ATM Card Security: Debit Card Fraud Identity Theft Prevention Tips

ATM Card or Debit Card
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Your ATM card (a.k.a. debit card) gives you easy access to your bank account information as well as makes it easy for you to access the money in your bank account. ATM cards also serve as debit cards, which you can use to buy at stores via a Point of Sale POS device or on the internet. We discuss ATM card security with some debit card fraud and identity theft prevention tips.

The ease with which money can be withdrawn or items purchased using ATM cards make them an attractive target to fraudsters. So you need to be careful when using your ATM card, or your life savings could be wiped out by heartless fraudsters. Here we provide a few tips on ATM security, preventing ATM Fraud, and Identity theft, you will also find more information about ATM in this page.

One of the most popular sort after by fraudsters during Identity theft schemes is your ATM card or debit/credit card details. ATM fraud is on the increase, the more information you have the easier preventing ATM / debit card fraud becomes.

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ATM Security and ATM Fraud Prevention Tips

ATM makes withdrawing money easy. All you need is an ATM card and information about the PIN and you can withdraw money from any ATM machine connected to your bank. This means that anyone with your PIN and the well with all to clone or steal your ATM card can withdraw money from your account via an ATM machine.

This means that the main target of fraudsters is your PIN, secure it and you will considerably reduce the chances of losing your money to ATM fraud. Here are a few tips on ATM security and ATM fraud prevention.

1. Change your ATM default PIN as soon as the card is issued to you

Your ATM card comes with a default PIN, which can easily be compromised due to handling and paper trails. Because of this you should change your ATM PIN as soon as possible. Simply slot it into an ATM machine and select change PIN.

2. The safest place for your ATM PIN is your Memory / Brain

As soon as you change your ATM PIN commit it to memory. It is safest in your brain than in any other place. Destroy all paper trails about your ATM PIN and all other confidential account access information.

An ATM PIN written on paper can be found by a fraudster and used against you, so keep your ATM PIN safe in your memory.

3. Change Your ATM Pin occasionally or when you think it is compromised

On the internet there is a security tip that you should change your password every six months. This is not a bad tip for your account access Pin either. The longer you use an ATM Pin, the greater the chances of it being compromised.

If you have any reason to believe that anyone can sign your signature, you are most likely to change it. Apply the same common sense (wisdom) for your personal identification number. Simply slot it into an ATM machine and select change PIN.

4. Change from Magnetic strip to Chip and PIN

ATM cards based on magnetic strip technology are easier to clone than those based on chip and PIN. ATM cards based on Chip and PIN technology offer better security. Banks in Nigeria are now offer chip and PIN ATM cards.

If for any reason you are still using magnetic strip cards, change it to the chip and PIN type. To check whether your current ATM card is chip and PIN, chip and PIN ATM cards have golden connectors similar to your mobile phone SIM card.

5. Cover-up when entering your PIN at ATM

Fraudsters hang around ATM machines, hoping to steal ATM card PINs from un-suspecting consumers. They simple note the number you enter and memorise them.

To prevent anyone from stealing your ATM card PIN use your hand to cover-up when entering your PIN at ATM machines.

6. Destroy ATM transaction Paper print-out properly

After every transaction at an ATM machines, details of the transaction will be printed out by the ATM machine, if you so choose. Do not throw away this paper print-out carelessly. Some users even drop the paper on the flow or even leave for the next user. This a gold mine for identity thieves.

The best approach is to pocket the ATM print-out, and destroy is properly with a paper shredder. You can also burn it properly and flush it down your toilet.

7. Do not allow authorize anybody to use your ATM card

Do not allow your wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, brother, sister, anybody to use your ATM card. Do not give your ATM card to anybody to go and withdraw money for you. Do not reveal your ATM PIN to anybody.

You may trust the person now, but relationships are dynamic. We all hope for the best, but your friend today can become your enemy tomorrow. Even your most trusted friends can betray you when money is involved.

8. Report missing ATM cards to your bank ASAP

If your ATM Card is missing or you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft and your banking details including your ATM PIN has been compromised, call your bank and block it as soon as possible.

9. Do not reveal your ATM Pin to anyone

Every now and again, you will receive an email or SMS purporting to be from your bank or any other person or organisation for that matter requesting you to send your ATM PIN for some reason. This may claim to be from your bank or the ATM platform provider like InterSwitch, Visa, or MasterCard.

The e-mail will usually give you the impression that there is a problem with your ATM card and that by submitting your ATM PIN the problem will be solved. Never make the mistake of revealing your ATM PIN under any circumstances, not even to bank officials.

Never fall for this scam no matter how compelling. Your ATM PIN grants access to your account, do not disclose it to anyone. Do not forget to change your ATM PIN from time to time.

Follow the tips above and you will go a long way in preventing ATM fraud and Identity theft.

10. Inspect the ATM First

Before using an ATM machine, inspect it first and make sure there is nothing unusual. Some fraudsters may plant a camera to harvest PINs. ATM usually has an official camera, do not use it if you see an extra camera or any thing you do not understand.

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What is an ATM Machine or an ATM Card

An Automatic Teller Machine ATM is a device, usually installed within a bank’s premises, but can also be installed in any secure and convenient location, that offers automated financial services to the banking public. With ATM, it is a lot easier to withdraw your money or check your bank account balance. Other financial services that can be handled at ATM machines include fund/cash transfer, phone credit recharge and bills/tax payment.

To engage in any transaction on an ATM machine, you need an ATM card issued by your bank. You also need a Personal Identification Number PIN. A default PIN will be issued with your ATM card, but you are advised to change it to something unique to improve security. With your ATM card and PIN, you can access your account from any ATM machine connected to your bank from anywhere in the world at any time 24/7.

ATM cards can also serve as debit cards for paying for items while shopping at retail shops or on the internet. When shopping offline a POS terminal will be used to process your payment. ATM machines are usually located in banks, schools, shopping malls, petrol stations, hospitals, and so on.

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Paschal Okafor is NaijaTechGuide Team Lead. The article ATM Card Security: Debit Card Fraud Identity Theft Prevention Tips was written by Paschal Okafor. The article was last modified: December 13th, 2021
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