It’s getting worse, the frustrating fraud that steals money out of your personal checking account; in contrast, credit card fraud takes money from your credit card company with only a potential loss on the card owners part.
The main problem seems to be with PIN-input-card-readers that have been tampered with or altered or replaced by contraband ones. When a person swipes their debit card, the information is recorded for the thief. But something else is needed to obtain the PIN number: either a small camera or a human who spies on the person who enters the code.
Advice for keeping your bank account safe:
1. “Re-PIN your debit card several times a year.” Perhaps . . . the least effective way to protect your money, for a crook can get into your bank account within hours of when you swiped your card at a bad PIN-pad card reader; . . . next suggestion:
2. Use a credit card instead of a debit card. . . . but some people use a debit card for good reasons. [next suggestion:]
3. Keep an eye out at gas stations and at ATM’s. That includes covering the PIN pad with one hand while you enter the numbers with the other hand. That may be the best protection.
4. For after-the-fact protection, check your account information regularly, looking for any suspicious withdrawal, and notify your bank immediately when you see fraud.
5. Don’t use your debit card too often. The safest place may be your bank ATM machine, especially if it is inside the bank itself.