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What Online Debit Fraud Is and How You Can Prevent It

Decades ago, you would not imagine how things would run in the present world. Technology has revolutionized every aspect of life. Technology is shaping the modern world, from communication to handling money, and things can only get better. The introduction of debit and credit cards has changed the payment method; making a payment is as easy as a swipe. You can get a debit card using online applications and make your transactions easy. Even then, some risks come with the simplified system of making payments. It is no surprise that online theft and debit card fraud is on the rise.

How Debit Card Fraud Happens

Some ways that someone can steal your account information and rip you off your hard-earned money include:

Card Skimmers

There are some devices that you may get at ATMs or point-of-sale stations. These devices take your account information, including your PIN, when you use your card to make a transaction. It is important to confirm that the card reader you use is in good condition before inserting your debit card.

Physical Stores and Restaurants

Imagine this; a waiter or waitress issues you with a bill, you out your debit card and trust that they will swipe the right amount. What you might ignore is that they are a stranger and for those few minutes they have access to your account information. The same case applies when shopping at a physical store. While you cannot stop using your debit card to make payments, you should check your account often for any suspicious activities.

Online Purchases

Online shopping is the in-thing in the modern world. You can shop for anything from anywhere in the world with a simple click of a button. With many online stores, how safe is your account information after checking out? Online fraudsters could use that information and hack your account. The best way to avoid debit fraud from online shopping is to ensure you buy only on secured networks.

people using their gadgets

How Do Banks Handle Online Fraud?

Once you know that you are a victim of online fraud, the first thing should be to contact your bank. A majority of the banks have alerts and may notice anything unusual and thus contact you first. The bank may notice and handle debit card fraud in the following ways:

Fraud Investigation

After notifying your bank, your bank will need seven to ten business days to investigate and provide a report of their findings in three days. This duration for investigation might be longer if the suspicious account activities happened in another state. If there were money taken from your account, the bank would refund the money until the investigation is over. If the investigation shows no fraudulent activities with your account, they will take the money back.

Stolen Debit Card Number

If fraudsters stole your debit card number and produced a debit card with your details, you are not liable for any transactions using that card. You need to prove to your bank that you have your debit card intact. The bank requires you to make a statement within 60 business days after receiving your bank statement. The benefit of debit cards is that MasterCard or Visa backs them. Therefore, in the case of a stolen debit card number, the customer is protected by a zero liability policy.

Lost Debit Card

You should notify your bank immediately you misplace your debit card from theft or any other way. The Electronic Fund Transfer Act outlines your liability when you report your lost card. You are not responsible for any fraudulent charges on your card after making a report.

Preventing Debit Card Fraud

Now that you know how debit card fraud happens, you should take precautions to see it does not happen to you. These safety precautions include checking your bank account regularly to spot any transactions you did not make and go paperless with your transactions. When making payments at a cash register, always use your debit card as credit for added safety. Your account is safe when you enter your PIN less often.

In conclusion, there is a belief that debit credit fraud may be a good thing if it increases your liability. However, that only applies when you notice fraudulent activities with your account and do nothing. If you apply for a debit card backed by MasterCard or Visa online, you have similar protection as if you were using a credit card. Therefore, do not be afraid of using your debit card to handle your transactions. Be on the lookout for any fraudulent or suspicious activities.

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