Debit Card Scams

In the United States, the use of debit cards is rising faster than all other forms of payments. It’s no surprise then that debit card fraud is also rising. The bad news is, with debit cards, consumers don’t have the same liability protections as they do with credit cards so they must be much more vigilant in their use.  Here are the top three debit card frauds to watch out for:

Online shopping fraud

Debit card use for online shopping is increasing, opening up more opportunities for fraudsters to access your information. If there is malware on your computer, they can access it there. If someone is eavesdropping on your Wi-Fi, it could be from a middleman attack. It could also occur at the back end when your information goes into a merchant database.

Anti-fraud tips:

  • Use a credit card online for its greater protections or make sure the website is secure
  • Make sure your computer is up-to-date with the latest antivirus, malware and antispyware software
  • Closely monitor your bank account online
  • Avoid clicking on pop-up ads offering free products

ATM skimming

As the number of ATMs continues to grow, ATM skimming is as popular as ever. Skimmers attach a device to ATMs to capture debit card information. Some skimmers attach cameras to capture keystrokes used to enter PINs. It also occurs at gas stations.

Anti-fraud tips:

  • Limit your ATM use to bank branches or where video surveillance is available.
  • Cover your hand while entering the pin.

Phishing

Scammers send emails that look legitimate, right down to your bank’s logo, asking to “verify” your debit card number. Clicking on a link in the email sends you to a fake website where you are asked to enter your information.

Anti-fraud tips:

  • Banks, government agencies, or legitimate businesses never request sensitive information through an email.
  • If an email looks suspicious, hover your mouse over the sender’s name to reveal the real email address. If it doesn’t match the actual email address of the bank or organization they claim to be, delete the email.
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