Most people's financial transactions are now online. Banking and shopping involve more debit card swiping, attracting criminals and con artists who take advantage of small loopholes to steal your hard-earned money.
What do you do when money goes instantly missing from your debit card or bank account? You might not immediately realise it until a check bounces, or you cannot make any payments.
You might also not explain the anomaly until you discover it is criminals at work, having accessed your debit card PIN.
To ensure that your personal and account details are kept safe, and to keep you in the know, we have listed seven ways they do it;
If there is an easy loophole criminals master and use to retrieve confidential information from people's devices, it’s through public Wi-Fi. Many innocently and ignorantly click on their smartphone's available free Wi-Fi icon once it pops because it's convenient. However, whatever critical information you enter may fall into the hands of a ruthless scammer.
Hackers can use this method to steal valuable debit card information from your device. Cybercriminal busters sometimes say that when the public Wi-Fi icon pops up on your smartphone, it could be the criminals in close vicinity using a laptop or another smartphone attempting to steal data from unsuspecting users.
Once you sign in, it’s a done deal for them. To create counterfeit cards, they quickly repossess confidential debit card information, including your name, address, and PIN.
How can you prevent this from ever happening to you?
Criminals can devise ways to access and steal your debit card PIN from a store's computer, laptop, or even phone.
While many people think phishing scams and malware are a menace, physical vulnerabilities such as this can be an even more significant risk to your confidential debit card information.
It could be someone close to your workplace or even your home, retrieving your PIN if your device doesn't have a secure password.
Here is how to take timely precautions:
The truth is that most store employees are loyal and honest. But once in a while, you won't miss that one person who isn't honest.
You could think it's human error at first. However, it might be a purposeful act of deception. They'll quickly double-take on your card if you don't keep an eye on them.
A fraudster's standard technique is to double-swipe your card more than once, with the first swipe info going to your bank. As for the second, your guess is correct. It enables them to retain confidential information by which they create a fake card and fleece your account.
Some of the most practical precautions include:
Have you ever come across fake emails posing as legitimate? It is phishing. A technique many hackers use to create emails seemingly from your bank. They could also attempt phone calls or create phony websites.
You might think it's a legitimate email with a familiar name from your bank or company. The message could also have some urgency to it, needing you to respond quickly. A commonly used line might be that your ATM is disabled, and you have to confirm your PIN for its reactivation.
An unsuspecting person might think it's a legitimate email and proceed to provide the debit card details.
To stay safe;
Another preventive method is to physically conduct business with your company, retailer, or bank and not do it over the phone or via email.
Skimmers have taken their game a notch higher and can pin a fake card-reading device over the face of an ATM to obtain your PIN. The tiny digital readers are almost undetectable to the naked eye. Yet this is all it takes for criminals to capture the data on your debit card. They will eventually download this data, use it to create counterfeit debit cards, and withdraw money from your account at another ATM.
Here is how to stay safe:
Malware and spyware are other destructive methods for fraudsters to damage bank servers and access sensitive and confidential debit card details.
You have to be careful regarding what you download online. Hackers use harmful software so that once you download or click on suspicious links, they quickly retrieve sensitive information such as your debit card PIN.
To prevent this from ever happening to you;
It's not just online that you could lose your debit card info and, subsequently, money. Thieves are lying in wait offline as well. Sometimes you can detect when it happens and alert your bank. Other times, though, it could be too late with your entire savings gone.
Prevention is better than cure. You do not have to put your debit card information at risk. Instead, take all required precautions before losing your money to swindlers.