You can protect a bank card by keeping your personal identification number (PIN) secret, never giving out bank card information over the phone unless certain of the caller’s identify, and reporting lost cards as soon as possible. A PIN number is a secret number that allows a bank card user to spend money from the card, but it is important not to write down the number or give it out to keep the card secure. In addition, never give out card information over the phone to someone who called you and acts suspicious, urgent, or confusing. Lastly, lost cards should be reported right away because they might have fallen into the wrong hands.
If your bank card has a PIN, never share that number with anyone. Sharing a PIN makes it easier for other people to commit identify theft, because it allows them to use the card with few restrictions. In addition, the PIN should not be an easily guessable number, such as your birth date, home or office address, or other definable number. Create a random string of numbers as long as the financial institution will allow and commit it to memory rather than writing it down. If a financial institution sends a letter confirming your chosen PIN, shred the letter before throwing it away.
A common scam that occurs involves a person asking for bank card information over the phone while claiming to be from the bank. Caller ID can be tricked into showing a number besides the true number a person is calling from. Therefore, always confirm the identity of the caller and, if you did not expect the call, hang up and call the bank’s customer service line to continue the conversation. By calling a number you know will reach the bank, you are guaranteeing a connection with a bank employee.
If you lose a bank card, call a branch of your bank as soon as you notice the card’s absence. Tell the bank that the card was lost and when and then let the bank employees investigate. In most cases, a bank employee will ask a few identifying questions and then proceed to ask questions concerning your last purchases. Determining your last purchases helps the bank employee figure out if someone found and used the card. Some people find that their bank cards were turned in by a good Samaritan, but it is best to prepare for the worst by calling to cancel the account.