Preventing Debit Card Fraud
Consumer use of debit cards is surging in popularity, and unfortunately, so is debit card fraud. To avoid becoming a victim of debit card fraud, the American Bankers Association offers these tips:
- Check your bank statements immediately. Make sure all payments are yours.
- Periodically check your account balance and transactions by utilizing online banking, by telephone or by printing interim statements at the ATM.
- Contact your bank immediately if your card is lost, stolen or subject to fraudulent use.
- Keep a record of card numbers, PINs, expiration dates and 1-800 numbers for banks so you can contact the issuing bank easily in cases of theft.
- Memorize your PIN number. Do not use your birth date, address, phone number or Social Security number. Never store your PIN with your card, and do not make it available to others.
- Keep your receipts. You'll need them to check your statement. If they have your account number on them, tear up or shred receipts before throwing them away.
- Mark through any blank spaces on debit slips, including the tip line at restaurants, so the total amount cannot be changed.
- Know your limits. Many issuers limit daily purchases and withdrawals for your protection.
- Do not use an ATM if it looks suspicious; it could be a skimming device.
- Be wary of those trying to help you, especially when an ATM "eats" your card; they may be trying to steal your card number and PIN.
- Do not give your PIN number to anyone over the phone. Often thieves steal the cards and then call the victim for their PIN, sometimes claiming to be law enforcement or the issuing bank.
For more tips and information, visit the Federal Trade Commission's Web site at www.ftc.gov.