The convenience of modern banking is no excuse to be careless with your credit and debit cards, which thieves can use for both financial theft and identity theft.
Here are a few tips to think about to help keep all your cards secure, as well as some pointers about protecting yourself, and your identity, when using ATMs.
- Always keep your credit and debit cards in a safe place; never leave your card lying around the house or on your desk at work. No one should have access to the card but you.
- If your card is lost or stolen, notify your bank immediately. Many banks offer online resources to make reporting a lost card even easier.
- If you use checks to pay your credit card bill, only include the last four digits of your cardís account number on your check payment.
- Keep your Personal Identification Number (PIN) a secret. Never give it out, even for the sake of convenience.
- Change your PIN often.
- If you must write down your PIN, do not keep it in your wallet, purse, or on the card itself.
- When selecting a PIN, avoid numbers and letters that can be easily identified or associated with you. Do not use your initials, birth date, or telephone number.
- Do not allow others to see your PIN, what type of transaction you are making, or how much money you are withdrawing.
- Be wary of people trying to help you with ATM transactions. If you feel unsafe, or as though something is amiss, move on. Itís usually not too difficult to find another ATM.
- Always be ready for your transaction. Have your card ready as you approach the ATM. This will help you avoid spending time digging through your purse or your wallet.
- Do not use an ATM that appears unusual looking or offers options with which you are not familiar or comfortable. Some scam artists actually plant unregistered ATMs in order to collect card numbers and PIN numbers.
- Avoid large cash withdrawals.
- Do not count or visually display any money you received from the ATM.
- Take all of your receipts with you.
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