10 ways to keep your debit card safe from fraud

  • March 28, 2024

In today’s digital age, scammers are finding more and more sophisticated ways to get your hard earned money. With so many threats out there, keeping your debit card safe is essential.

Your financial security and well-being is our top priority at The Bank of Missouri. Use these ten ways to help keep your debit card safe.

1. Protect your card details and PIN

Your card information, such as card number, expiration date and CVV, are exactly what scammers are looking for. They will pretend to be your bank, asking for this information by phone, email or text. And, they can be pretty convincing. Remember, your bank and other legitimate organizations will never ask for this information randomly.

So, if you get a call that your bank needs to issue you a new debit card and they just need your account number or existing debit card number to finish the transaction, don’t trust it. The Bank of Missouri will never ask you for that information over the phone. When in doubt, hang up and dial The Bank of Missouri directly at 888-547-6541.

You’ll also need to keep your Personal Identification Number (PIN) safe. Memorize your PIN and avoid sharing it with anyone. Don’t write it down or store it in your wallet or phone. Your PIN is the key to your funds, so keeping it confidential reduces the risk of unwanted access to your account.

2. Keep a close eye on your account

It’s a good idea to check your account daily for any activity you didn’t expect. Using online banking is the easiest way to check regularly. Bank of Missouri customers can enroll on the website or download the mobile banking app to get started. Fast tip: Using facial login for the app can make it fast and easy to get to your account any time.

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See something you don’t recognize on your account? Contact us right away at 888-547-6541.

3. Set debit card alerts and controls

Keeping an eye on your account is even easier with debit card alerts. In our app, you can set up notifications for account activities, such as large transactions or ATM withdrawals. This proactive approach allows you to quickly identify and address any problems.

In addition to notifications, you can also set controls for your debit card. Using the app, you can easily set transaction limits, or even turn your card off as needed. You also have the ability to manage where your card can be used by setting limits, transaction types and location controls.

4. Use secure ATMs

When using ATMs, choose well-lit and reputable locations. Look for any signs of tampering or skimming devices before inserting your card. Additionally, skimming devices are often accompanied with small cameras or keypad overlays. So be sure the keypad is not covered with an overlay, which makes the buttons unusually large or more difficult to press. It’s also a good practice to cover the keypad when entering your PIN.

5. Be cautious with online transactions

Only make online purchases from reputable websites with secure payment gateways. Before you enter your card information, be sure the website's URL starts with "https://" indicating a secure connection and the payment page is separate from any cart or shopping page. Often, the existence of advertisements on a payment page can be a clue that the page is not secure. It’s also a good practice to avoid making purchases on public Wi-Fi networks, as they may not be secure.

6. Keep your physical card safe

Keep your debit card in a safe and secure location when you’re not using it. Avoid leaving it unattended or lending it to others. Sign the back of your card as soon as you receive it to prevent unauthorized use. When making purchases at stores or restaurants, keep your debit card in sight at all times. Be cautious of anyone attempting to take your card out of your sight or handle it unnecessarily.

7. Report lost or stolen cards immediately

If your debit card is lost or stolen, notify us immediately to prevent unauthorized transactions. Our team is here to get your card locked down and get your replacement card going.

You can also shut down your card right away in The Bank of Missouri app. Prepare yourself with your options now so you’re not scrambling in the case of an actual occurrence of fraud.

8. Make sure your bank has your contact information

If you’ve recently changed your contact information and didn’t update your bank, now is a great time to do that. Ensure your bank has your correct phone number and email address. At The Bank of Missouri, we monitor your card 24/7. You’ll be notified by text, email or phone if we notice suspicious activity. Simply respond to let us know if the transactions were authorized or not.

9. Use contactless payments

Contactless is a very safe method for making payments. Often at checkout, you have the option to hover your card over the reader to pay. When you avoid inserting your card into the machine, your information is sent encrypted without having to pass through a card reader that may have a skimmer attached.

Your mobile wallet is another contactless payment option. In fact, it’s one of the most secure ways to pay. When you pay with Apple Pay®, Samsung Pay and Google Pay™, your debit card number isn’t shared with the merchant. Rather, a unique number is generated for each transaction. See the top 3 reasons to use your phone’s mobile wallet >>

10. Keep a record of your card number in a safe place

One of the most important things when a card has been compromised is quick notification to the issuing company. Keep a record of your account numbers, expiration dates, as well as the phone number and address of the issuing company. If your card is lost or stolen, you can quickly report it and take action against fraudulent charges.

What do if your card has been compromised

If your card has been compromised, the most important thing to do is to suspend it immediately. Remember, you can call us directly or lock your card in the mobile banking app. If you receive alert texts on your phone about potential fraudulent charges, you may also be able to simply reply to the text. If you respond to the text and immediately receive a phone call from the bank, tell them you will call them back. Hang up and call 888-547-6541 to verify the text.

Next, get a new debit card. Most Bank of Missouri locations can issue a new card to you right there in the branch.

Make sure you dispute any fraudulent charges, and request a credit report to check to see if the charge is related to a larger identity theft attempt. If so, you may need to change passwords.

Whether you're using your card for everyday purchases or online transactions, the most important thing you can do to fight fraud is to stop and think if it feels suspicious. Modern criminals are sophisticated. Assess the situation before you swipe your card, give up any private information or click on a link.

If you have any doubts at all, call your bank using a published phone number. We’re here to help and want to keep you safe!

Live Well, Bank Well

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