Tips for Using Your Debit Card Safely
When you are using your debit card, watch out for skimming devices on ATMs, self-service payment kiosks at gas pumps and other point of sale of equipment. Fraudsters attach these devices to card readers, and they often look like the real thing. As you swipe your card, the skimmer illegally captures the card number. A nearby tiny camera can record your PIN.
What you can do: Use your chip or tap-to-pay when making debit card purchases. Your purchase is then made using a secure token rather than your card information. Use ATMs in well-lit, indoor locations, cover your hand when entering your PIN and be especially cautious in tourist areas. Contact your financial institution right away if ATM machine doesn’t return your card.
Paying at the Pump
Fraudsters place skimming devices inside gas pump machines, so customers can’t see them. These skimming devices store data to be downloaded or transferred wirelessly later.
What you can do: Choose gas pumps that allow you to tap-and-pay to avoid using the card reader. While Visa mandated that all fuel pumps have this capability by April 2021, fraudsters will target the gas stations that have yet to upgrade their machines. It is also a good practice to choose fuel pumps that are in direct view of the attendant or pay inside.
Using Chip Cards
As we mentioned earlier, it is a good idea to use your chip when paying by debit card. However, the chips are still vulnerable to shimmers. These small devices are placed inside the card reader to cover the EMV chip forcing the machine to read the magnetic stripe on your card.
What you can do: Cancel any transactions when you feel resistance inserting your chip card. Using the tap-to-pay feature allows you to avoid this risk as well.
Your debit card information is vulnerable online when Fraudsters embed e-skimmers into websites to capture your card information as you shop online.
What you can do: Consider using a third-party payment service such as PayPal, Google Wallet, Payoneer and Skrill. These services allow you to make your payments without sharing your personal card information with the merchant.
While it is impossible to fully protect your card information, using caution can help limit your risk. Keep an eye on your accounts by setting up Debit Card Controls using our mobile app. Also, periodically review your account online. If you see anything suspicious, call the number on the back of your card.
As a member benefit, NuMark Credit Union offers their members zero liability when using their debit cards to make purchases. Let us know if you have any questions, we’ll be happy to help.