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A Fraud Prevention Toolkit for Your Debit Card

By Kirsten Schmidt, Customer Service Representative

It’s one of the most important items in life to keep track of: your debit card. If it’s misplaced, lost, stolen or breached, a domino-effect of thoughts usually begins––ending with, “Uh-oh, my entire account may be at risk.”

In addition, in this day and age, fraudsters are getting more sophisticated at their crimes, and they can get ahold of your card in any number of ways. It’s important to arm yourself with the information and tools that’ll help you protect your debit card and your account.

Chip cards to the rescue

First, make sure you have a debit card with a chip built in. You can tell a chip-embedded card by the silver square that allows it to be read when inserted into a chip card reader, which most retail stores now have at checkout.

These microchips provide an extra layer of security for your account information. In addition, most retail establishments also ask you for your PIN, just in case. If your debit card is not embedded with a chip, it’s time to talk to your bank about getting a new card.

Online fraud prevention

While chip cards can help protect your debit card in store, what about online? First, make sure the website you’re buying from has a url that starts with “https,” rather than just “http.” The “s” means “secure,” and any trusted e-commerce store would have that in the address.

Also, you may want to consider asking your bank for a low “daily cash total,” such as $500, which will prevent your debit card from high purchase amounts without your permission. Or, opt to use a credit card (rather than a debit card) with a low credit limit to prevent an online thief from going on a buying spree.

Turn off your debit card with an app

Did you know, some debit cards give you a turn on/off feature that can be activated through an app? If, for any reason, you can’t track down your debit card or know it’s been breached, you can simply touch a button and turn it off to be safe, then turn it back on if you find it.

Farmers & Merchants Bank can help

It’s wise to protect your debit card from fraud. Choosing a bank that offers a variety of fraud prevention tools makes it easier. Fortunately, Farmers & Merchants Bank gives you the products, services and information that’ll help protect your debit card from possible misfortune. And that’s a sigh of relief.