Debit Card Fraud
Debit cards have increased in popularity over the last few years. They give you the flexibility of paying without needing to carry cash. Fraudulent checks have become more common and they risk bouncing, therefore many businesses have made the switch to using debit.
Debit cards are more secure than credit cards, checks, or cash, because they require a special personal identification number (PIN) in order for its user to have full access to the account.
Welcome to the computer age criminal
Those are some old school ways or thievery. Computers have made it easier to rob you without you even knowing it. Most debit accounts have a limit on the amount of cash you can withdraw in a day. Therefore, criminals who use the first two methods will only be able to make off with a few thousand dollars before the card is flagged. Don't underestimate the younger generation they will use technology to its fullest potential.
Computers and technology have made debit machines safe and secure. Nonetheless, there are still a few ways criminals can get into your bank account.
1. Never write down your PIN code.
If your purse or wallet is stolen, be certain that the culprit will dig around for a PIN code written down somewhere. With it they will have access to your money.
2. Look over your shoulder.
Some criminals choose to watch and see if someone hasn't been careful covering their PIN code. With the PIN they can now snatch your purse or wallet and make like bandits
3. The old card jam trick
Sometimes the teller might tell you that the card isn't working and that you will need to enter the PIN a few times. Security cameras may be positioned to focus in as you dial in your code. If they tell you that your card is stuck in the machine, DON'T LEAVE! Insist on verifying it yourself. If you do leave they will have your card and PIN. So before leaving report the card to the bank and have it disabled.
4. Debit card cloning
This method is by far the most popular, here's how it works. The teller tell you that the machine is not working and that they need to swipe the card on their machine. After you hand them your card they will swipe their debit machine and when you're busy putting in your PIN code they swipe it again on a card recorder. Security cameras or an accomplice looking over your shoulders collects the PIN code as you type it in the machine.
The card recorder can then be used to make a duplicate debit card that can be used at any automatic bank machine. This method is by far the most popular because it is virtually impossible to trace the offender. The criminal can also slowly take the money out of your account over time without you even knowing it. Most people don't find out they are being robbed until the end of the month when they receive their bank statement. By then the criminal would have made off with everything.
Where are they?
Some of the most common places where debit card frauds occur are at convenience stores and gas stations. Employees at these venues may become disgruntled at their employer, or they may be professionals who take up the job for a few days (no background check needed), just long enough to duplicate some debit cards and move on to another venue.
They can also occur at ATM themselves. There have been reports that devices (debit card recorders) are being placed over the slot on the machines, with hidden cameras they can steal until they are discovered and their equipment removed.
Debit card fraud is also beginning to be more organized. Crime rings have been known to enlist the help of tellers, the majority of whom are from 24 hour venues. They may use pressure tactics, threats or may even invite them in on the cut.
As a rule of thumb the only way you can really protect yourself from these types of crimes is to keep you PIN code private. If you think someone looked over your shoulder or if a camera seems suspiciously positioned onto the number pad, report it. If you notice a teller swipe your card twice onto two separate machines, report it. When filling up on gas, pay by debit at the pump, NOT INSIDE. Be suspicious of strange devices on ATM machines, if in doubt report it. It is also a good idea to have internet access to you bank account so that you can monitor for suspicious transactions on a day to day basis. If you do your banking on-line be certain that your access is secure, this means having virus protection and a firewall, and if you use a wireless router, make sure that your connection is encrypted and locked from outside users.
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