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How to Protect Your Debit Card Information

by Madelyn McConnell

There are many techniques that thieves use to obtain your debit card information.

  • Good old-fashioned spying. Thieves will utilize cameras near ATMs and gas pumps or simply look over your shoulder as you enter your pin number at the grocery store checkout.
  • Phishing emails can look legitimate.  Be careful when receiving an unsolicited email asking for your account number, debit card number, and pin number.  Clicking on a link and entering personal information is giving them the data they are seeking.
  • Thieves use keylogging software on public Wi-Fi to obtain your name, debit card number and pin when you bank or shop online.
  • Skimming devices can be placed on ATMs, gas pumps or store card readers, like grocery stores or restaurants.  These devices obtain your card information and pin number.

Thieves then use the debit card information obtained to create a counterfeit card or make fraudulent purchases.

Consumers reported $905 million in total fraud losses in 2017, a 21.6% increase over 2016. The with a median amount lost was $429. (source: Experian)

There are some simple habits that can reduce your odds of falling victim to debit card fraud:

  • Monitor your accounts.  Sign up for text and/or email alerts so you can catch debit card fraud early.
  • If you get a message that your account might have been breached, don’t ignore it.  Get a new card and change your pin.
  • Use Private Wi-Fi when shopping or banking on secure websites. The ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’. It means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted.
  • Use ATMs selectively.  Watch for signs of tampering (signs of tape or scratches on it).  Select ATMs that are in busy, well lit, secure or monitored locations.
  • If suspicious people are around, block the view or go to a different location to use your debit card.
  • Don’t carry your pin in your wallet, purse or pocket – or write it on the card.  Memorize your pin.

If your card gets hacked, don’t panic, tell us right away!  Report lost, stolen or compromised Grand Savings Bank debit cards by calling 888-297-3416.

For international calls, please call 206-352-4990.

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