7 Tips for Protecting Your Credit and Debit Cards from Fraud

credit-card-glassesAfter the Target credit and debit card breach this past winter, as well as breaches at other major retailers and hotels,

consumers were reminded to be vigilant with their credit and debit card accounts, and to watch for fraudulent use. However, it’s easy to forget that scammers may get their hands on your information months or even years following the initial breach.

Here are some tips to keep your credit and debit card accounts safe from foul play:

1. Report lost or stolen cards immediately. Notify Horizon Bank if you notice fraudulent charges on your Horizon Bank credit or debit card. For other accounts contact the issuing credit agency.

2. Memorize your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Writing down your PIN leaves open the possibility of an unwanted person finding it.

3. Sign the back of your new card as soon as you receive it. Destroy any old or unwanted cards so they cannot be used.

4. Use caution when giving your account number over the phone or online. If using a credit card over the phone, be sure you are the one who made the call and the company you are giving it to is reputable. If shopping online, check that the site is secure. For unfamiliar websites, check other sites for customer satisfaction ratings and visit the Better Business Bureau, www.bbb.org, to look for complaints.

5. Check your monthly statement. Open your monthly statement immediately and carefully look over listed items to verify the transactions. If something is wrong, contact your credit card company or Horizon Bank immediately. e-Statement delivery is the fastest option, so if your bank offers this service, take advantage of getting this delivered electronically to reduce waiting on mail delivery. Login and sign up with Horizon e-Statement.

6. Use Online Banking to view recent transactions. Horizon Bank offers online banking that allows you to easily view transactions on your account between your monthly statements. Sign up for online banking today.

7. Sign up for email and mobile alerts from Horizon Bank. These alerts can let you know immediately if unauthorized purchases or withdrawals are made on your account. Login to your online banking to setup account Alerts.

8. Planning to travel? To help prevent interrupted service with your Horizon Bank MasterCard® Debit Card, please notify us prior to your departure. Notifying us will help to ensure your Debit Card purchases are not blocked by our fraud protection service. Find out more about this service on our website.

Watch for terms and conditions on websites where you may make purchases. Sometimes you can be purchasing one thing, but if you don’t read the fine print, you are actually authorizing additional services and recurring transactions that can be difficult to cancel or get refunds for.

Do not allow others to use your card on your behalf.

Be careful what websites and services you allow to store your card information. Storing them on video game devices, smart phone account websites, etc can open you up to unwanted charges if someone manages to get access to or takes over those old devices. It is safest to never store your card number on websites for quick reference later, and only enter them in for a one time use when authorizing memberships, annual fees, or purchasing digital content such as apps or music.