Since their launch in the mid-90’s, debit cards quickly rose to become the most popular method of payment for consumers. Using a debit card is an excellent and convenient way to manage your money. But, debit card fraud can happen to you, and it can be incredibly expensive. When thieves gain access to your debit card information, they could potentially empty your entire checking account.
There are a few ways you can help to prevent debit card fraud as a consumer. Here are five actionable steps you can take to help keep your debit card transactions secure.
Avoid Suspicious ATMs
We recommend that you always attempt to withdraw money from a local Peoples Bank ATM. However, we understand you may travel from time to time. To help prevent fraud, avoid suspicious ATMs – these are less secure than a bank ATM and usually come with higher surcharge fees.* Before using any machine, check to make sure it looks clean, well maintained, and that no one has tampered with the card reader.
*Peoples Bank account holders have access to the MoneyPass Network of surcharge-free ATMs. Learn more about that here.
Protect Your PIN
Your debit card PIN, or Personal Identification Number, is key to accessing your account and must be safeguarded appropriately. Steer clear of using common or easily guessed numbers such as a birthday or phone number when you set your PIN. Commit the number to memory and don’t write it down or keep it stored with your debit card. Never share your PIN with others – written or verbally. And finally, always cover keypads when entering your PIN, even if you think no one is looking.
Monitor Your Account
Another way to prevent debit card fraud is to be vigilant with your account monitoring. Use the Peoples Bank mobile app to check your balance regularly. When you receive your monthly statement, spend time reviewing each expenditure. You can get a paper statement via mail or opt for electronic statements that can be viewed through the online banking portal or via our mobile app.
Set Up Alerts At No Cost
To help you monitor your account, log into the Peoples Bank online banking portal to set up alerts for your account. You can choose to receive email alerts for various events, such as:
- You receive an ACH deposit, such as a paycheck
- Your statement is available for review
- Your balance goes below, or above, your chosen amount
For added protection, account holders can enroll in the SMS Guardian system that monitors your account for potentially fraudulent transactions (purchases over $200, out-of-state transactions, and more) and instantly sends you an alert via text message. You can quickly respond to these alerts and either approve or reject transactions on the go. Click here to enroll for SMS Guardian.
If you think your debit card is lost or stolen, there is zero time to waste. Contact us immediately. During regular business hours, you can call any of our eight local branches. For after hours assistance, you can call: 1-866-546-8273. You can also report a lost or stolen card in the online banking portal and the Peoples Bank mobile app. If you believe the card is not lost or stolen, but is misplaced, you can temporarily suspend it using the mobile app and reactivate the card once you get it back.
At Peoples Bank, we take your financial security very seriously. Want to receive additional helpful banking tips in your inbox? Subscribe to our blog.