Has someone stolen your bank card information? This can be done several ways through
- Stealing your wallet
- Copying your card info at a restaurant or bar
- Online transactions
But today let’s look at retail shopping. Were you part of the whole crazy Target/Home Depot/”Insert Retailer name here” skimming bank card/credit card numbers?
In the past 6 months I’ve got emails from Target, Neiman Marcus and Home Depot with alerts. It feels as though everywhere you turn your information can easily be compromised. In most cases, such as the Target heist, credit card numbers were taken. Not necessarily pin numbers, but definitely card numbers.
A thief can now go on shopping spree with your stolen info – it can happen at anytime. A few days from now or a year from now. You won’t know how or when. There are things you can do a daily basis to protect yourself. For example… signing up for text alerts from your bank or credit card issuer.
More importantly what if your numbers are hacked and you don’t even know it until 6 months or even a year later? Yea, exactly. Hackers hang on to your info and when you aren’t paying attention – they start stealing. A little over the top? Maybe, but I personally don’t think so.
So, what’s a person to do? Here’s the deal – I replace my main bank card every year. By bank card I mean my Visa Debit/Check card. Since that’s my checking account and the main source of money in my life, I would prefer to keep all of it intact.
Sure, some people say you shouldn’t use a debit card – but that’s another conversation.
Once a year I contact my bank and report my card lost/stolen. The bank replaces the card with a new card number – but not bank account number. The card number that was used at Target, Neiman Marcus or Home Depot is now rendered useless.
Now if you use direct debit or ACH processing of some of your bills then this won’t work for you. I don’t participate in that either though – I like billpay through my own bank, more protection.
So what do you think? Replacing your main bank card is easy, fast and in a lot of ways – foolproof.