How to prevent types of debit card fraud.
Debit cards are a quick and easy way to pay for your everyday transactions. And if you’re working on sticking to your monthly budget, a debit card can help keep you on track to meet your financial goals. However, an unauthorized transaction on your debit card – unlike a credit card – can have a financial impact, so it is important to know how to prevent types of debit card fraud.
What are the types of debit card fraud?
Just like other types of financial fraud, this scam happens when someone gains access to your debit card number or PIN and then makes unauthorized purchases or withdrawals from your account.
Here are 2 types of debit card fraud to watch out for:
1. Debit card fraud at gas stations.
Many people use the convenience of a debit card when they go to fill up at the pump. But a popular scam is to install a card skimming device to a gas station fuel pump that gathers your debit card information and then uses it to access your bank account.
2. Email phishing.
You receive an email that looks like it’s from Popular Bank or another financial institution or perhaps streaming services where you use your debit card number. Once you click on the bogus link and enter your information, the debit card scammer can access your bank account.
Debit card fraud vs. credit card fraud.
Your bank account can take a punch a lot more from unauthorized charges on a debit card than a credit card. Two federal laws — the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) and Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) – cover what you are liable for in the event of credit card or debit card fraud. Under the FCBA, credit card users are only responsible for up to $50 in unauthorized credit card transactions.
However, liability for debit card fraud depends on how soon you report it. With the EFTA, if you report a debit card lost or stolen before someone uses the card – perhaps you accidentally lost your card, or someone stole your wallet — you’re not responsible for any unauthorized transactions on your debit card.
But what if you find any unauthorized activity? Depending on when you report it, your maximum loss may be up to $50 or for all the money that was taken. That is why it’s vital to keep an eye on your bank account so you can report fraudulent activity right away.
Here are 6 tips to help you prevent types debit card fraud:
1. Monitor your bank statements often.
It’s easy to check your Popular Bank accounts online so you can see – and report – any suspicious activity as soon as possible.
2. Protect your PIN number.
Never share your personal identification number (PIN), and don’t keep it written down anywhere in your wallet or on your cell phone.
3. Don’t use your debit card online.
Pretty much everyone lives online – and online shopping is a way of life. Since debit cards immediately remove money from your account, if you’re going to browse Amazon or order take-out, consider putting a credit card on file. That way, you have the ability to dispute a transaction if you suspect fraud.
4. Only use a bank ATM.
ATMs located in public places such as convenience stores, subway stations or airports have a greater risk of scammers placing a “skimming” device that can intercept and store your debit card data.
5. Avoid public wireless access for financial transactions.
Paying bills or checking your bank account from the local coffee shop could be a big mistake. Always ensure you are using password-protected wireless when you are in public and save your financial transactions for when you’re at home.
6. Report problems immediately.
If you see any changes in your checking or savings accounts, pick up the phone and report them. The sooner you let Popular Bank know about any unauthorized transactions on your credit card, the better.
Debit cards are convenient – particularly when people don’t carry around cash. However, there are debit card scammers looking to take advantage. By being vigilant and adopting some new habits, you can help protect your financial accounts.