Archive for News Items

Alert: Zippy’s Restaurants Payment Card Breach

Zippy’s Restaurants Payment Card Breach

Zippy’s Restaurants in Hawaii announced on Friday, April 27, 2018 that is payment card system was breached exposing card numbers and related card credentials for card transactions conducted at all Zippy’s locations from November 23, 2017 until March 29, 2018. The related card credentials also breached include card number, cardholder name, expiration date, and security code.

If you suspect your HFDFCU Debit MasterCard® or Visa® Platinum Credit Card were used during the affected period, please call the credit union to discuss your options, which can include reissuance of any affected cards.

HFDFCU Debit MasterCard® accounts are equipped with MasterCard® ID Theft Protection™, details of which can be found at the MasterCard worldwide website

If you have any questions about the status of your cards, call the credit union for assistance. Call 853-2355 or toll-free 800-592-2290.


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What’s my credit score?

The most common question from members is “What’s my credit score?”

Surprising to many, explaining a credit score — and explaining why scores vary so much — is not always simple.

In the United States, consumers credit activity is tracked by multiple agencies called credit rating agencies. Those agencies monitor consumers’ credit accounts, payment history, and use of those credit accounts to formulate a score that’s not just unique to each consumer, but a score that’s unique to each credit agency. The three mainstream credit rating agencies in the US are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. There are other credit rating agencies, but generally creditors like HFDFCU use a score formulated by the three mainstream agencies.

It’s always important to get the full “picture” of your own credit situation and credit score. Discuss this with one of our Financial Services Officers to understand what this means for you, and what options we can provide.


What’s my credit score?

A credit score is a number that succinctly grades your financial trustworthiness based on several factors that are the same for everyone “scored,” which gives lenders an objective view of those it does business with. Because the criteria are the same across all others measured by those factors, the lender like HFDFCU will have a good gauge of all of its members.

The factors that go into formulating a credit score vary by each credit rating agency, but generally include these:

  • Payment History — Do you pay your loans on time?
  • Capacity — How much have you borrowed? What are the credit limits for each of your obligations?
  • Utilization — How much of your credit limits have you used? Are you “maxed out?”
  • Duration — How long have you had these loans and obligations?
  • Activity — Do you keep adding new loans or obligations even while others are not yet paid off?
  • Composition — What types of loans or obligations do you keep?


Why do I see different credit scores?

Each credit rating agency will weigh each of these factors differently, and each credit rating agency will layout a different range of figures for each factor, which is the reason consumers will see a different credit score. Also, depending on the timing of that particular credit score and which credit rating agency has issued a score, a credit score may vary.

Another factor that causes consumers to see different credit scores is the source; And we don’t mean which credit rating agency. A consumer may have subscribe to a service or use a credit card that provides a credit score at regular intervals. Many times, those credit scores are generalized “consumer-friendly” versions of the credit scores that lenders will see.  Lenders pay for credit scores, which usually includes more details than the factors that go into a generalized consumer version.


What’s the most important thing to remember regarding credit scores?

Consumers should never expect any sudden changes in activity to cause sudden changes in their credit score — no matter the credit rating agency and no matter the lender.  By sudden activity, we mean both positive or negative activity.

Consumers are sometimes discouraged by claims that lending decisions are “all about the score.” While most lenders use a credit score to weigh heavily in a decision to extend credit to a borrower, credit unions like HFDFCU also take into account a consumer’s overall situation — work history or even membership — to understand circumstances that might not be represented in a credit score.

There’s a myth that closing all credit accounts after pay-off will negatively affect a credit score. While it’s true, such activity will affect a credit score, the affect is not as drastic as it’s made out to be.

There’s a similar myth that tells consumers they’re stuck with their first choice of lender because refinancing or “shopping” for better rates will negatively affect a credit score. It is true that “inquiries” by multiple lenders will affect a credit score, but even in this instance, credit scores should not change drastically.

On the other hand, there’s a myth that it takes only six months to improve a credit score. Positive activity over six months’ time certainly will affect a credit score, but the computational factors that go into determining if a credit score will improve is not done in any particular interval. That means, all of a consumer’s activity is factored all the time, so any positive activity must be sustained for it to affect and improve your credit score.


For additional information about your credit score, or to discuss your credit options, speak with a Financial Services Officer. Or to start the process of seeing what you qualify for, apply online here.



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Alert: System Outage Feb. 10-12

System Maintenance Outage Scheduled for February 10-12, 2017

Update 02-13-2017: All scheduled maintenance activities were completed successfully. We appreciate all members’ patience who were affected over the weekend. Mahalo for your understanding!

The credit union will be conducting disaster recovery maintenance to better prepare all of our systems for redundancy in the event of any local or widespread outages in the future. As a result, the maintenance period will cause certain services to have intermittent availability throughout the weekend, starting on Friday, February 10 and continuing until late Sunday evening, February 12.

One service that has already been made redundant, and will not be affected by this outage are all of HFDFCU Visa Platinum credit card accounts. Access for purchases and transactions with your Visa Platinum credit card and to the credit card accounts and payment website will be available throughout the entire system outage.

This chart will help you visualize which systems and services will be affected by this planned outage:

We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you. However, this maintenance will allow the credit union to provide all products and services without interruption during any local Hawaii disruptions in electricity or other connectivity as well as any other national outages.  If you have any questions or concerns about the upcoming system outage, please call us at 853-2355.


New in 2017: No ATM Caps!

We Eliminated ATM Transaction Caps Starting in 2017!

New Networks Means No ATM Caps & Unlimited Access

Starting in 2017, members with an HFDFCU ATM card or Debit MasterCard have unlimited transaction access with our new ATM network partners operated by American Savings Bank (ASB) and First Hawaiian Bank (FHB). And when we say “unlimited,” we mean unlimited! There’s no longer a 10-transaction cap per month when members use their HFDFCU ATM cards or Debit MasterCards in any machine operated by American Savings Bank or First Hawaiian Bank.

This also means we’ve ended our partnership (as of Dec. 31, 2016) with Bank of Hawaii ATMs, so any use of a machine operated by Bank of Hawaii with your HFDFCU ATM card or Debit MasterCard may result in you being assessed a usage fee by Bank of Hawaii.

More than 400 ATMs statewide are now available to HFDFCU members through our partnership with ASB and FHB; that’s 115 machines operated by ASB and more than 311 operated by FHB, including these popular ATM locations statewide:

  • Foodland and Foodland Farms (ASB)
  • Sack N Save stores (ASB)
  • Unocal 76 gas stations (ASB)
  • Tamura’s stores (ASB)
  • Kahala Mall, inside Macy’s (ASB)
  • Pearlridge Center, Uptown & Downtown (ASB)
  • Windward Mall (ASB)
  • Waterfront Plaza (ASB)
  • 7-Eleven stores (FHB)
  • Walgreen’s stores (FHB)
  • Zippy’s restaurants (FHB)

To locate specific ATM locations, these helpful locators are available from ASB and FHB.

Of course, your HFDFCU ATM card and RescuePlus Debit MasterCard card are accessible at any machine displaying our network logos, however machines not operated by our partners American Savings Bank or First Hawaiian Bank may assess a network and/or usage fee. Those fees are outside of the credit union’s control and vary widely depending on machine operator or location.


Counting Down the 12 Days of #MyHFDFCU

Counting Down the 12 Days of #MyHFDFCU

The big day of the season for many is coming up, and Honolulu Fire Department Federal Credit Union is counting down 12 helpful hints or product benefits that our members may not even be familiar with. It’s a little like the 12 Days of Christmas, but backwards — since normally that countdown starts on Christmas Day — and it won’t cost you nearly as much as has been said those 12 gifts cost these days.

Look for our posts of these #12DaysofMyHFDFCU in our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages. Or check back here to see a summary of each as we count down each day!



All products and services subject to membership eligibility; Loan products subject to credit review. Rates, terms, fees, and restrictions may apply to all products described. Please inquire with the credit union for details. Federally insured by NCUA.

Alert: IRS Phone Scam

The following is provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from their website.

IRS-Impersonation Telephone Scam

An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.

Note that the IRS will never: 1) call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill; 2) demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe; 3) require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card; 4) ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or 5) threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

For additional information about this scam and others using the Internal Revenue Service’s name to trick consumers, visit the IRS website.


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Alert: Jury Duty Phone Scam

Jury Duty Phone Scam

Impersonators claiming to be from the “Sheriff Department,” “Honolulu Sheriff Department” or “Sheriff’s Office” are calling residents to say they are wanted on a warrant for failing to show up for jury duty. The alleged scammer is offering to clear the warrant in exchange for payment by phone.

The public is reminded that Sheriffs do not call people about warrants having to do with jury duty and will NEVER ask for personal information or solicit payment over the phone. Do not provide credit card numbers or other personal information to callers claiming to represent a law enforcement agency or the courts.

If you receive a call matching this scam, please alert the Sheriff Division by calling 586-1352.

If you provided your payment information, credit or debit card information, or account information to someone you think might be involved with the scam, call the credit union immediately to report your circumstances. Call 808-853-2355!

*Information provided by Hawaii State Representative Linda Ichiyama

If It’s Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is!

Don’t Fall for Instagram Promises of Getting Rich!

That old saying, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is” really has some merit a new method of a common theft practice.  In an emerging new method, thieves use social media — many times, Instagram — to promise “doubling your money” or other get-rich-quick ruses to lure consumers into hearing how the “plan” works.  Part of the “plan,” is to provide your bank or credit union account information, which the thieves say is a way to deposit your own “earnings.”  When really, thieves were taking account information and stealing funds from those who thought they’d signed up for the “plan.”

This recent article from Credit Union Times about thieves being prosecuted for similar actions shows how quickly this scheme is growing.

Traveling with your RescuePlus Debit MasterCard

ATM Tips & Travel Tips with Your RescuePlus Debit MasterCard

The tendency of today’s travelers is not to stock up on cash or travelers cheques before embarking on trips.  And with automated teller machines (ATMs) being available all across the world and being able to use your credit and debit card directly for purchases, it can sometimes be safer and less expensive not to stock up.

We want members to plan for their own travel using tools convenient to them, but relying on your HFDFCU RescuePlus Debit MasterCard can have its benefits instead of relying on foreign currency exchange. The example below shows the difference in cost when simply withdrawing foreign currency while abroad using your RescuePlus Debit MasterCard vs. purchasing that foreign currency.



But before you travel:

  • Notify the credit union of your travel destinations and travel dates.
  • Keep in mind the transaction limitations of your card.
  • Time zone differences when seeking advice or assistance from in-branch staff.


Quick ATM Tips When Traveling

  • Find ATM locations Quickly: Use the MasterCard Global ATM Locator or the related mobile app.
  • Generally, locations displaying the MasterCard logo will accept your RescuePlus Debit MasterCard.
  • Mind which ATM you use! Most bank ATMs in Europe don’t charge a usage fee, but stay away from “independent” ATMs, which have high fees and may try to trick users with “dynamic currency conversion.” These ATMs (labeled with names such as Travelex, Euronet, Moneybox, Cardpointq, and Cashzone) are often found next to bank ATMs in the hope that travelers will be too confused to notice the difference.
  • Card limits are in US dollars: Remember that you’re withdrawing a different currency than dollars; for example, if your daily limit is $300, withdraw just 200 euros. Many frustrated travelers have walked away from ATMs thinking their cards were rejected, when actually they were asking for more cash in euros than their daily limit allowed.
  • Locations may have their own limits: Be aware that many foreign ATMs have their own limits. If the ATM won’t let you withdraw your daily maximum, you’ll have to make several smaller withdrawals to get the amount you want. Note that few ATM receipts list the exchange rate, and some machines don’t dispense receipts at all.



Some tips excerpted from

EMV Chip Card FAQs

EMV Chip Card FAQs


HFDFCU Visa® Platinum credit cards have been EMV chip-equipped for more than a year now.  In the next few months, HFDFCU RescuePlus Debit MasterCards will become EMV chip-equipped via new reissues.  In order to refresh everyone’s memory on how chip-equipped cards work and to answer some questions unique to debit cards, we’ve prepared some common questions and answers along with common scenarios and how to deal with them — all related to using your HFDFCU-issued EMV chip-equipped payment cards.

Most Common Questions

Will I have to pay any additional fees with my EMV chip card?  No. There are no additional fees to use a chip card. However, standard fees continue, which can be found on our published Schedule of Fees.

Can I still use my old, non-EMV card?  Your new chip card will replace any old cards.  Please cut up or shred your old card; it will no longer be valid once you activate your chip card.

Can I still swipe my chip card to pay?  Yes. If a merchant’s point-of-sale terminal is not yet chip-activated, you can continue to swipe your card.

Can I still get ‘cash back’ during a transaction?  Your RescuePlus Debit MasterCard® will always offer this functionality, however not all chip-enabled merchant terminals will continue to accept this option. It’s best to inform your cashier of your intention with ‘cash back,’ so that the option can be enabled, if available.

Why did HFDFCU switch to an EMV chip card?  Chip cards make counterfeiting nearly impossible, so in-person use of your card is as secure as current technology allow with EMV chip technology.  Plus, the USA was the last country in the world to adopt the EMV card standard, which means if we hadn’t switched to chip cards, members would’ve had a more difficult time using debit & credit cards when traveling.

Where can I use my EMV chip card?  All of the merchants and terminals that accepted your old cards will continue to accept your new chip card: At the millions of places that accept MasterCard® for your RescuePlus Debit MasterCard and that accept Visa® for your Visa Platinum credit card.

Does my EMV chip card still have full functionality?  Yes. You will still be able to use your card in stores, online, by telephone, or at ATMs. You can continue to use your chip card online and by phone, as you do today.

Do you still offer fraud protection with my new chip card?  Yes. The same fraud protection that was offered for your old cards continues to be offered for your new chip cards.

Additional Questions

What does EMV stand for?  It stands for the initials of the three financial services companies that created the standard:  Europay, MasterCard, and Visa.

How does EMV chip technology protect my information?  Whenever you use your card at a chip-enabled terminal, the embedded chip generates a one-time use code. This code is virtually impossible to counterfeit and helps reduce in-person use of your card.

Will chip cards prevent all fraud from happening?  Criminals evolve as the financial services industry does, so fraud may still occur. Chip cards provide an additional layer of security at chip-enabled terminals, on top of the fraud prevention monitoring we have always provided. However, fraud may still occur, so continue to review your monthly statements and report any suspicious activity.

Will chip cards allow others to track my location?  No. Chip card technology does not facilitate location tracking. While an EMV chip card looks like a cell phone SIM card, they are not the same. The chip embedded in your HFDFCU card is designed only to authenticate your card and your transactions.

Is a chip card the same as contactless payment like PayPass and PayWave?  No. Contactless cards use a completely different technology called near-field communication (NFC). Chip cards must still be inserted into a chip-enabled merchant terminal to make physical contact.

Do the same benefits come with my chip card that I had witht he card it replaces?  Yes. You’ll continue to receive the same benefits with your chip card as you had with the cards they replace.  Any changes to those benefits would be communicated to you separately and explained thoroughly.

Now that I have a chip card, do I need to notify the credit union before I travel?  We still recommend that you notify us of any upcoming travel so that we can prevent any unnecessary transaction denials.

Common Issues to Know About

Using your chip card internationally:  Some merchant terminals in foreign countries are designed to accept only PIN-based transactions, whether accepting debit or credit cards.

  • With your RescuePlus Debit MasterCard:  Enter the PIN you normally use.
  • With your Visa Platinum Credit Card:  Enter the PIN You must have requested a separate PIN to be mailed to you prior to travel.  Your Visa Platinum Credit Card PIN is not available by telephone or other delivery once you leave the country.

Terminal prompts may ask you to choose:  When traveling or when using a “worldwide” merchant terminal in the US, you may be asked to select your desired currency or to select your desired processor.

  • When selecting a currency, the currency you choose is a matter of preference; however, no matter the currency you select, if you are using a terminal in a foreign country or with a foreign merchant, you may still be subject to any exchange or transaction fees, which are outlined in your Card Agreement.
  • When selecting a processor, you are usually presented the option for a “US” or “International” processor; either selection is acceptable and does not affect how much you will be charged for your purchase.

‘Cash Back’ – Not all merchant terminals will continue to offer the option for ‘cash back’ at the time of purchase. Inquire with your cashier before completing your transaction for the availability of the ‘cash back’ function.

Chip-enabled terminal not functioning – Some merchants have deployed chip-enabled devices, but may still not accept chip-enabled transactions. In this case, swipe your card as you normally do.