Increased Fraud Activity – Be Alert!

Recently we have noticed an increase in debit and credit card fraud. If your debit card is not working while you are outside the state of Massachusetts, please try it as a PIN transaction. Due to high fraud activity we have restricted some states to PIN transactions only. If you are making an unusual purchase with your debit or credit card, please be sure to notify us before doing so.

As a reminder, any time you are traveling out of state please notify us by calling our main branch at 413-536-0475, stop into a branch or put a travel notification on your account via Online Banking under the “Service Center” tab.

When you swipe your debit card at the checkout, the point-of-sale (POS) terminal will usually ask you: “Debit or Credit?”

“DEBIT” PIN: There is a big difference between the two debit authorization types when it comes to losses from fraud and theft. PIN debit is considered more secure because the cardholder authenticates his / her card with a PIN and, unless the PIN number is stolen, the transaction cannot be completed.

“CREDIT” SIGNATURE: Signature debit transactions, in contrast, cannot be easily authenticated, especially because the signature requirement is typically waived for small-amount transactions, which is fully in compliance with industry standards, as all the big networks allow merchants to eliminate the signature requirement on purchases of less than $25.

Alden recommends using the “DEBIT” PIN option whenever possible