Color of Money: Protect yourself from debit card crooks
I won't use any ATMs that don't belong to my financial institution. I limit the use of my debit card to just a few places. I don't use it to get gas, since the pumping machines have been particularly vulnerable.
Be leery of stand-alone machines and ATMS located in convenience stores, especially if they are placed in a spot out of the view of store clerks. FICO said that most compromises occur at non-bank ATMS.
-- If you use an ATM and your card isn't returned immediately, contact your financial institution right away. It might be that the crooks staged the capture of your card.
-- Be mindful of the people standing around you. If someone is positioned just a little too close, don't complete your transaction. (I give the person a look that says, "You better back up.")
-- Regularly check your bank account. I have set up online alerts for all my accounts -- credit and debit. I get an email whenever a purchase or withdrawal is made.
-- Be sure that all your contact information -- address, email, and mobile number -- is updated on all your accounts. You don't want a possible fraud alert from your bank to bounce back.
I'm not telling you all this to put you in a panic. But just be careful out there.
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