Under Federal law a company must notify its customers when it learns of a credit card security breach and the extent. Many companies will provide free credit monitoring for a certain period of time if you have been compromised. If you have been notified that your credit or debit card has been stolen you should immediately call your credit card company or bank and ask them cancel that card and issue another one. Then you should set up your credit monitoring and check it often.
Above is an example of massive theft, but you should also be aware of day to day ways that your credit or debit card information can be stolen.
- Gas stations-“skimmers” are used to steal your credit or debit card numbers
- Restaurants-when your server takes your card for payment they will usually go somewhere outside of your sight
- ATMs-skimmers are also used along with someone who will visually try and get pin number
Those are just a few ways to get you thinking. If your card is stolen, the bad guys can go on to compromise your identity “Identify Theft”, which is very serious. With your card, they have your name, they can go to social media and find out where you live, your address and all kinds of other information.
Shopping on-line is actually safer, because you card is never out of your control, you never give it to someone, and all your card information is encrypted from your computer to the card processor. You should also consider using a credit card instead of a debit card when shopping on line. With a debit card the merchant has your money from your account, in most cases, before you even get the product. If there is a problem you can contest it, but it might be a while before you see that money in your account again. With a credit card if you put something into dispute you don’t pay that bill until the credit card company investigates.