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Dangerous Debit: Avoid These Four Charge Types When Using Your Check Card

Dangerous debit: avoid these four charge types when using your check card

Here at Troy Bank & Trust, customers are rewarded with ultimate convenience when it comes to all payments, transfers, and transactions. All your accounts are linked for ease of use. Whether swiping your credit card at a retail store, transferring money via Zelle, or establishing direct deposits with your employer, we’ve got you covered, especially when it comes to security.

Best of all, we go to great lengths to ensure that your money is safe when it comes to your debit and credit cards, which can cause a great deal of headache when lost or stolen. But there’s something else you should be on the lookout for when it comes to your debit card. Today, we’re going to discuss the top four places where you should be extremely careful when using your debit card. 

Top four places to be careful using your debit card

The more prevalent risk inherent to debit cards is theft of personal information. When thieves steal your information–whether your debit card number, or information attached to your debit card such as name or date of birth–they piece together your identity. With your identity, they can hack into your accounts, move money from your accounts, and more.

Let’s take a look at the top four places where you should be safe when using your credit card. 

Online retail stores and payment portals

Troy Bank & Trust deals with clients who have had their information stolen from all over the web, so it’s extremely important that you’re wary about where and how you’re using your debit card. 

The two biggest threats online are compromised systems and computer viruses:

  • Compromised systems: This refers to any company, organization, or agency whose web infrastructure has been compromised–that is, hacked–by an outside bad actor. Hackers in possession of your buying history could have access to your debit card.  
  • Computer virus: A virus can be used to compromise a system. Sometimes it’s just a means of localized theft. Rather than hacking a big organization, a bad actor targets a specific individual, using malware, which infects your computer much like a virus does a body. 

Troy Bank & Trust will assist you with any fraud claims. But keep in mind that, while credit card fraud is recouped immediately upon reporting the stolen funds, your debit card will not be recouped until the investigation is completed, because real money, not credit, was taken from the accounts. 

Gas stations

Here we find one of the most common debit card scams. Many criminals have attempted, sometimes successfully, to install devices onto gas pumps that read your debit card information as you swipe. The practice is called skimming and has led to great loss among everyday citizens just trying to keep their cars running. 

When filling up the tank, make sure to check the swipe area for anything abnormal. If you pull lightly on the swipe and it pops off, it could very well be a skimmer. In general, if you notice anything protruding from the swipe area, it might be a skimmer as well. There are many different kinds of skimmers, but the methods above should keep you safe. 

Anonymous ATM Machines

Most of the ATMs we encounter are sponsored by a particular bank. Like many banks, Troy Bank & Trust offers ATM locations across Alabama.

But not all ATMs are sponsored. Some are non-bank ATMs, or anonymous ATMs. Anonymous ATMs aren’t monitored nearly as often. These ATMs are more prone to have been tampered with. 

Monitored ATMs prevent tampering. But bad actors still hook skimmers to ATMs to steal your debit card information, much like with gas stations. In fact, the same goes for self-pay kiosks in general. 

Vacation Rental Properties

Though vacation rental scams may sound strange and therefore complicated, they’re actually very straightforward. 

Supposed ‘rental owners’ will put up fake listings for homes in popular vacation spots. When potential renters call to book the rentals, the owners will request an upfront deposit. Once you make the deposit, the rental ad will disappear, and the scammer will cut off all contact. 

The best way to avoid potential fraud when booking vacation rentals is to use a credit card. Credit cards offer the most protection when it comes to down payments because any disputes permit the bank to refund your losses immediately. 

Troy Bank & Trust debit card protection

When it comes to debit card protection, you can always count on Troy Bank & Trust. We’re here to answer questions, resolve disputes, and help with any and all means of building trust with your debit card and checking accounts. Here at Troy Bank, we take customer satisfaction and, more importantly, safety, very seriously, and we will always put you first. 


Troy Bank & Trust wants to help you with your business financial needs

As a local independent bank, banking with us means you’re also helping your local economy, and we make your banking experience more accessible. Allow us to help you with your checking and savings needs and give you the peace of mind that planning for your loved ones brings. After all, we are “the only bank you’ll ever need.” For more information on working with us for your business needs, visit Troy Bank & Trust here, or reach out to us by phone at 334-566-4000 or 888-258-8769.