Pop quiz... Can you be a victim of debit card fraud if you still physically have the card in your posession? The answer is yes! White card skimming isn't new, recent skimming incidences should serve as a reminder to protect your debit and credit cards every time you swipe them. Skimmers are devices that capture the data from the magnetic stripe on your card. Criminals target ATMs because if they can get a card and a PIN, they can get cash. They can transfer the data to a blank card and use it to make transactions, causing serious financial damage. They can find out what your PIN is by setting up tiny cameras on or near the ATM and watching as you key in your code. So how do you protect yourself? Follow these useful tips and you'll be on your way.
- Update your contact information at your financial institution. Banks, including Fidelity Bank, can't ask you about a charge we may think is suspicious if we don't know how to get in touch with you. Be sure phone numbers, mailing addresses and email addresses are current.
- Keep the phone number for each of your financial institutions in a handy place, seperate from your debit cards. This way, if you believe fraud has occured, you can contact the institution immediately.
- Let issuers of your debit card know if you're planning on traveling, where you're going and when. If you use your card at an unusual location, fraud prevention tools may prohibt the card from working correctly. Read about Fidelity Bank's debit card policy while traveling.
- Sign up for banking alerts if your financial institution offers them. These will notify you when particular changes occur like large withdrawals. You can sign up for Messenger with Fidelity Bank through Online Banking today.
- Stay away from ATMs that are in dim, unlit locations or that look dirty or in disrepair. At best, these machines may not work properly and at worst, may be fake machines set up to capture card information.
- Watch for ATMs that appear to have been altered. If anything about the machine looks suspicious, or something looks crooked, loose or damages, it could be a sign that theives attached a skimming device.
- Be aware of your surroundings and avoid machines if suspicious individuals are standing nearby. Criminals may try to distract you as you use the ATM to steal cash or watch as you type in your PIN.
In addition, remember to check your balances on a regular basis so that you can notify your financial institution as soon as you suspect something is amiss. You can reach Fidelity Bank at 1-800-388-4380 seven days a week.