Do you use your debit card? Does your debit card have a chip reader on it? Regardless, be aware! One of our prized employees was robbed of over $1,000 last Friday. Someone was able to get the number off of her card and obtain her pin number, she believes it happened at a gas station. The thief then had a duplicate debit card made and went on to use it at a gas station ATM and to make large purchases at Wal-mart. Shocking! There are many articles on this and yet, we, including myself, continue to go on using our debit card like cash. The best answer is to use a credit card and have the balance deducted from your checking account monthly.
When there are fraudulent charges made on your debit card, cash is immediately pulled from your checking account! Yikes! Talk about a change in your cash flow! If you use a credit card, you can contact the issuer of the card and have the card blocked AND the credit card company will do all of the work AND you will still have the cash in your checking account. We hear about these things happening in the news and yet being robbed in this manner doesn't become real and serious until it happens to either ourselves or to someone close to us.
If you MUST use your debit card, be aware of where you use the card. Gas stations and outdoor ATMs are targets for thieves as they may have access to install the theft devices unnoticed. Also be aware of restaurants. The server takes your card and disappears for some time. In the meantime, someone could potentially write down your card info. Many stores do not have chip readers so a replacement card can be made and used.
Online purchasing is also very dangerous. Are you using a secure site and is the store your are purchasing from using a secure card processing service? Are you making a purchase using an internet service at a McDonald's or Starbucks...aka open access wifi?
Please be aware. Especially if you are young and just getting started in business, get a credit card, even if it has a low credit limit. If you don't qualify for a credit card, get a prepaid credit card. It will be devastating if you encounter fraud on your debit card and learn that you have lost all of your cash! It could take your months to get it resolved...if at all!
Please take this message seriously. I am.
Now, go have a great rest of your day!