Cheaters and criminals are everywhere. You may be standing next to someone in line, and while you’re minding your own business, they could be peeking in your purse, looking for an opportunity to rob you. Technology has made that more and more accessible, and now more crimes are performed electronically and stealing your money is as easy as installing a device that records your debit card information.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, a debit card may look like a credit card, but it is a direct line to your checking account. There is no middle man credit card company that oversees your charges. The money is drawn out and used for the purchase. This fact alone makes fraudulent activities much easier to accomplish by criminals, and getting reimbursed for these types of fraud can take much longer than credit cards.
This doesn’t stop people from using debit cards, and doesn’t deter them in the least. People use debit cards everywhere they are available for purchases, using their ease instead of carrying around your cash. Just because you use the plastic doesn’t mean that your money is safer, and if you use your debit card in the wrong place, just the opposite may be true.
Fraud cases involving debit cards are rapidly increasing. Your sensitive account information, which includes your debit card number, and your PIN(personal identification number), is at risk because of “skimming” devices. These devices can be placed over actual ATMs, and unless you are actively looking for them, you may not know the difference.
Yes, criminals are now getting access to technology that camouflages as the actual ATM machine or card reader, and uses cameras and scanning devices to record PIN number entries, and card information respectively. All this can happen in the fraction of time it takes to swipe your card or enter your PIN number. This information is then stored until the installer is ready to use your acquired information for online purchases, where simple data entry is a substitute for your physical card. The criminals are even smart enough now to create a counterfeit card, which may exactly resemble or come close enough to pass for your original card!
This type of convenience for criminals has made card-not-needed fraudulent purchases the leading method of debit card fraud. Physically stolen cards and counterfeit cards are also rising in popularity, but are not nearly as accessible.
With purchases not requiring the physical card making fraud so easy, this method has become the most popular and common type of fraud performed on debit account holders. With the ease of access and availability of this type of purchase, this method of fraud has become the most costly as well, and the customers are held accountable for much longer than credit cards. Fraud is much harder to reimburse on a debit card than a credit card, and criminals are taking advantage of this in droves. Be wary and watch where you slide your card, and always cover the keypad with your wallet or other obstruction before entering your pin. Even when you think no one is watching, how can you be certain?