Consumers in the U.S. are now using debit cards more than ever, and consequently debit card fraud is also on the rise. Consumers need to be especially vigilant in protecting their debit cards because most issuers don’t provide the same liability protection as they do with credit cards. There are three ways in particular that fraudsters target debit cards.

Skimming ATM Machines

What has now become an “old tech” way to defraud you is ATM skimming. Sadly, it’s still just as effective as ever. Fraudsters attach a hard-to-detect skimming device that captures your debit card information. They might also install a camera to record your keystrokes as you enter your PIN. Fraud prevention tip: Only use ATM machines at bank branches, or where video surveillance is used.

Email Phishing

Email phishing is a tried-and-true method of obtaining your sensitive information. You might receive an email that looks like it is legitimately from your bank asking you to “verify” your debit card account. When you click on the link, you are sent to a legitimate-looking website where you are asked to enter your debit card number.

Fraud prevention tips:

  • Always remember that banks, government agencies or any legitimate business never use emails to request sensitive information.
  • If you suspect an email is fake, hover your mouse over the sender’s email address in your inbox to reveal the actual sender. If it doesn’t show as the organization’s actual email address, delete it.

Online Shopping Fraud

Online shopping has exploded since the beginning of the pandemic, and so has online shopping fraud. Your debit card information can be captured in several ways — through malware on your computer, eavesdropping on your Wi-Fi, or a breach in a merchant’s database.

Fraud prevention tips:

  • Continuously update your computer and devices with the most current antivirus and antispyware software.
  • Always use a credit card for online purchases for their greater protections.
  • If you use a debit card for online purchases, always check your account online — your liability is limited to $50 if you report fraudulent use of your debit card within two days.

For more information on fraud prevention, visit: Alpine Bank is located at 215 St. Paul St., Suite 100 in Denver.