Making contactless payment with phone.

Debit Card Fraud Prevention

Debit Card Fraud Prevention Tips

Debit cards have the power to change your life – quite literally!
With a swipe, you can withdraw cash, send funds to your loved ones, pay bills, or treat yourself to almost anything you want anywhere in the world.
However, as debit cards become more accessible, debit card theft and fraud have increased.

But there are actions you can take to help prevent debit card fraud and avoid becoming a victim.

Choose an ATM PIN Carefully

Birthdays or anniversary dates are not the safest security PIN for ATMs. Hence, choose a random PIN that is difficult to guess.

Prefer Using Your Bank’s ATM
Using your bank’s ATM is a wiser choice than opting for a stand-alone ATM at a gas station or public place.

Be Mindful of Card Skimming

A skimmer is a device installed on card readers that records your debit card information. Criminals will use this information to make fraudulent purchases or sell your card information on the dark web. Gas pumps are a frequent target for these devices. Skimmers may be spotted with quick visual or physical inspections before using a terminal. Therefore, check the reader before making a transaction. Look for alignment issues between the card reader and the adjacent panel. Authentic card readers are professionally installed and shouldn’t move if you try to wiggle them.

If the card reader looks suspicious, consider going to another terminal. Paying inside at convenient stores is also a better option than using the pump’s terminal.

Use Online and Mobile Banking Smartly

Online banking, when used correctly, is more secure than paper or conventional banking.

Signup for online banking and e-statements so the chances of prying hands stealing your information through the mailbox are significantly reduced. Check your banking app frequently to monitor any suspicious activities.

With Exchange Bank’s online and mobile banking, you can set up transaction alerts to help detect fraud. If you receive an alert and know it wasn’t you, our app allows you to lock your card to prevent additional transactions.

In addition to alerts, you can set up protections such as spending limits and block certain transaction or merchant types. Using the spending limits feature for your debit card could significantly reduce the financial loss. Plus, it’s easy to manage your protections with your phone for when you have a legitimate purchase to make.

You can also lock or report the card as lost or stolen in our app. If you report the card as lost or stolen, this feature will permanently disable the card and automatically issue a new one in the mail.  

If you don’t want to wait on the mail, we can print a new debit card for you and have it ready for you to stop by and pick up at one of our locations. We will also be able to assist you in filing a dispute of the unauthorized charge so that you can get your money back quickly.

With our mobile app and online banking, you can lock and unlock your debit card anytime. Misplace the card? Lock it. When you find it deep down in your purse, unlock it. Or if you left it at a restaurant, you could lock the card as soon as you realize it’s missing.

Use Mobile Wallet Whenever Possible

Mobile wallets are becoming more and more popular with merchants. Most merchants will have the mobile wallet icon or signage at the terminal if they accept this form of payment. Simply, hold your phone or smartwatch near the terminal to make your payment.

Exchange Bank has partnered with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay, allowing you to load your Exchange Bank debit card into your mobile wallet.

Although the first few times you use your mobile wallet might feel unfamiliar, you will become a pro in no time. Plus, it is a much more secure way to use your debit card. Instead of sharing your debit card information with the merchant, a unique one-time token is created and transmitted. 

Merchants and employees may not be out to steal your debit card number, but often, it’s a matter of what security they have in place to protect debit card information. For example, if a merchant is hacked and transactions are shared, the thief won’t have your debit card number. Instead, they will have the token that was created, and they won’t be able to use it to steal your money.

When Making Online Purchases, Stay Cautious!

Easy online shopping is perhaps the best use of any debit card.

However, the internet is a web of scams and fraud. Therefore, always use a secure network when making an online purchase.

Moreover, do enable multi-factor authentication, especially for online purchases, as the additional security check can be quite beneficial.

Beware of Messaging Scams

Scammers have gotten smarter and often use messaging to deceive and steal your information. If you receive a text, call, or email alerting you of a potential fraudulent transaction, never give your information to the sender. Legitimate alerts only require a simple response such as “Yes, that was me” or “No, that’s fraudulent.”

If they are asking you to confirm your card number, you can bet it’s a scam.

Safely Store & Carry Your Debit Card

Lastly, ensure you keep your debit card in a safe place to which no one else should have access or that it can easily become lost.


Despite increased awareness and security, debit card fraud has become quite common. If you become a victim of debit card theft, immediately access our online banking app to lock your card to restrict the loss of funds and contact us as soon as possible.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to us.