Top 5 tips to avoid debit card fraud
If you no longer carry cash or write checks, then your debit card is your lifeline to your money. As such, you should make every effort to prevent access to your account from falling into the wrong hands. While keeping private information such as your PIN to yourself is crucial, there are a few things often overlooked because they don’t always seem like a threat. Be sure you’re aware of these five tips for protecting your debit card information.
- Update your contact info with your financial institutions. If your credit union or bank needs to contact you regarding suspicious transactions, they will naturally need the correct phone number. This will also ensure that people with your previous address or phone number don’t receive calls or statements that might offer personal information.
- Make sure online transactions are on secure websites. If you are using your debit card to make purchases online, be sure the site is secure. You can usually identify a secure site by a lock icon in the URL bar. This means that personal information sent through the site is protected from outside parties intercepting data.
- Don’t include your debit card information in emails. Emails are generally not secure communication channels, and the information you include could be captured by scammers. And if anyone ever gains access to your email account or the recipient’s, they may be able to find the information in archived or deleted messages.
- Don’t give your card info on phone unless you initiate call. In many cases, a fraudster will pretend to be your financial institution or an organization seeking payment or donations and ask for your card information over the phone or through another channel. Don’t give it to them! Of course, there are instances when you may need to make a payment over the phone, but be sure that you have initiated the call so that you are positive of who’s on the other end of the line.
- Review your account transactions regularly. The easiest way to prevent fraud is to be sure that the transactions on your account are, in fact, yours. If you discover that there are transactions you don’t recognize in Online Banking, contact your financial institution immediately. Using financial management software like FinanceWorks™ (which is built in to EECU’s Online Banking) will allow you to pull in transactions from every account—both EECU accounts and outside accounts—to keep a close eye on them.
|As corporate governance advisor, Dale West manages EECU Credit Union’s fraud-legal department which helps to actively protect and monitor accounts in multiple ways to prevent fraudulent activity and identity theft. Dale holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Louisiana and has since worked in fraud and legal management capacities for more than 20 years.|