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Exchange Bank and Trust Company

Fraud Prevention

How to Prevent Debit Card Fraud

When it comes to protecting yourself from debit card fraud, the best offense is defense. Staying on top of your accounts can help you quickly catch transactions that look out of place so you can minimize your financial loss.

Here are steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • Review your statement each month. Online bank accounts typically offer a transaction log where you can regularly review your purchases, but it’s also worthwhile to run through your statements each month to see if you missed any unusual activity. If you find a questionable charge, be sure to contact your debit card issuer immediately.
  • Keep statements in a safe place. Physical statements you decide to keep should be put somewhere safe. Shred statements that you don’t need.
  • Keep tabs on your debit cards. Since so many transactions today happen virtually without an actual card swipe, you might not use your physical card on a daily basis. Keep track of which wallet your cards are in so they don’t fall into the wrong hands. If you lose a card or think it may be stolen, report it right away.
  • Be careful about where you store your data. Avoid storing your debit card number or PIN on your device or sending it through text or email. If someone gets access to your phone, computer or email, they could have all the information they need to take money from your account.
  • Protect your debit card when shopping online. Scrutinize online stores before shopping because scammers can set up shops with bad intent. There are several precautions to take when making online transactions:
    • Before entering debit card information, make sure there’s an “https” (the “s” means secure) before the website name in the address bar and that there’s a padlock icon next to it.
    • Watch out for phishing scams, which often come in the form of fraudulent emails or text messages pretending to be from banks or retailers.
    • Only give a business your debit card number if there’s a valid reason and after you’ve determined that the company is reputable.
    • Consider paying with a credit card or a prepaid card when paying online to protect your account.
    • Avoid making purchases on unsecured networks.

While you may not have the power to prevent big data breaches or theft fully, early detection of fraud can help minimize loss. Being hypervigilant could pay off if you catch fraud before someone is able to take off with a large sum. Review your bank account regularly and call the number on the back of the card if you identify unauthorized transactions.