Debit Card Security Tips
Can you be a victim of credit or debit card fraud if you still have your physical card?
While card skimming isn't new, recent skimming incidents, should serve as a reminder to protect your cards every time you swipe.
Skimmers are devices that capture the data from the magnetic stripe on your card. "Criminals target ATMs because if they can get a card and a PIN then they can get cash. They can transfer the data to a blank card and then use it to make transactions.
Criminals can find out what your PIN is by setting up a camera or watching as you key in your code.
1. Update your contact information with your financial institution. Your bank can't ask you about a suspicious charge unless it has your current phone number.
2. Copy the customer service phone number from the back of each of your debit or credit cards and keep the list in a separate location from your purse or wallet incase a thief steals the latter.
3. Let issuers know your travel dates and destination. If your card gets swiped at an unusual location, the card issuer may decline the suspicious transaction.
4. Sign up for online banking alerts if offered by your financial institution. These will inform you when particular changes occur, such as irregular card activity.
5. Stay away from ATMs that appear dirty or in disrepair. At best, such ATMs may not work when used, and at worst, may be fake machines set up to capture card information.
6. Do not use ATMs with unusual signage, such as a command to enter your PIN twice to complete a transaction.
7. Watch out for TMs that appear to have been altered. If anything on the front of the machine looks crooked, loose or damaged, it could be a sign that someone attached a skimming device.
8. Avoid using the ATM if suspicious individuals are standing nearby. Criminals may try to distract you as you use the machine to steal your cash, or watch as you type your PIN.
9. Beware that if your card gets stuck in the machine and someone approaches to help, it may be a scam. A criminal may be trying to watch as you enter your PIN code.
10. If your card gets stuck in the machine, call your financial institution promptly to report the incident.
11. As you key in your PIN, cover the keypad with your other hand to block anyone, or a camera, from viewing the numbers you type.
Remember to check your balance on a regular basis.
Bank Card Precautions for Travelers
As with preventing other kinds of theft, the key to averting fraud is to protect your personal information.
Protect your credit and debit cards. Take to Europe only the credit and debit cards that you expect to use, plus a backup, and keep them safely in your money belt. Upon returning home, verify the balance and charges on your debit and credit cards. Some travelers monitor balances as they travel.
Safeguard your PIN code. Memorize your personal identification number; you'd be surprised how many people foolishly write it on their card. " Shoulder surfing"- a thief watching you as you type your PIN into a keypad- is a common problem. When entering your PIN, carefully block other people's view of the keypad, covering it with your free hand.
Use your credit card sparingly. Restaurant servers and shop clerks might try to steal your credit-card information, sometimes by swiping it in a special machine that reads the card or by surreptitiously snapping a photo of it with their mobile phone. Most European restaurants have portable card readers that waiters bring to the table; it's more secure since your card never leaves your sight. Overall, though the safest way to pay for your meals and other purchases is with cash.
Use your debit card only at ATMs. Because a debit card pulls funds directly out of your bank account, potential charges incurred by a thief are scary- it's YOUR money that's gone, and it will stay gone until the fraudulent us is investigated by your bank.
If your card is lost or stole, report it immediately.
While ATM fraud happens more often in the US than in Europe, it pays to be alert. Again, try to use ATMs at banks- thieves shy away from surveillance cameras. And watch out for these common ATM scams:
Card Skimmers: Criminals attack a skimming device to the card reader and place a camera nearby to capture your keystrokes as you enter your PIN. Usually, the crooks sell the information to others, who make a new card and use it to withdraw money at a later date. Beat this scam by inspecting the front of the ATM: If anything looks crooked, loose, or damaged- or if the entry to the slot bulges out dramatically- it could be a sign of a skimming device. And always cover your hand as you enter your PIN.
Card Traps: Thieves insert a thin ribbon of tape into the card slot. the loop traps the card so you think it's been "eaten" by the ATM. Then a Good Samaritan arrives, telling you that you can retrieve your card by retyping your PIN. (While you do it, he memorizes your PIN). Or there is a sign asking you to enter your PIN twice if there is trouble. Since your card still won't eject, you eventually leave to call your bank. As soon as you're gone, the criminal removes your card and uses it with your PIN to withdraw money. If your card gets stuck, look for a trapping device- and never re-enter your PIN.
Money Grabbers: These scammers work in pairs- first one distracts you after you've entered your card and PIN; the second one grabs your cash. There are many clever ruses used to distract you. The scammer may pretend to sell you a newspaper, she may place a $5 bill at your feet and tell you that you dropped some money, or she may ask you for a charitable donation. Sometimes the scammers are children. Pay attention to strangers loitering near the machine and remember that you're most vulnerable just after you have entered your PIN and the withdrawal amount.
Report a Lost or Stolen Debit Card
If your debit card has been lost or stolen, it is important that you report the missing card immediately:
- During Business Hours: Contact any of our branch locations and speak to a Customer Service Representative: Grandview 817-866-3316, Cleburne 817-641-3100, Alvarado 817-790-1400.
- After Business Hours: Call the Debit Card Support Center at 1-866-546-8273. Calls are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Provide the following information so that the Call Center representative can identify you and your card accurately.
- Your Bank information- Must provide ONE of the following-
- Full Name of Bank, City and State-Grandview Bank, Grandview, TX (Grandview is our main location so all of our debit cards are recorded under this location regardless of which branch your account was opened.) OR
- Grandview Bank's routing number - 111906996
2. Your information- Must provide ALL of the following information-
- Name on the debit card-exactly as it is printed
- Full address of the card owner
- Daytime phone number (as per bank records. Please update your contact information with the bank so this information is accurate on our system)
- Reason the card status needs to be changed - ex: Card was lost or stolen