June 1, 2018

Debit Card Safety Tips

Credit card image

With debit cards quickly becoming the most popular form of payment around the globe, it’s no wonder that card fraud is on the rise. Almost everyone who has a debit card may have, at some point, experienced a form of information breach.  But, there are things you can do to reduce the chances of becoming a victim:

Be Wary of Independent ATMs – Independent ATMs are not monitored as regularly as bank ATMs.

  • Avoid using ATMs with unusual signage, especially ones requesting you enter your PIN twice to complete a transaction.
  • Watch out for ATMs that appear to have been altered. If the front of the machine looks crooked, loose, or damaged; these are tell-tale signs of the existence of a skimming device.
  • Cover the keypad with your other hand to block anyone, or a camera, from viewing your PIN.

Paying at the Pump – Gas station self-service pumps are easy targets for thieves to place a skimmer and/or pinhole camera. These cameras are sometimes used in conjunction with card skimmers to capture footage of customers entering their PIN.

  • Pay attention to the card slot. If a card slot looks different from the other card readers at the station, it might be a setup for a card skimmer.
    Take the extra step of precaution and pay the gas station attendant instead.

Online Purchases – Debit cards are accepted almost everywhere credit cards are taken. Here are a few tips to help ensure a safe online shopping experience:

  • Don’t store your debit card information on websites.
  • Install a personal firewall, plus antivirus and anti-spy software.
  • Use strong passwords and change them regularly.
  • Monitor your accounts and check your balances often.

Public WiFi – If you use a free Wi-Fi connection in an airport, café, hotel, or some other public space, you are taking a risk with your debit card information. Public Wi-Fi and shared computers are easy marks for hotspot hackers and a dangerous place to manage your banking and finances online.

  • Don’t set up your devices to automatically connect to WiFi.
  • When using public WiFi or a shared computer, avoid transactions that require you to enter your personal information.

Signing Your Card – As a best practice, instead of signing your card, take an indelible marker and write “Ask for identification” in block letters.  If you suspect that you have been a victim of fraud or identity theft, please visit www.identitytheft.gov.  This is a site run by the Federal Trade Commission that provides a step-by-step recovery plan and assistance in taking action.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Customer Service Department (916) 567-2899 or (800) 564-7144 or visit your nearest branch.

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