In today’s world, unfortunately, the issue of theft is no longer a matter of if it happens to you, but when. With advancements in technology, thieves have easier access to your information, including your debit card credentials, and may never need to be in actual possession of your card to be able to use it. You may suddenly see charges to a store or website that you’ve never visited, without ever having lost your card.
There are steps you can take, though, to lessen the chance of potential fraudulent activity on your card. Charles Broe, MHV’s Security and Fraud Director, offers some tips to help you make it as difficult as possible for anyone to access your debit card.
1. Stay aware. If something doesn’t feel right, it likely isn’t. If you’re using the ATM and someone is lingering, you may choose to leave and use a different ATM. Some ATMs are equipped with a small mirror so you can watch behind you while you conduct your transactions. Be alert and aware of your surroundings when approaching, while using, and when leaving an ATM.
2. Use a credit card to access after-hours ATM locations (not your debit card). If you use your debit card, then enter your PIN on the ATM, a thief may know which card your PIN is connected to. By using a different card, you will make it more difficult for a thief to connect a specific PIN to a specific card.
3. Observe the ATM before using it. Are the cameras clear or obscured? Does the keypad seem intact? Is the card reader secure, or does it appear to be loose? If anything seems out of sorts with the machine, do not use it.
4. Be cautious of where you shop online. The old saying, “If it’s too good to be true, it likely is” may be clichéd but it’s also accurate. Scammers love to set up shop on the internet and “sell” products at amazing prices. Sometimes, though, this is just a ruse to get your card information. If you’re not buying from a trusted site, be very aware of any activity on your account following the purchase.
Here at MHV we take your safety and security seriously. We offer fraud alerts on both your MHV Visa® Rewards Debit Card and your MHV Credit Card, giving you instant notifications of suspicious activity on your card. Our Fraud Services will also monitor your card for suspicious activity and put a temporary hold on it to prevent fraudulent use. We monitor our ATMs and Personal Teller Machines regularly for the use of skimming devices and other fraudulent activity.
Shopping and accessing your accounts with your debit card is hard to beat for convenience, and following the tips outlined above will help you to continue to use your debit card with confidence.