The pandemic and the holidays may force us to change the way we go about our daily tasks like eating out, taking care of ourselves, or paying our bills. One of the primary ways that consumers meet their financial obligations is through the use of a debit card. A debit card is a payment card that takes money directly from a consumer’s checking account to pay for a purchase.
Debit cards can eliminate the need to carry cash or physical checks to make purchases directly from your checking or savings account.
In this time of uncertainty and turmoil over the holidays, using your debit card safely shouldn’t be an added worry in an already chaotic lifestyle.
As I mentioned in a previous post, crooks see this moment in history as a special time to take advantage of unsuspecting victims and live for you to give them the hard earned money you earned to turn them into. take advantage. But you don’t have to hand over your money or personal information to this type of fraud if you follow these simple steps:
1. Protect your PIN code. Do not give your Personal Identification Number (PIN) to anyone who asks you to do so, and do not write it in your purse or wallet. Do not use your PIN at the gas pump. Instead, use your card in the credit purchase function to prevent someone from seeing it. This is because using your debit card in credit card mode may offer you additional liability protection, depending on your bank.
2. Create a separate account for daily purchases. You may want to create a separate account linked to your debit card that you use to pay rent, a mortgage, utility bills, and other expenses. If the card is compromised, the special account you created will only allow the withdrawal of funds linked to that card, thus protecting your money in your checking account.
3. Use only ATMs located in a bank. Automatic banking machines (ATMs) located in
Convenience stores, subway stations, airports and other places are at greater risk of having a thief attached a “skimmer” device, which could intercept and store your debit card data. This sometimes happens in banks as well, but it is easier to do in a place without surveillance cameras.
4. Do not use public wireless access for financial transactions. Make sure that you are using a password-protected wireless signal to check your bank account balance, pay your bills, and shop, so that hackers are less likely to capture your password and account information. your account.
5. Notify the bank when traveling out of state. The bank can place a travel alert on your card to prevent your card from being blocked for suspicious or fraudulent transactions. This trick really works! I have been away from home and tried to purchase items and my card issuer called me asking if I was making the purchase. Once the transaction was confirmed, my purchase was approved. Just knowing I had that extra layer of protection gave me a sense of security.
6. Check your bank statements often and report problems immediately. To get full fraud protection from your bank, make it a habit to check your bank account online at least once a week, or even daily. You would definitely report it right away if your wallet was stolen and your credit and debit cards were missing, you should also report any unauthorized transactions immediately. If your debit card is stolen, you can contact the police and keep a copy of the police report, so you have additional support when you want your bank to reimburse the charges.
The Federal Trade Commission offers a wealth of information on this topic on its web page at www.ftc.gov. These simple steps can help you protect your debit card from unsuspecting thieves looking for ways to steal your money.
Until next week, stay in shape financially!