- Update your contact information with your financial institution. Your Credit Union can’t ask you about a suspicious charge unless it has your current phone number.
- Copy the customer service phone number from the back of each of your debit or credit cards and keep this list in a separate location from your purse or wallet in case a thief steals the latter.
- Let your financial institution and card issuers know your travel dates and destination. If your card gets swiped at an unusual location, the card issuer may decline the suspicious transaction.
- Look out for ATMs that appear to be dirty or in disrepair. A fake machine may be set up to capture your card information.
- Do not use ATMs with unusual signage, such as a command to enter your PIN twice to complete a transaction.
- Watch out for ATMs that appear to have been altered. If anything on the front of the machine looks crooked, loose or damaged, it could be a sign that someone attached a skimming device.
- Avoid using the ATM if suspicious individuals are standing nearby. Criminals may try to distract you as you use the machine to steal your cash, or watch as you type in your PIN.
- Be aware that if your card gets stuck in the machine and someone approaches to help, it may be a scam. A criminal may be trying to watch as you enter your PIN code.
- If your card gets stuck in the machine, call your financial institution promptly to report the incident.
- As you key in your PIN, cover the keypad with your other hand to block anyone, or a camera, from viewing the numbers you type.
Important Note: Remember to check your balance on a regular basis. Federal law doesn’t protect debit cards to the same degree as credit cards when it comes to fraud. If you notify the bank within two days of discovering the card was lost or stolen, your loss is limited to $50. After two days, this amount jumps to $500, and after 60 days of receiving the statement with the fraudulent charges, your loss may be unlimited.
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