Your debit card is linked to your checking account, which holds the money you spend on daily expenses. This means you need to be more careful about where to swipe your debit card, because debit card fraud endangers hard-earned cash. Debit cards can be expensive especially for certain age groups. For example, according to Credit Sesame, users between the ages of 30 and 49 lost an average of $ 1,254 in 2017 due to debit card fraud.
In many cases, credit cards are safer choices. Most credit cards are of zero fraud liability. This means that you are not responsible for unauthorized charges on your account as long as you report the charges within a certain time. Debit cards do not offer the same protection if you wait too long to report fraud. You may be on the hook for everything stolen from your account. You can protect yourself from debit card fraud by being aware of risky places to swipe your debit card.
Non-bank ATM | Risky Places For Debit Card Swiping
One of the most popular ways for credit card thieves to steal information about debit cards is through card skimming. This happens when you swipe your credit card through a skimming device to a legitimate transaction. Skimmer collects your debit card information, which the robbers get when returning to the skimmer.
Skimming devices are usually installed at ATM’s that are not connected to the bank. So pay attention to ATM’s at gas stations, hotel lobbies or outdoors. These machines do not belong to the bank and are not always monitored properly, which gives thieves greater opportunities to place and retrieve skimming devices.
Mobile Merchant | Risky Places For Debit Card Swiping
Thieves can also act as legitimate street vendors who swipe your debit cards with mobile credit card terminals. However, in some cases, thieves actually push your debit card through a skimming device to bypass and steal your information. Unless you are familiar with a variety of cellular card processing devices, you cannot ensure that traders actually make payments or steal your information. Be careful when shopping at events, outdoor markets, and other places where small businesses make card payments remotely.
Gas stations are another place where skimmers are easier to find, because fuel gauge card readers aren’t always tracked properly. Before you swipe the debit card at the gas station, gently pull the credit card terminal. If it feels insecure, don’t give your debit card. Instead, use your credit card (which is far more protected from fraud), make payments inside or go to another gas station. This might be awkward, but it’s good to avoid dealing with debit card fraud.
Self check out lines
It is also known that debit card thieves place skimming devices on card readers in self-service plans for large retailers. Thieves can work as a team, one person hides the camera and the other puts a skimmer on the card reader. Skimming technology has become increasingly sophisticated for years. Thieves can retrieve information stolen remotely using Bluetooth technology. After they receive debit card information, they can use it to create a cloned debit card or sell it to a dark network to thieves who can use your information for fraudulent purchases.
The risk of using your debit card in a restaurant is that you are not the person who swiped your debit card. Instead, you give your card to the waiter who disappears with him and returns to you to sign your signature on a receipt a few minutes later. Thieves often run large criminal circles and employ waiters to steal customer debit cards for a few dollars. After your debit card leaves your sight, you no longer have control over what is done with it.
Detect Debit Card Fraud
Stealing your debit card information is worse since you only know when unauthorized purchases appear in your account. With your debit card information, your hard earned money is stolen and you need to work with the bank to get it back.
Check your bank account at least once a week to quickly detect suspicious activity and immediately report it to your bank. The current debit card can be canceled and a new card with a new number or a new security code or both will be issued. Reporting of fake purchases reduces your responsibility for purchases made in your account. You will most likely receive most or all of the funds stolen by telling them in early.
Because thieves always develop smart methods for stealing information, it’s hard to defend yourself completely. Fortunately, you can reduce losses by leaving only a little money in your checking account and deactivating overdraft protection.