ATM/Debit Card Security
Safeguarding your credit and debit cards
Using credit and debit cards is a convenient way to pay in person, over the phone, by mail, or online. To keep the power of your credit and debit cards from falling into the wrong hands, here are some simple steps you can take to ensure your information stays secure.
- Treat your cards and your PIN like your house keys. Never let them out of your sight, not even for a moment.
- Choose a PIN that isn't obvious to others, and don't write it on or near your card.
- When keying in your PIN, be sure no one is watching.
- Do not discard ATM or credit card receipts in a public place.
- Do not use a credit or debit card for identification, and never write a card account number on a check.
- Keep good records, and review account statements promptly and thoroughly.
- Guard your account numbers.
- If you see a questionable transaction on a statement, immediately notify the card issuer.
- Never give your credit card numbers to unsolicited callers. If you're uncertain, ask for more information by mail.
- Before disposing of card receipts or statements, destroy areas where account numbers are visible. It's best to shred all documents with personal information before disposing of them.
- Keep information about all your card accounts in a secure place, so you can act quickly if one is lost or stolen.
- Get a copy of your credit report once a year from each of the three national credit bureaus and check carefully for discrepancies.
On the Internet
- Firewalls and other software can protect your computer from viruses and other menaces, but be on guard against questionable websites and email scams designed to trick you into disclosing sensitive financial or personal information.
- Turn off your computer when you're not using it, even if you have antivirus and firewall software.
- Be aware that banks and other legitimate businesses never email customers asking for passwords or updated information.
- Never click on a link in a suspicious email. Instead, confirm the web address on your own, then type it directly into your browser window.
- Before making an Internet purchase, make sure the merchant is reputable by locating an image of an "unbroken key" or "closed lock" security icon in the corner of your browser window.
- Change passwords and PINs periodically.
If your card is ever lost or stolen, or if you suspect card fraud…
- If your card was stolen or you believe you are the victim of card fraud, immediately call the police as well as the card issuer.
- Remember, your date of birth and Social Security number are not stored on your credit card. So, if your Social Security card or other personal information is lost or stolen, call the police and the Social Security Administration.
- Contact the three national credit bureaus immediately. They can place a "Fraud Alert" in your file, which lets banks and merchants know there's a problem.
- Check your card and bank statements diligently until the problem is completely resolved.
- Request copies of your credit report from all three national credit bureaus and check them thoroughly. (If you have already requested free copies of your credit reports during the same calendar year, there may be a charge.)
To contact the credit bureaus:
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
P.O. Box 949
Austin, TX 75013-0949
Allen, TX 75013-0949
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Safety Precautions
- Be sure to close the entry door completely upon entering and exiting. Do not permit any unknown persons to enter after regular banking hours.
- Always use a well lit ATM.
- At a drive-up facility, make sure all the car doors are locked and that your windows are closed with the exception of the driver's window.
- Place withdrawn cash securely upon your person before exiting the ATM. Count your cash after you are in the safety of your car, home or other secure area.
- Protect the secrecy of your personal identification number (PIN). Do not write your PIN where it can be discovered. Never lend your ATM card to someone or tell them your PIN.
- Be alert and aware of your surroundings. Look out for suspicious activity near the ATM. If you are concerned with the security in the ATM facility, please contact the bank's security department at 860.435.9801. Please call the police if emergency assistance is needed.
- For your safety, the activity of the ATM facility may be recorded by a surveillance camera or cameras.
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