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The Sandy Spring Way

Debit Card Usage During the Holidays: Tips to Keep You Safe

November 19th, 2014 | By Sandy Spring Bank

By Mark Herwig, Vice President, Retail Product ManagerFAN0038168

Using your debit card for everyday purchases and withdrawing cash at the ATM is safe, easy, and convenient. Itemized transactions on your checking statements and mobile and online banking allow you to monitor your accounts with ease. You also have the peace of mind that you are not responsible for fraudulent activity on your account, as long as you report the unauthorized transactions in a timely manner to your financial institution.

With the holiday season upon us, it is prudent to refresh yourself with ways to maintain your personal safety and to protect your debit card information.

  • Protect your debit card in the same way you would protect cash.
  • Sign the back of your card.
  • Make a list of all of your cards, including the card number, issuer’s name, and the phone number to report a lost/stolen card.
  • Select a PIN that cannot be tied to your personal information such as a birthdate, social security number, telephone number, etc., and change it regularly.
  • Don’t write your PIN on your debit card or give it to anyone.
  • Cover the keypad with your other hand to block someone else or a camera from viewing your PIN entry.
  • Do not use an ATM card slot or keypad that has attachments or alterations.
  • Contact your bank immediately if your card is captured by a machine.
  • Check your statements and online banking regularly, and verify all transactions and purchase amounts. Report any errors immediately to your financial institution.
  • Alert your bank immediately if your card is lost or stolen.

Next week, my colleague will discuss safety and savings tips for Cyber Monday.


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