When you open a bank account, you will be given a debit card. Debit cards are really helpful and can be used for various purposes. With the help of debit cards, you can withdraw cash; make online payments, use them at POS and so on.
Debit cards have eliminated the need to stand in long queues at the bank to withdraw cash. As the government is also boosting digital transactions in India, the number of people using debit cards is on the rise.
Debit cards too are vulnerable to frauds. If you are not careful while using your debit card, fraudsters can wipe out all the money from your bank account. Debit card frauds take place when unauthorized people (read fraudsters) gain access to your debit card details. Once card details are collected; they are used to carry out fraudulent transactions. Fraudsters use several tricks to steal card information.
Methods used to carry out debit card fraud?
1. Card skimming
Card skimming is the most common method used by fraudsters to steal card information. Under card skimming, a small electronic device called a skimmer is fixed inside the ATM or POS machine. When your card runs through a skimmer, the device captures and stores key information from the magnetic strip of your debit card. This information is copied to the magnetic strip of a blank card and used to carry out fraudulent transactions.
2. Fraud calls and SMS
This is another method used by fraudsters to steal your debit and credit card details. Under this method, criminals call claiming to be from your bank and try to collect card details. They use tricks like your card would soon expire; you are eligible for a reward and so on.
Phishing is another method used by fraudsters to steal your card details. Fraudsters send emails which look exactly like those of a genuine company. These emails are sent with the intention of collecting/capturing your card details.
How to avoid debit card frauds?
1. You must be very careful while withdrawing cash from any ATM. Before you insert your card; make sure to look at the slot properly. If the ATM slot looks unusual, avoid inserting your card as a skimmer might be inserted.
2. While withdrawing cash from the ATM, make sure nobody is standing behind you. In case someone is standing, you must cover the keypad with your fingers.
3. Never write down your card details and PIN anywhere. Many people have the habit of writing down their PIN behind the card, but this is not good. In case you lose your card, fraudsters can easily withdraw money using your card. Hence, it is advisable to memorize your card details.
4. You must be careful while using your debit card to make online payments. Not all the online shopping websites are secure; there are many fraudulent ones which are set up to steal your personal information. Before using your card to make a payment, ensure the website is secure. Secure websites start with https, where "S" stands for secure. Also, secured websites will have a padlock icon.
5. Never share your card details with anyone. You must always keep in mind that no companies or banks will call asking for card information.
6. You must register for SMS and email notification services offered by the bank. This helps you keep track of your banking activities. In the case of any unauthorized transaction, you must report it to your bank immediately.
7. Never store your card details on your smartphone or laptop.
8. Another way to prevent debit card fraud is by availing a card protection plan. This plan protects your card from various types of frauds, theft or loss.
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