While debit card fraud is always a possibility, being careful where you use your card can keep your checking account balance out of the hands of criminals. A lost or stolen card can do thousands of dollars of damage in a matter of minutes.
Be careful and guard your debit card to prevent theft.
A debit card is a convenient tool for your, but can also be an accessible target for scammers and theives. And once stolen, a debit card is easy to use:
- Many businesses do not check the signature on a receipt against the signature on a debit card.
- Many states do not require a signature for purchases below a certain limit.
- Internet transactions with a debit card often only require a name and debit card number.
Report a lost or stolen debit card immediately
If you notify your financial institutions within two business days after you realize your debit card is missing, you will not be responsible for more than $50 of unauthorized activity. Your liability may increase if you do not report the loss of your card promptly.
If someone makes fraudulent withdrawals on your account using your debit card, you will not be held liable if you notify your financial institution within 60 days of receiving your statement showing the unauthorized activity.
For more information from the Federal Trade Commission on what you can do in the event of lost or stolen credit, ATM, or debit card, visit their website.
An Ounce of Prevention
You can also prevent theft with your debit card by taking a few precautions:
- Keep your card, personal identification number (PIN) and password secure. Do not carry your PIN with your card. Never write your PIN number down on a slip of paper that you keep in your purse or wallet.
- Protect the privacy of your transaction. Do not let anyone see you enter your PIN while you are standing at an ATM.
- Be suspicious. In the U.S. and abroad, criminals have used artificial fronts on ATM machines and cameras to steal card information and drain accounts. If you notice something strange about an ATM, skip your transaction and notify your financial institution.
- Know where your cards are at all times, and never leave your wallet or purse unattended. Do not let your card out of your sight when making purchases in a store or restaurant.
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