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7 Ways to Avoid Debit Card Fraud

Many will agree that debit cards are one of the greatest money-management conveniences of the past few years. No more lugging around your checkbook (even if you do have an affinity for your Snoopy checks!) or delaying the checkout line to write a check for every little purchase. Debit cards make buying everything, from a gallon of milk to a big-screen TV, as easy as “swipe-n-go!”

Unfortunately, despite the ease, where there’s money at stake there are bound to be potential scammers. Debit card fraud, regardless of whether the card ever leaves the owner’s wallet, is definitely on the rise. But never fear, we have a few simple tips for protecting your card, your account, and yourself from such would-be thieves.

1. Update your contact information with us
Unfortunately, we can’t ask you about a suspicious or potentially fraudulent charge unless we can contact you. So don’t forget to tell us when you change addresses or phone numbers!

2. Make a copy of the back of your card
It contains important phone numbers to call if your card is ever lost or stolen, day or night. Be sure to keep the copy in a separate location from your card. For reference, you should call us at (508) 865-5811 weekdays or 1-800-554-8969 nights and weekends if your debit card is ever lost or stolen.

3. Watch for “skimming”
If the card reader (particularly at an ATM) doesn’t look right or looks different than it did before, a skimming device meant to capture your card data and PIN may’ve been attached. Best to look for another machine you trust. When entering your PIN at a legitimate machine, cover the keypad with your other hand to block others, or a camera, from seeing which numbers you key in.

4. Save and check all receipts against your statement
Save your receipts and record each debit card purchase in your checkbook register. Then, open your statement as soon as you receive it and check your receipts and entries against it. Let us know immediately about any charges that are questionable. Remember: The more quickly you spot potential fraud, the more we’re able to do to help you.

5. Don’t ignore even small discrepancies
Many people think scammers are out to make a single “big hit” on a card. The truth is, often times, many small purchases are made first, both to test the validity of the card and with the hope that they’ll go unnoticed. Know your balance, track your activity, reconcile your checkbook, and call us at the first sign of suspicious activity, no matter how small.

6. Don’t fall for “phishing” calls, texts, or e-mails
Calls or messages—sometimes purported to be from your bank!—may ask you for your debit card number or other personally identifying information for “verification” or to “unblock” your card or account. Don’t be fooled! Millbury Savings Bank or any other reputable institution will never contact you to ask you for such information. If you receive such contact, don’t respond. Instead, call us using a phone number you know is safe and report the incident.

7. Register for MasterCard® SecureCode™
This free service helps to confirm your identity and protect your account against unauthorized online purchases. You choose your own MasterCard SecureCode private code and enter it when you shop at more than 350,000 participating online merchants. To register your Millbury Savings Bank Cash & Check Debit MasterCard and select your SecureCode, visit the Convenience Services page under the Personal Banking menu.

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