Holiday Debit Card Fraud is Ramping Up: Stay Vigilant
According to information from TransUnion, between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, fraud attempts increased by 25 percent compared to the rest of the year. Experian, another credit monitoring company, found in a recent survey that one in four U.S. consumers said they had fallen for a fraud scheme during the holidays.
Iowans are just as likely to become a victim of debit card fraud as someone in another state or major U.S. city. In fact, First National Bank has witnessed an increase recently in reports of debit card fraud amongst its customers, which means everyone must remain extremely vigilant.
Ways you could be affected by debit card fraud
- A fraudster installs a card skimming device to a gas station pump or ATM, which allows them to read the information from your debit card and drain your account.
- There is a data breach at a retailer or online merchant you buy from. Hackers are able to obtain your personal information and card number to make online purchases.
- You click on a link in an email that connects you to a fraudulent website, giving thieves access to your personal information.
- You share your card information with an untrustworthy website opening your account to fraudulent charges.
- You’ve done nothing unusual, but the fraudsters have gotten your card number anyway through other criminal means.
How to prevent debit card fraud
Cyber-thieves are becoming savvier every day when it comes to fraud. Including a couple of simple steps in your daily routine can help prevent you from becoming a victim.
- Check your account activity on a regular basis. Keeping a close eye on your transactions and balances can alert you to suspicious activity before it gets out of hand.
- Be cautious with online shopping. Make sure you only purchase products online from a trusted merchant or website. Also, consider using a credit card for online purchases versus your debit card.
- Avoid phishing scams. These scams generally come in the form of emails or letters pretending to be retailers, banks, or the IRS. If you question the information, make sure to call your sender by looking up their number on their official website. Never call the number provided in the email or text.
- Don’t provide any personal information over the phone to a stranger or someone you didn’t call first.
- Stay vigilant. If you don’t take debit card fraud seriously, card thieves will – at your expense.
If you think you are a victim of fraud, take immediate action.
If you are a First National Bank customer and want to report a lost or stolen card or fraudulent activity:
- Call First National Bank at 515-232-5561 during regular business hours.
- During nonbusiness hours, call 800-472-3272.
- You can also report suspected fraud by completing the online Transaction Dispute form.
The Federal Trade Commission also recommends following up with a letter or email to the bank that details each fraudulent transaction for your records. To correspond with First National Bank:
- Email: [email protected]
- Mailing address: First National Bank, Operations Department, 405 5th Street, Ames, IA 50010