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Debit Card Fraud & Prevention

Debit Card Fraud & Prevention

16 January 2018

What is Debit card fraud?

Debit card fraud is when someone else obtains your card details and makes transactions on your card without your knowledge. If this takes place you should notify your bank immediately and they should deactivate your card to prevent any further transactions taking place. 

You should always check your debit card statement and set up SMS alerts whenever your card has been used, to ensure all the transactions on there are legitimate. This will help you identify any unusual activity.


How to prevent Debit card fraud?


  • Avoid using any online portal for making payments unless it is a well-known brand that is widely recognised.
  • ATMs that are not in banks are probably best avoided for a couple of reasons. Firstly, these ATMs usually charge a fee for cash withdrawals. For another hackers can tamper with ATMs to steal debit cards and card numbers. It can be easier for thieves to tamper with ATMs in remote locations and ATMs that are already looking a little run-down. If you have to use a stand-alone ATM and it makes odd requests, like asking you for your PIN twice, you might want to terminate the transaction to be on the safe side.
  • Whether you are using an ATM, paying at a till point or using a handheld card machine, it is a good idea to cover your PIN. You may feel a little awkward doing so but it is a simple way to protect your PIN from anyone who might want to access it. Some thieves set up hidden cameras for the purposes of filming people entering their PINs. Even if no one is around it could be wise to still cover the keypad while you enter your PIN.
  • Before you travel it is a good idea to alert your bank. If your bank knows you are out of the country, it is more likely to decline an attempted fraudulent purchase in your hometown.
  • Always keep your card in sight when making payments in a store, petrol station or restaurant for example, you need to be wary of someone wanting to take your card elsewhere to process it.
  • To be extra careful it is suggested to make frequent use of a debit card tied into a separate account which has limited amount of money meant exclusively for debit transactions. That way the bulk of your money will be in another account safe from any fraudsters.


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