Good habits for
FRAUD IS ON THE RISE as white-collar
criminals find new ways to misuse computer
technology. Javelin Research reports that, in
2009, more than 11 million consumers were
victims of fraud, up 1 million for the second
year in a row.
Anyone with a checking account can be a
victim of check fraud. Costco’s check printer,
Harland Clarke, suggests the following ways
members can keep their check use safe.
• Make sure your checks have security
features—such as watermarks and photocopy
detection—to help combat counterfeiting
• Store your checks in a secure location.
Never leave your checkbook in your vehicle.
• Reconcile your bank statements regularly to detect any irregularities. Otherwise,
you may become liable for losses due to
• Use a secure, traceable method for shipping checks. When you receive your check
order, make sure all of the checks are there.
Report any missing checks at once.
• If your home is burglarized, check your
supply of checks to determine if any have
been stolen. Look closely, because thieves will
sometimes take only one or two checks from
the middle or back of the book.
• Limit the amount of personal information on your check. A criminal can use this
information to steal your identity by applying
for a credit card or loan in your name, or even
open a new checking account.
• Use gel pens for check writing. Gel pens
use ink that contains tiny particles of color
that are trapped in the paper, making check
washing or alteration more difficult, according to ink security studies.
• Don’t make a check payable to cash.
The check could be cashed by anyone.
• Never endorse a check until you are
ready to cash or deposit it. The information
can be altered if it is lost or stolen.
For more information about savings on
check printing for Costco members, visit
Costco.com and search “checksart,” or call
toll-free 1-866-393-6048.—David Wight
Costco Auto Program
at your servıce
THE COSTCO AUTO PROGRAM (CAP) is
dedicated to delivering great value for Costco
members via low prearranged prices and a
hassle-free buying experience. It takes a lot
of service to deliver on that goal. CAP offers
The CAP website
The CAP website offers a variety of tools
to assist you in selecting the vehicle you want.
• Search vehicles by price range, manufacturer, body type or specific model.
• View 360-degree interior and exterior
photos, check for available colors and select
trim level and options.
• Use the side-by-side comparison tool to
examine up to three vehicles at once, or let the
advantage-based comparison do the work for
you, highlighting the differences.
• View crash-test ratings and other safety-related information.
• Use the finance calculator
to determine a monthly payment and evaluate manufacturers’ rebates and other special
• Locate the nearest participating dealer.
Call-center operators can explain how
the program works, assist with vehicle selection and locate a participating dealership.
At the next level, the Member Advocacy
Group is made up of specially trained representatives who verify vehicle prices, review
purchase or lease contracts and assist with
communications between the Costco member and the dealer.
The CAP field staff
CAP works with a select group of more
than 2,200 participating auto dealerships that
offer Costco members low, prearranged
prices on most makes and models.
The field staff hand-selects dealers and
trains dealer personnel to be Authorized
Dealer Contacts—the only individuals at a
dealership who are allowed to work with
CAP also shadow-shops dealers to ensure
that members are getting the Costco member price and, if needed, dealerships will be
retrained to ensure compliance and standards
The CAP call center
Beyond the website, a fully
staffed call center is available
exclusively for Costco members, with toll-free access seven
days a week.
CAP constantly monitors pricing in the
market to ensure that Costco members are getting a great value. For more information or to
start your car-buying process, visit Costco.com
and enter “EZ2BUY” in the search box, or call
NOVEMBER 2010 ;e Costco Connection 83
Costco does not sell vehicles or negotiate individual
transactions. Members must go to a participating dealer.