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Debit card fraud - What to do?


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#1 +Xinok

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 22:21

A couple of months ago, my father had trouble in that hundreds of dollars was charged to his debit card in another state. The bank deactivated his cards, for both him and his wife, and it took them a couple of weeks to fix the problems and issue new cards. Today, he got a call from his bank, it's happened again, in another state but same story otherwise. The bank already deactivated his card and he has to go through the whole process all over again.

I asked the obvious: He changed his passwords on many websites, including the bank, and he never uses his debit card for online purchases. He doesn't use his card many places outside of the grocery store and gas station. He and his wife have different cards with different numbers, and he pays all of the bills, paying several bills by check, so that cancels out many possibilities how the identity thieves got his card number for a second time.

With all of that said, are there any other reasonable steps he could take? This is the second time it's happened in just a couple months. Considering all that he said, I'm not sure what else he could do short of not using his card anymore.


#2 Hum

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 22:23

Maybe try using a credit card instead -- I think they have more protections.

#3 vetAndrew Lyle

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 22:32

If this happened twice, two different card numbers you have to look at the obvious stuff.

What stores is he using his debt card at? If its more than 10 stores since the last time, I wouldn't look too much into what store does what. And has that store been hacked? I know there have been some stores that get their machines hacked a lot and I refuse to use anything but cash there, or not shop there at all.

Hopefully you figure out where it has been stolen from. My best guess is a department store.

#4 Detection

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 22:36

Changing passwords won't help if the PC is infected, I'd advise wiping / reinstalling to be 101% sure too, along with Andrew's advice above, leave no stone unturned so to speak, something/someone is collecting his card info

#5 zhangm

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 22:38

With improvements in consumer-grade camera tech, it can be as easy and passive as setting up a video device near a card reader like an ATM or store swiper to capture the card number in addition to the PIN. Very hard to track down, since these types of captures can be moved in minutes.

Might be less hassle to just get a credit card with better protection, especially if you don't have any gut feeling about where the card number is being stolen from.

Also, consider consulting with someone at your bank - I imagine they'd also be quite invested in tracking down a particular source of card number theft, or at least have a better idea of what options they have available.

#6 McKay

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 22:41

If he's changing passwords on a machine infected with Spyware, it wont make any difference. Make him change his password on a different machine?

#7 perochan

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 22:43

1. wipe your computer
2. enroll credit protection plan
3. use credit card instead of debit card
4. go to teller instead of ATM

#8 JJ_

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 22:51

Suggestions about wiping his computer are practically useless because OP states of his dad:

he never uses his debit card for online purchases

My guess is the gas station are skimming his card :)

#9 linsook

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 22:56

change banks.

#10 Draconian Guppy

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 13:32

1. wipe your computer
2. enroll credit protection plan
3. use credit card instead of debit card
4. go to teller instead of ATM


+1 Credit protection plan pays back 100% charges of fraud.
If he doesn't like carrying a balance, he can always get a non revolving credit card (eg. pay off the balance at the end of the month ).

#11 xWhiplash

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 13:58

My advice would be to look at the stores. Does he use it when they go out to eat at a restaurant? I always am nervous when I give my card and do not get it back for 10 minutes.

I do not think it is an issue with computer security. I do not think most popular sites allow you to see the entire credit card number. It just comes up as ****..**xx or something like that. I know for some sites you cannot see the number even if you click the edit link, you just see the last two or four numbers.

I would suggest a special savings account for the bulk of his money, and only keeping $100 or more accessible through the debit card. If he knows he will need more for a big purchase, transfer the money first at the bank or online (or withdraw) then go shopping.

The special savings account is only accessible online and at the bank. You cannot view or change the amount in it in an ATM. Most banks support this, you should look into it.

#12 Hum

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 00:16

... hundreds of dollars was charged to his debit card in another state.


Can't the bank trace who used the card number -- ID an address and a particular person ?

#13 jerzdawg

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 15:09

Can't the bank trace who used the card number -- ID an address and a particular person ?

how? if a duplicate of the card was made it can just be swiped at the register.

anyway.. the most common type of this is usually an employee at a store - as other mentioned, look to see where card #1 and card #2 were both used, if any of them were the same... you can start to narrow down the place where the copy occurred. This happened to my brother and only 1 store was used with both cards... after 6 months of a police investigation.. 3 people were arrested.

#14 Rohdekill

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 15:21

change banks.


Any descent bank has a monitoring system which alerts you and the bank to questionable actions made on the card.