Be Alert to Scammers over the Holidays

Dawn Rye | Writer

Hackers and thieves have always targeted the credit card industry. Unfortunately, the most common scams have changed right along with technology. While nobody knows for sure what the future holds, it is safe to say financial scams cause headaches and financial losses.

In the last year, fraudsters have stolen data from thousands of debit cardholders through merchants’ and service providers’ faulty data security systems and cleaned out victims’ bank accounts.

Fraudsters conduct debit card scams by cloning the card and obtaining the card details to carry unauthorized transactions. The devices used to copy such card information are also called skimmers. The electronic devices, usually placed on ATMs or the card readers on gas pumps allow the device to capture your account information.

If someone learns that their debit card information has been compromised, contact the bank immediately to limit the damage the thief can do and limit your financial responsibility for the fraud. Make contact directly by phone, and follow up with a detailed letter stating the full name of the bank employee you spoke with, details of the fraudulent transactions. 

What to do if you were scammed — 

1). Get Banking Alerts

In addition to checking your balance and recent transactions online daily, you can sign up for banking alerts.

2). Go Paperless 

Signing up for paperless bank statements will eliminate the possibility of having bank account information stolen from your mailbox. 

3). Don’t make purchases with your debit card use a credit card, which offers more protection against fraud, rather than a debit card.

4). Stick to Bank ATMs

Bank ATMs have better security (video cameras) than automated teller machines at convenience stores, restaurants, and other places.

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