4 min read

A Guide for a Safe Holiday Shopping Season

The holiday season can be the most wonderful time of the year.  However, it is also prime season for thieves and scams.  As you approach the busiest shopping time of the year, Scient FCU would like to help you keep your personal information safe, so you can relax and enjoy your time with family and friends. 

Below are some safety tips and Scient tools to use during this busy time of year.

Remember:  Scient Federal Credit Union will NEVER request sensitive information from you through email. And, if you are ever concerned about the legitimacy of request, please contact us at 877.860.6928 for verification before providing any personal or account information.


  • Use credit instead of debit.  Even when using your Scient Visa® debit card, select credit and sign vs. using your PIN.  Processing your purchase as a credit card transaction provides you with VISA’s zero liability policy.  Please review item #32 of the Electronic Funds (EFT) Disclosure


  • Know the daily VISA Debit Card Transaction Limit.  If you do make purchases as debit card transactions, please be aware of the daily transaction limit.  This information was provided to you in the Electronic Funds Disclosure document.


  • Inform us before you travel.  If you plan on traveling out of town during the holiday season, please do not forget to contact our Call Center at 1.877.860.6928 and let us know.  We will place a note on your card so the processor knows your spending pattern will be different from the norm.  This will help assist in the inconvenience of declined transactions.


  • Download our Scient Mobile App.  Access your Scient account information via our mobile app for the iPhone or Android.  You may review transactions and make payments without having to access home banking.  Download here


  • Sign up for Text or Email Alerts.  Receive free, real-time alerts to your email or mobile phone to monitor account activity. These alerts serve as an early warning system for potential fraudulent activity and help you better manage and track your spending.  Learn how to sign up for alerts here.


  • Use Digital Wallets.  Now you can use your Scient Visa® debit cards with Android Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Visa® Checkout.  Your actual debit card numbers are never shared with merchants or transmitted with payment. In addition, paying with a Digital Wallet is private — the cashier never sees your name, card numbers, or security code.  Download a digital wallet here.


  • Look for the “S”.  Look for the “https” instead of “http” on the web address of the payment page before you enter a credit card number or other personal information.  The “s” stands for a secure connection which reduces the chance of online scams.  Also, do not use free, public Wi-Fi to enter your credit card or other financial account information. 


  • Review your monthly statement.  If you are not using real-time alerts to monitor your card activity, you should always review your monthly statement as soon as it arrives for any fraudulent charges. 


  • Call us.  If you suspect fraudulent activity on your Scient account, please call our Member Services department at 1.877.860.6928


  • Respond to phone calls from 1.800.808.6402.  This is the number to our fraud monitoring service and the call is legitimate.  The monitoring service will review your transactions, block a card if necessary, take fraud reports, and send for card re-orders.  They will also unblock cards and clear the parameters if the transaction is valid.


  • Visit our Security Center.  For more general information regarding internet safety and identity fraud visit our Security Center here.