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How to Protect Yourself From Debit Card Fraud

There’s a lot of talk going on right now about Cybercrime and Fraud. Especially debit card fraud and it’s occurring frequently even here in our community.

What does it mean and how can you take steps to reduce your risk?

In the most recent years, Cybercrime has become a threat that targets stealing debit and credit card information to exploit it for financial gain. And although you and the bank may be very careful, your information can be at risk at businesses you visit either in person or over the internet. The most common and the largest scale threats, as seen in the news, have been when a retailer’s data system is hacked and information is stolen.

When each one of those compromises takes place, it is our practice here at Baker Boyer to reissue all cards that are at risk in order to keep our client’s information secure. In other words, we proactively issue you a new debit card. This is not because the Bank’s systems have been compromised. It is because a cyber crime has been committed against a retailer where our clients do business.

When a debit card compromise occurs, it is a frustrating situation to deal with. So what can you do to lower your risk of it happening to you?

The first thing we recommend is that you use the chip card technology feature when it’s available at a retailer. The embedded chip in our Debit Cards helps secure transactions and protect your card information when making purchases. This is done by creating a unique one-time transaction code every time you use your card in this fashion. And when chip technology is not available — for instance when making an online purchase — consider using a secondary card that is not attached to your primary account, such as a credit card.

Another way to decrease risk is to use online banking bill pay whenever possible. why is this helpful? The simplest way to explain is to ask, are you pushing out a payment from your checking account or are you asking someone to pull out a payment? For example when you go on to a retailer’s website and input your debit card information you are allowing the retailer to PULL the funds directly from your checking account. However, when you make payments through your online banking it PUSHES the payment from your checking account to the retailer. By pushing the payment the Bank can now control the information that the retailer will receive and reduces your risk. And using online bill pay is especially helpful for your regularly scheduled payments. As it alleviates the inconvenience of having to update your card information with retailers if you are issued a new card.

Although, cybercriminals will continue to find ways to steal information, the more you know about how to lower your risk the safer your information is. We hope this segment was helpful and that you now know a little more about how you can protect your information as well as steps you can take.

At Baker Boyer we are dedicated to your privacy and account security. If you have any questions, please contact any of our personal bankers or advisors at your local branch.