Debit cards have become one of the most popular methods of payment. This is no surprise, debit cards are a terrific financial tool. I think of debit cards as a happy medium between cash and credit cards. When you use a debit card or an ATM card, you are using your own money. You don’t have to worry about large, monthly bills because all debit transactions are taken directly out of the attached account.
Debit cards have almost totally replaced check writing. Debit cards are very similar to checks in that they have a dedicated account and can be used instead of cash. However, using a debit card is much easier than having to constantly write out checks.
Although a powerful financial tool like a debit card is very safe, it is not without fraud concerns. Much like credit card fraud, there are ways in which your debit card can become compromised. There are steps you can take to protect against debit or ATM card fraud.
Here are 4 ways to protect against debit card fraud:
1. Check your account regularly.
The only way you can spot fraud is to check your bank account regularly to spot any unusual charges. You only have a limited amount of time to report unauthorized charges on your debit card. You have 2 days to notify your bank if your card is lost or stolen to limit your losses to $50. After that it is $500.
2. Cover the key pad when you enter your PIN.
You don’t know who could be looking at your PIN. Protect it at all times.
3. Setup bank alerts for unusual activity.
You can set an alert for any transactions over a certain amount. If you know you don’t make purchases over a certain amount this can keep you alert to fraud.
4. Watch out for suspicious ATMs and suspicious people standing around the ATMs.
If the ATM looks old or doesn’t seem right go elsewhere. Watch out for criminals hanging around an ATM.