10 Top ways to protect yourself against ATM card frauds

Helen Omeghara | ConsumerConnect

As a consumer of financial products or services, would you give a thief direct access to your checking account or savings account?

Unfortunately, you’re doing just that by using your debit card carelessly.

With credit cards, according to securitybank.com, you can flag suspicious charges on your bill and decline the charges before making your final payment.

On the other hand, debit cards take money directly from your account, which makes them juicy targets for cash-hungry fraudsters.

Protect yourself from skimming, phishing, and other forms of fraud by following these tips:

  1. Regularly update the contact information (i.e., mobile number, e-mail, address, etc.) that you gave to the bank. This will make it faster for the bank to notify you of any suspicious transactions.
  2. Prevent hackers from getting access to your personal/sensitive information.
  3. Be smart with online transactions. Shop with credible merchants and look for secure transaction symbols like the “lock” icon on your browser. Avoid using public hotspots for online payments.
  4. Regularly check your account balance and transaction history. If you see anything suspicious, immediately report it to the bank.
  5. Take note of the emergency hotline/customer service number at the back of your card and call it immediately in case your card gets stolen.
  6. If you’re planning to use your card abroad, let the bank know your travel dates and destination.
  7. Watch out for anything suspicious on the Automatic Teller Machine (ATM). Shake the card reader (where you insert your card) to ensure that there are no foreign objects attached to it. Check the pin pad if there are any hidden cameras or false key pads. If anything looks crooked, loose, or damaged, it might have been tampered.
  8. Be vigilant of your surroundings when approaching and using an ATM. Make it a habit to cover your hand and pin pad as you enter your PIN on the ATM.
  9. Never share your ATM PIN to anyone.
  10. If you receive a new card, make sure to destroy your old one. Make sure to cut across the magnetic strip and destroy the chip.

In the end, the best way to protect yourself from fraud is to apply for a card in a bank that puts emphasis on security.

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