Thursday, October 9, 2014

Stolen Debit Card!

Always Verify the Correct Address

Recently my daughter realized her bank debit card had been compromised.  She checked her account, as she does almost daily, and saw several charges she hadn't made - the first two being for just $1.00.

She knew she needed to inform the bank and have them cancel the card, but first called us to verify what steps she should take. My husband explained to her that the $1.00 charges were made by the thief to determine the validity of the account. She then immediately called the bank, using the number on the back of her card. The bank put a stop on the card and she will not be responsible for the charges she did not make. The bank told her she would receive a new card in the mail in a few days.

Unfortunately, none of us thought about the fact that it is our home address that is listed on my daughter's bank account, not her college address.  The card arrived as promised - but to our house which is several states away from where my daughter lives. Oops! This created a further delay in my daughter being able to resume the use of her debit card.

There were several lessons in this incident.
  1.  Check your bank statement frequently for charges you have not made. 
  2.  In case a card becomes compromised when your kids cannot reach you, be sure they understand the process of how to cancel a card.
  3.  When someone is going to mail you something, always verify that they have the correct address!
  4.  Everyone - including kids at college - should have a means for payment besides their debit card, in case the card becomes compromised, lost or stolen.  Fortunately, my daughter can write checks from her account. It is always a good idea to always keep a little cash on hand as well.
  5. When a credit card is compromised, it is common to feel flustered and pressed to take immediate action to cancel the card and have the charges removed. While this is true - take a breath and be sure to pay attention to all the details involved!

What other advice would you offer to a person who has had their credit or debit card used by someone else?

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  1. So sorry this happened to your daughter - glad the bank took care of everything quickly!

  2. It seems like bank cards are being compromised much too often lately! I wrote this post, hoping it will prevent others from making the mistake we did, and delaying the replacement by a few days! The bank was speedy - but we goofed!

  3. This is a great reminder, Susan. I'm glad everything worked out for your family. :)

    1. Thanks Dee. I can't help but wonder how the banks deal with all the charges that are unpaid. Doesn't seem fair for those dishonest people to get away with stealing!

  4. This happened to us twice this year. Two different banks, 2 different cards both hubbies. Which is weird because he only uses his locally. There were 4 charges 2 in Texas and two in New York. Each of $1 then the big hits. The bank told us that what is going on is that crooks are putting these magnets at gas stations do when you swipe your card it somehow saves the information. The thief goes back to the gas station gets the magnets with all
    the information on it. He then makes stolen cards with these numbers on it. Sell them make the dollar purchase to show the buyer they really work then the buyer goes shopping. We know longer use the pay at the pump method we go in to pay. Hasn't happened since...knock on wood. Christmas season is coming so people should be extra vigilant!

    1. Good advice Rena. Sorry you had those experiences, but thanks for sharing this information!


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