How Safe Is Your Debit Card From the Internet

Just in case there are any misconceptions about it and you find yourself wondering how safe is your debit card from the Internet, please rest assured that it is never a good idea to post your debit card information online, where anyone can see. Not on Facebook, not on Twitter, not on LinkedIn. In fact, it is not only your debit card that should remain in your wallet. Try to also refrain from posting your credit card, social security number and any other confidential information like this online, where it is available to prying eyes.

Or else you might end up like this unfortunate person. Can we say epic facepalm, anyone?

How Safe Is Your Debit Card From the Internet?

Sadly, the picture is probably real, because there are plenty more examples of people out there who keep posting pictures of their debit cards online for anyone to take advantage of. This Twitter account likes to retweet all of them.

When asking the question, "How safe is your debit card from the Internet?" It turns out that the answer is that it is perfectly safe as long as it does not get on there in the first place. Fortunately, most people are smart enough to not post pictures of their personal banking information on the Internet where anyone can see it, yet there are there still other methods that your debit card or credit card could find its way into the wrong hands, without your consent.

Debit and Credit Fraud

The Toronto Dominion Bank warns that credit card fraud can occur easily in one of two ways.

1) Criminals can steal your credit or debit information by phishing (using spammy links, often found in your junk mail folder) or vishing (using phone call scams to get your personal information).

2) Criminals might produce counterfeit cards by making false applications with your identity through identity fraud.

On the other hand, criminals require your PIN number to make use of your stolen debit card information. The debit card number by itself is useless without its PIN. Besides the less intelligent method of posting pictures of your debit card on the Internet for anyone to see, there are more scheming ways that criminals may obtain your PIN.

A couple of years ago Toronto police warned the public that wireless point-of-sale (POS) devices were being used to "skim" debit cards and obtain their micro magnetic strips, which allowed banking information to be obtained from the scam. That banking information was then wirelessly transmitted to the scammer.

Another scam is where debit machines swap out your entered PIN with another that will either record what has been entered or transmit that data to the fraudster, who is likely nearby. Finally, some ATMs have simply been tampered with to obtain and transmit entered card details on the spot. How do fraudsters do this? Check out the picture below, which was uploaded to Reddit by user tISL a while ago.

As explained by Redditor murphzlaw1, fraudsters will remove the reader for the door to the ATM room. They will then install a skimming device that will record the card's magnetic strip, allowing them to replicate it. Because the card is useless without the PIN, they will even go as far as to install miniature cameras that watch you as you enter the number. A device such as the one seen in the above picture simply records the keystrokes without any need for a camera to watch.

How safe is your debit card from the Internet? How safe is it in general? Taking proper security measures, being smart and not jumping on super low-interest credit cards from shady sources increases your chances of not becoming a credit or debit fraud victim. Stay vigilant and only post stuff that is safe to post on the Internet. Like cats. People love cats.

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