Today, a huge percentage of people with a bank account have a debit card too. These cards are gaining in popularity against the previously all-pervasive credit card. But you have to be careful when using these cards so that you don’t put the funds in your bank account at risk. Here are some tips:
While debit cards are certainly convenient to use, they can cause serious financial problems if you are unaware of the risks involved. Fraudsters can steal your debit card details and use them to drain your bank account. There has recently been a huge spurt in this type of criminal activity. There are three main scams that you need to be aware of:
Some fraudsters resort to “skimming” details of your card when you type in your PIN at retail outlets such as restaurants, bars, gas pumps, and grocery stores. You may be able to prevent this by opting to use your debit card as a credit card, thus avoiding providing your PIN. If that option is not available, just don’t use your card to make a purchase at that establishment.
You should also try to limit the use of the card only at bank ATMs. Avoid independent ATMs at convenience stores, gas stations etc. Cross-check all monthly statements you receive from your bank and alert them about any unauthorized transactions.
Pop-Up Ad Frauds
After completing a debit card transaction online, you may sometimes get pop up ads on the screen, promising cash-back or rewards. Beware! By clicking “yes”, you may be signing up for a service that authorizes automatic debits from your bank account through your card. Only transact online on secure sites and make sure you are dealing with reputed firms.
Do not provide your personal information on the Internet unless you are absolutely sure who will be using that information and how. You may even receive email purportedly from your own bank asking for information such as social security or debit card numbers. This is definitely a scam. Your bank will never ask for such information through email. Call your bank and report the incident so that they can take action against it.
You should always log out from a bank website after a transaction and shut down the computer when you are not using it. Leaving your computer on 24/7 makes it vulnerable to hackers.