Did you know…

…there are four risky places to swipe your debit card?

  1. Outdoor ATMs. A great place for skimming to occur. Skimming is the practice of capturing a bank customer’s card information by running it through a machine that reads the card’s magnetic strip.  To avoid the risk of a skimming device, use an ATM inside a bank, retail outlet or other high-trafficked, well lit place.
  2. Gas stations. Another great place for a skimming device as the pumps have minimal supervision. All a thief needs is a lap top and antenna to steal your debit card information and pin number.  Avoid swiping your debit card at the pump. Use cash or a credit card next time you fill up.
  1. The Web. Debit cards are a convenient way to buy products online. The consumer could have malware on their computers o it could be at their endpoint that the data gets compromised. There’s always the possibility of somebody is eavesdropping on their communication via the wireless network. Use a credit card for online purchases so that you have the protection of your creditor against fraud.
  1. Restaurants. Any place where your debit card is out of sight, it can increase the chances of fraud. The same threat is apparent when ordering for delivery and using your debit card to pay for the food over the telephone.  Avoid this and take the extra safety step to get cash or use a protected method of payment such as a credit card.

Remember thieves are skilled and know all the tricks. They may only use your debit card for small transactions that may go unrecognizable for a while. Review your banking transactions daily to avoid becoming a victim.


Return to Thrifty Spending Issue 106