Thursday, February 23, 2012

How Often Do You Check Your Bank Account?

Do you check your bank account often? Or do you just wait for your monthly statement in the mail. Most banks, if not all provide online and telephone banking for their customers. This makes life so much easier because you can access your bank account 24/7.

The reason why I ask this question is because fraud is so rampant in today's world, that it is vital that you check your bank account at least once a week in my opinion. I check my accounts daily. Now I am not saying you have to check your account as often as I do, but it never hurts to check it on a regular basis.

There is a popular type of debit card fraud called skimming. Skimming is when your pin number and your debit card information is stolen without your knowledge. This happens more often than you may think. Skimming most often happens at gas stations, convenience stores, restaurants and taxi cabs. Check out this video on how scammers can skim your information.

There was a huge debit card skimming ring that the Toronto Police busted last month. These individuals were responsible for over $250 million worth of debit card skimming. This is money that was stolen from people like you and I. These individuals were a bit more savvy than the average fraudster. There were 280 ATMs that were compromised in this bust, as well as some pay at the pump machines. I am really happy the police caught these crooks, but there are still more out there and we must protect ourselves.

Here are some tips to protect yourself from debit card skimming:
  • Check your account online or though telephone banking frequently and report any unauthorized transactions
  • Use cash instead of a debit card
  • Cover your pin number and use your body to shield your pin number at ATM machines. There may be cameras watching you
  • If there are several ATM's and one or more are out of service, go somewhere else. This could be an attempt of the scammers to direct you to the ATM that has a skimming device on it.
  • Avoid using ATM's in high tourist areas. They are quite popular for skimmers
  • If your debit card is not returned after you hit cancel at the ATM. Contact your card issuer immediately to cancel your card

Have you ever been a victim of skimming?

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