If you’ve ever had your debit or credit card stolen, you KNOW how annoying it can be– calling the bank(s), filing a ridiculous fraud report, going after the bozo who stole it in the first place. It can become quite frustrating, but there are plenty of ways you can avoid most types of debit card theft. Today, let’s discuss four easy ways to keep grubby paws off of your money!
1. Guard your pin with your life
If there is someone behind you in line, make sure you block their view of your pin number as you enter it. There are literally tons of con artists out there, watching you (and whoever else they find that day) enter your pin, just waiting to steal your account information. Luckily, many machines now have guards to block most nosy viewers from seeing your information, but take extra precaution when there’s someone behind you, even if it’s a little granny. You never know these days!
2. Don’t use your card as credit
There are two main reasons I say this– first of all, if you have the option, ONLY have your card set up as debit. I made the mistake of allowing use without a pin on one of my old accounts, and I had hundreds of fraudulent charges after having my purse stolen. Also, if you normally use your card as debit and someone runs it as credit, a red flag will most likely go off, alerting your bank of any possible risky business in your account.
3. Have separate cards for online purchases
A lot of debit card theft happens online, so having separate cards– one for in-person purchases, like groceries, and one for online purchases, also increases the chance that a red flag will go off if anyone tries to use your card for a type of purchase you don’t normally make.
4. Use cash when possible
I know it’s almost primitive to carry cash these days, but it’s SAFE. If you’ve ever had your bank information stolen, you know what I mean. If you lose the $100 in your wallet, at least it stops there. If someone steals your debit card, you may have to deal with months of fraudulent use and multiple claims, depending on your bank’s policies.
Protecting your identity, credit, and money shouldn’t be a hard task, and by safeguarding your assets, like your debit card, you can ensure all three are in good hands… your own!