SmartMoney Monday: Keeping your cards safe from data breaches and fraud
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Data breaches are a growing problem, especially when your card number is compromised. In 2018 alone, over 2.6 billion records were stolen or exposed and the FTC reported that card fraud accounted for 30% of their identity theft reports. Once a criminal gets a hold of a stolen credit card number, they can create counterfeit cards or even use your card number online. Three years ago, criminals committed over $2 billion of fraud from U.S. bank accounts, and well over half of that came from debit card fraud.
Many financial institutions have online features called “card controls” that let you manage your debit card activity any time. For example, if your card is lost or stolen, you can turn the card off right away, and any attempted purchase will fail. If you find the card, just turn it back on again. You can also restrict the card’s spending limit so that expensive purchases don’t go through. In fact, you can place all sorts of restrictions based on location, specific merchants, and transaction types to limit what a criminal could do with your card. These controls let you be as specific as you want so you can feel safe and secure.
For even more peace of mind, you can also set smartphone alerts for all account activity, and block international transactions when you’re not outside the U.S. Using online or mobile banking is another great way to stay secure. You can check your accounts in real-time instead of waiting for statements in the mail. You can also request some institutions to send you text messages regarding potential fraud, and you can immediately text them back to say the purchase was or wasn’t made by you.
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