Protect Your Debit Card From Fraudsters

BY: Brent Landrum

Fraud is everywhere, and debit cards are a prime target for unsavory characters seeking to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. Banks work hard to ensure that their customers are safeguarded by dedicating departmental time and resources to recognizing and addressing unwanted/unauthorized transactions.

Let’s look take a look at how fraud is caught, what happens when it occurs, and the measures that State Bank of Cross Plains takes to keep customers safe and secure.

How Is Debit Card Fraud Detected?

  • Unusual Activity: Banks use a fraud monitoring system that tracks customers’ normal activity and flags anything that seems out of place.
  • Fraud Scores: State Bank of Cross Plains’ monitoring system assigns scores to websites, merchants, and even geographic locations, based on how much fraud each sees. If you make a purchase involving a website, merchant, or location that has a high score, there is a greater chance of that transaction being flagged.

What Happens When a Transaction Is Flagged?

  • Depending on the scenario, either a single transaction can be flagged or a debit card can be temporarily locked.
  • When fraud is detected, a case is opened with our fraud monitoring system, and the process of determining both what happened and next steps begins.

How Are Customers Alerted?

  • Phone Call: Our fraud monitoring system makes an automated call to verify recent transactions.
  • Text Alert: Those customers that are signed up for text alerts receive a message regarding flagged transactions.
  • If the cardholders does not respond to either of the initial notifications within 48 hours, our staff follows up. If all attempts go unacknowledged, the cardholder runs the risk of their debit card being placed on "no withdrawal" status until the issue is remedied.

What Steps Should Be Taken Post-Detection?

  • Review recent statements and transactions for unauthorized activity.
  • If fraud did take place, stop in at any State Bank of Cross Plains retail branch to meet with a banker and fill out necessary paperwork.
  • Have a new debit card issued either instantly or via mail.

Anything Else?

  • Don’t be fooled by free trials. If you sign up for a free trial, be sure you read the fine print to know when you must cancel in order to avoid unwanted charges. If cancellation doesn’t take place by the stated date and you receive a charge, the bank will be unable to dispute it. However, if you do cancel in time, but are still charged and if there is proof of cancellation, the charge may be disputed.
To remain vigilant, remember these four tips:

  1. Only use your debit card at/with reputable merchants.
  2. Make sure the websites to which you provide debit card information are secure (website URLs preceded by "https" are secure).
  3. Communicate with your bank prior to making any large transactions or traveling.
  4. Be cautious about providing debit card information when not in person.
Debit card fraud is complex but partnering with your bank can help you avoid becoming a victim!

Brent Landrum

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