A woman reads her debit card while making a purchase.
10 Ways to Protect Your

Debit Card

Using a debit card is not only convenient, but it can also be safer to use than cash. But you should remain vigilant in protecting your debit card and your bank accounts, especially during the holiday shopping season when ID thieves are counting on you being distracted by end-of-year activities.

  1. Never email or text someone your debit card number.
  2. Never give out your credit or debit card number over the telephone unless you initiated the call. For instance, if you call a hotel to make reservations, giving out your credit card number is acceptable to secure that reservation. However, if someone calls you saying they are from your bank, never give this person your credit card number. It could be a scammer trying to nab your personal information. Your credit card issuer will never call you and ask for your account number.
  3. Check your bank statement every time it arrives and consider going paperless. Search for any unusual transactions that you don’t remember making. They could be evidence that a thief has someone gained access to your debit card account number.
  4. Only use ATMs at a bank. ATMs located in convenience stores, subway stations, airports, and other places have a greater risk of having a “skimming” device attached by a thief, which could intercept and store your debit card data. This sometimes happens at banks, too, but it is easier to do in a place without surveillance cameras.
  5. Watch for Card Skimmers.These tricky devices are inserted into gas station point-of-sale stations or ATM machines. When you insert your card to make a transaction, that information (along with your PIN number if you used one) goes straight to someone who intends to use it for themselves. Next time you pull up to the pump, make sure to check out the card reader before you insert your card. If it looks worn or loose, use cash or opt for a different pump altogether.
  6. Protect your PIN number and select CREDIT at the cash register when possible.
  7. Consider avoiding debit card use online. And if you do, make sure it is a legitimate website and your network is secure.
  8. Set up transaction alerts on your account and your debit card. You can usually set the criteria on alerts such as the transaction amount or if the debit card was used online. This way you’ll be the first to know if an unauthorized purchase has been made by text or email alert.
  9. Notify your bank when you are traveling out of the area and using your debit card.
  10. Notify your bank immediately if you have lost your debit card or see unauthorized charges on your account. The quicker you notify your bank, the less the damage could be.

For more tips and information on debit card fraud, ID theft, scams and caller ID spoofing visit: https://www.bankoftennessee.com/security/security-center/