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Debit Card Fraud & How To Combat It

The number of cards compromised at U.S. ATMs and merchants rose 39% in the first half of 2017 vs. the year-earlier period according to FICO. The firm also tracked a 21% rise in compromises of ATMs and point-of-sale (POS) devices in the U.S. in the first half of 2017 vs. the same period in 2016.

This report highlights an intensifying problem for consumers and business customers. Consider that the number of compromises is on track to set a new high for the FICO® Card Alert Service, which monitors hundreds of thousands of ATMs and other readers in the US, according to the company.

Certainly debit card use is growing in popularity. About 44% of Americans say they primarily use debit cards for everyday purchases, like groceries and gas, according to an online survey conducted by Harris Poll. Not surprisingly, younger Americans seem to prefer debit over credit. Among consumers aged 18-24, 47% cite debit cards as their preferred form of payment, according to a 2016 survey by payment processor Total System Services.

But customers of all ages don’t always realize the risks debit cards carry. Just recently, we read of a woman in Little Rock, AR, whose debit card was counterfeited by thieves for use on a $1,600 shopping spree. The woman will get her money back eventually but in the meantime has to deal with unnecessary hassles.

As customers shop they should also be aware of the most risky places to use debit cards. For instance, swiping a debit card at an outdoor ATM is considered risky business given the higher possibility of skimming. For the same reason, gas stations are also a higher risk place to use debit cards. Customers should also avoid using debit cards at restaurants and for online purchases, because of the greater possibilities of fraud.

Debit card fraud will continue to be a nettlesome issue. As such, we all need to be proactive to help avoid getting ensnared in traps set by fraudsters. Communication between a bank and its customers is the key. Also, given the technology today, there are many ways to reach out to keep everyone up-to-date and safer, much more quickly too.

-Steve Brown, Banc Investment Daily


Mobile Money App in actionIn order to help you combat Debit Card Fraud, Waterford Bank, N.A. offers a variety of security measures. First and foremost all of our debit cards are now EMV Chip Cards. An EMV Chip Card – is a credit or debit card that contains a microprocessor that enhances the security of cards during point-of-sale transactions.These cards use a security standard originally developed by Europay, Mastercard and Visa (EMV) as a way to fight card fraud resulting from theft, skimming and counterfeiting.

Chip cards are more secure than regular magnetic strip cards, because they add an additional layer of security to the safeguards that already protect your card. Each time you use your chip card, it generates a code that is unique to that transaction. This makes it harder to counterfeit your card or to use it fraudulently for in-store purchases.

Another important security tool offered by the Bank is My Mobile Money App. With My Mobile Money Access you can help protect your personal and business debit cards from fraud by setting alerts and controls to determine how your card can be used. And, if you misplace your card, you can use the app to turn it off . . . and then turn it back on when you find it.

You can also use My Mobile Money Access to manage your spending. With customizable controls, alerts for spending limits, and easy-to-find account balances, you can set a budget and stick to it. You can even set the app to deny a transaction before it takes place, based on the criteria you set. As with turning your card on and off, card controls will not interrupt recurring bill payments such as gym memberships or subscriptions.