an increase from 27% in 2009.1 That’s an alarming statistic! Fortunately, HawaiiUSA is taking steps to prevent thieves from accessing your account. One solution is our eAlerts service.

eAlerts is a free service that can help you monitor unauthorized purchases on your HawaiiUSA debit card. While the solution offers a variety of alerts to choose from, there are two types of alerts that may be valuable to you in our fight against debit card fraud:

  • Debit Card Purchase Alert generates every time a debit card point-of-sale (POS) PIN or signature-based transaction authorization has occurred on your selected account.
  • Account Balance Change Alert generates every time your selected account (a share or line of credit) reaches a balance that is over/below the specified amount for the first time.

These alerts are sent on any device capable of receiving email. Now, here’s how you can get started:

Easy Steps to Enroll in eAlerts:

  1. Enroll or login to Online Banking
  2. Click the eAlerts tab
  3. Acknowledge the eAlert agreement
  4. Click Proceed and you are in!

HawaiiUSA is committed to keeping your account information safe and secure - but whether you’re accessing your account via Online Banking, Telephone Banking, an ATM, or mobile device; you play an essential role in protecting your confidential information from fraud and identity theft.

Here are a few best practices for password safety:

  • Use strong password construction:
    • At least (8) characters in length if supported.
    • Contains one upper and one lower case alpha character.
    • Contains at least one digit and one special character if supported.
    • Is not a word in the standard dictionary (English or foreign) or publicly known slang, dialect, or jargon.
    • Is not based on personal information such as family names, pet names, date-of-birth, telephone numbers, addresses, social security numbers, etc.
    • Does not contain ascending or descending characters or digits, or repeating characters or digits.
  • Change your password regularly; at least every 45 days.
  • Do not share your password with anyone, write your password down, or store it online or any electronic application.
  • Use a different password for each system you access.
  • Use trusted and secured sites to conduct financial transactions.
  • Use your own computer or mobile device when accessing Online Banking, do not leave it unattended during a session, always log off, and close your browser.

To help prevent fraudulent activity on your Debit Card, HawaiiUSA has blocked Debit Card use in the following countries. Please contact us if you plan to use your HawaiiUSA Debit Card in these locations.

  • Africa
  • Australia
  • Azerbajian
  • Belgium
  • Brunei
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Columbia
  • Cyprus
  • Darussalam
  • Ethiopia
  • France
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Kenya
  • Lebanon
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Mauritas
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • Qatar
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • St Kitts-Nevis
  • Sweden
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom

Credit card scams are more prevalent in our state and HawaiiUSA FCU is taking steps to educate our members to minimize their risks of being a victim. Since fraudulent telemarketing schemes, stolen credit cards and unauthorized charges have become all too common, we’ve put together these useful tips which may help avoid possible problems.

  • If your HawaiiUSA FCU credit card is lost or stolen, report it immediately by calling (800) 449.7728.
  • The Card Verification Value or CVV, is the three digit number located on the signature strip on the back of your credit card. VISA-USA and HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union already has this information will never ask you for it.
  • Make a list of your credit card numbers and keep it in a safe place.
  • Never lend your card to anyone and never carry more cards than you need.
  • Keep your Personal Identification Number (PIN) private and never share it with anyone.
  • Memorize you PIN, or write it down and keep it in a safe place, but never keep it with your card. When you choose your PIN, remember that a thief will usually first try your birth date or the number in your address to gain access to your account. So, it is often smart to choose another set of numbers.
  • Watch clerks carefully as they fill out your credit card slips, always remember to destroy any carbons and take your receipt.
  • Open your credit card bill immediately to verify the charges.
  • If you have been charged for purchases you have not yet received, or have unauthorized goods or services charges to your credit card account, contact Credit Card Services at (800) 654.7728. There are instructions on your monthly statement explaining what information is required.
  • Never send your monthly payments in cash through the mail.
  • Never give your account number to unknown “survey” callers.
  • Be sure to print a copy of your online purchase order and confirmation for your records.

HawaiiUSA FCU provides electronic and telephone access to monitor your credit card account. Members are able to view their account via web site and DirectLink, our free Internet Banking service or by calling our 24-hour Cardholder Service at (800) 654.7728.

Taking quick action can help to overcome and minimize some of the difficulties caused by Identity Theft and fraud to your financial account and reputation. Here are some actions that you should take right away along with keeping a log of all conversations, dates, names, phone number of the agencies you have contacted, time spent, and expenses incurred. Confirm your conversations in writing. Send correspondence by certified mail and return receipt requested. Keep copies of all documents.

File a police report with your local police department and obtain a copy of the report.

Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report the situation. Provide the FTC with your police report number and obtain a uniform affidavit form from them. You can also report the situation to the local office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the U.S. Secret Service.

Telephone number: 1-877-ID THEFT {(877) 438.4338} 
Web: <link to>

Contact the fraud units of the three principal credit reporting agencies. Request that a fraud alert be placed on your file for 7 years (normally only 3 - 6 months).

Request for a copy of your credit report (one free annually).

Equifax: (800) 525.6285
Experian: (888) 397.3742
Trans Union: (800) 680.7289

Contact your present financial institution to notify them of your Identity Theft situation. Protect your accounts with access only through a password. Let them know to contact you immediately for any attempts to access your account without the password. Close any accounts that have been compromised.

After you have received your free copy of the credit report, contact all the creditors with whom your name or identifying data have been fraudulently used to establish accounts without your knowledge. You may need to cancel those accounts, place stop-payment orders on any outstanding checks that may not have cleared, change your Debit or ATM cards, and change you Personal Identification Number (PIN).

Contact major check verification companies if you have had bank accounts set up by the identity thief or checks stolen. Determine which check verification company that the financial institution or merchant uses:

ChexSystems: (800) 428.9623
TeleCheck: (800) 710.9898
CheckRite: (800) 766.2748
CrossCheck: (800) 522.1900
National Processing Co.: (800) 526.5380
SCAN: (800) 262.7771
Equifax: (800) 437.5120

You may also need to contact other agencies for other types of Identity Theft.

Contact your local Postmaster and the Postal Inspection Service if the fraud was committed by use of the mail involving your identity. Call the U. S. Postal Office to obtain the phone number. (800) 275.8777 or through the Web.

If the Identity Theft involved the use of your Social Security number, call your local office of the Social Security Administration to report the fraudulent use and to determine whether you fit their fraud victim criteria before ordering a change in your Social Security number. Web:

Whether you have a passport or not, write the passport office to alert them to anyone ordering a passport fraudulently. Web:

Driver’s License number misuse. You may need to change your driver’s license number if someone is using yours as identification on bad checks or for other types of fraud. Call the local office of the Driver’s License at (808) 532.7700 or go to the Satellite City Hall nearest to you.

The Federal Trade Commission is a great resource for learning about national security and identity theft news. Click on any of the topics listed below to visit their website and learn more.

Consumers have free access to their own credit reports once a year. Reviewing your credit report is important to you to make sure your information is accurate, complete and up-to-date before you apply for a loan. It will help guard against identity theft to monitor if any thieves have attempted to take over your accounts. Three nationwide consumer reporting companies, Equifax, Experian and Trans Union, have set up one central website to order your free annual report at

You may also request your credit report by calling toll-free at (877) 322.8228. Please be aware that is the only authorized source for your free annual credit report. This site and the three nationwide companies will not call you or send you an email asking for your personal information. If you get an email or see a pop-up ad claiming it's from or any of the three companies, do not reply or click on any link in the message - it's probably a SCAM! Forward any suspicious email to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) database of deceptive spam at

There is a new threat targeting Internet Explorer browser users; a virus that can steal the password and account information of people who do their on-line banking. You can pick up the virus from pop-up ads that secretly download software, capable of capturing your keystrokes. Here are some tips to protect yourself:

Set the Internet security setting for your browser to "high", a level that makes it more difficult to interact with some web sites. Although you may have difficulty accessing certain sites, you should have no problem accessing Online Banking, our Internet Banking service.

Download the latest patches for Internet Explorer. Use a software that blocks pop-ups. Search engines such as Google and Yahoo have services called "pop-up blockers".

As more information becomes available about this virus, we will add it to this list.