2006-08-11 / Community

Pheffer: Protect Your Debit Card

Assemblywoman Audrey I. Pheffer wants New Yorkers to realize that even though many people find it convenient and easy to use debit cards instead of using cash, credit cards, or checks, debit card fraud is growing at alarming rates. In fact, Pheffer says debit card transactions exceeded credit card transactions for the first time. Unfortunately, debit card fraud is also on the rise. Luckily, there are a few simple precautions that can be taken to help protect your identity and your financial assets. Fortunately, there is a simple way that consumers can protect themselves and their account information. "When using a debit card to make point-of-sale purchases, consumers should avoid using their PIN. Instead consumers should opt to use signature-based, credit card style transactions when using their debit card to make a purchase. Doing so will limit the number of terminals where PIN information may be stored and accessed by fraudsters, which will help to keep your PIN code and account information more secure," said Pheffer. Additionally, in instances of debit card fraud, money is immediately taken from the victim's account, which can lead to bounced checks and overdraft fees. In order to minimize the damage that debit card fraud can cause, it is important to monitor your checking account regularly and report any unauthorized charges to the card issuer immediately.

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