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How to protect your Debit Card

One of the most important tools in your financial toolbox is the debit card you use to get cash at an ATM or use for online and in-person purchases. Here are a few suggestions on how to protect your debit card while also ensuring you have access to your money when you need it.

What is fraud and what is not fraud?

Fraud is defined as a transaction that the customer did not initiate or have knowledge of and for which they received no benefit(s). It can occur through various means such as a lost or stolen debit card, a data breach at a merchant, or a skimming device, to name a few. Fraud does not include merchandise disputes, such as an item that was not delivered or an item that was received but you are unhappy with the quality, color, size, etc. These types of disputes do not meet the definition of fraud and the resolution should be between you (the purchaser) and the merchant (the supplier).

What should you do if you suspect you are a victim of fraud?

If you suspect that fraud has occurred on your account, please reach out to the Bank immediately at 570-752-3671 or 888-759-2266. To keep fraudsters from using more of your funds, your debit card must be deactivated as soon as possible. The next step is to sign the necessary paperwork, allowing the bank to begin an investigation. At this point, the Bank may be able to provide temporary use of the funds (also known as “provisional credit”), while the transaction is being researched. If the dispute is verified as fraudulent, you will be permitted to keep these funds. If the investigation shows that fraud has not occurred (such as the merchant dispute noted above), the Bank will debit your account for the amount of the temporary deposit. A dispute investigation can take up to 90 days, but you will receive letters informing you of the status of your claim.

How to protect your debit card if you are travelling out of the area.

Transactions that are done outside of your local area may be perceived as being fraudulent, especially if there is no such history of similar activity on your account. This provides an additional layer of security and there’s a simple solution – if you expect to travel out of the local area, please call our ATM/Debit Card Department and notify them of your planned locations. This will ensure that your card is not blocked while you are away, thereby preventing access to your money. Another useful tool is the debit card control capabilities found in the mobile app. You can restrict purchases based on geography as well as lock and unlock your card.

Speaking of travelling, it’s a good idea to bring a secondary type of payment with you, such as a credit card. If fraud is discovered on your debit card while you’re travelling, the card MUST be deactivated in order to safeguard the rest of your money. In case something would happen, it is best to have a secondary source of funds.

Remember to keep your information on file up to date.

Our Fraud Department continually monitors for suspicious debit card activity. If we see a questionable transaction, having your current phone number on file allows us to promptly reach out via phone or text and verify whether the transaction is legitimate or not. If we are unable to contact you, access to the card is blocked and remains that way until you can verify the transaction(s) in question. For security purposes, it’s imperative that you notify us any time your contact information, including your phone number, has changed. And keep in mind that the bank will never contact you and ask for your personal information.

What happens when your debit card expires?

The good news is that you don’t need to do anything. A replacement card will automatically be sent out at least one month in advance of the expiration date. For example, if your card expires in the month of August, a new card will be mailed to you during the month of July. Make sure you cut up and properly dispose of your old card.

First Keystone Community Bank is vigilant in helping if you suspect fraud on your card. Talk to your local friendly Keystone Banker today to find out how to protect your debit card, 570-752-3671.

Written by Chris Zlobik

Chris is the Senior Vice President - Chief Banking Officer at First Keystone Community Bank. He has an 11 year career in community banking.

Posted On:

September 3, 2021

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