This weekend I had the inconvenience of having my bank account frozen due to fraudulent transactions. While this was a pain, I’m thankful my bank monitors and noticed the unusual purchases on my debit card.
Sadly, I know I’m not alone in this predicament, thousands of people everyday are victims of fraud.
While I thought I was vigilant about protecting my pin number, apparently, I was not.
As a little reminder I found this good list of tips to Protect Your Pin from the folks at Interac (I hope they don’t mind me passing the information on…if they do I’ll gladly remove it)
Debit Card Safety Tips
- If you have a chip card, insert the card first. If the point-of-sale device is not chip capable it will prompt you to swipe your card. Avoiding an unnecessary swipe of the card will reduce the potential of your card information being skimmed.
- Use your hand or body to shield your PIN during every transaction conducted at an Automated Banking Machine (ABM) or at the checkout.
- Keep an eye on your debit card when conducting a transaction at the checkout.
- Check your banking statements regularly and contact your financial institution immediately if you detect any unusual activity, for example, purchases you did not make or missing charges.
- Notify your financial institution immediately, if your debit card is lost, stolen or retained by an ABM.
- Memorize your PIN – only you should know it. If you suspect that someone knows your PIN, even a friend or family member, change it immediately.
- Select a unique PIN. Never use obvious information, such as, your telephone number, date of birth, address or Social Insurance Number. These are numbers often stored in the same place as your debit card enabling criminals to easily guess your PIN.
- When using an ABM, if you suspect anything unusual do not use the machine and report it to the financial institution immediately.
- Remember to take your card when the transaction is complete.
- Be alert. If someone is watching you or makes you feel uncomfortable, cancel the transaction and use a different machine.