Well it finally happened to me, someone stole my debit card information and withdrew money! I considered myself lucky that it had never happened to me before but that all changed Saturday.


I woke up to a text from my bank, which I do appreciate, saying they suspected fraud on my card. Someone had withdrawn $100 from an ATM in Baltimore. Since I was in my bed I knew it wasn’t me time travelling to Maryland.


I immediately logged into my mobile banking app and saw the fraudulent withdrawal, then another, then ANOTHER! I really felt helpless.


I immediately called and froze my accounts, and started the process of recovering my money, all $500 worth! I am usually pretty suspicious of ATM’s I use and wanted to share some tips on how to protect yourself from being ripped off like me.


Always be suspicious of an ATM. I usually pull on the actual card reader when I use an ATM just to be sure. I have seen some news stories where these card skimmers are placed of the actual machine. I think this time I slipped up and didn’t check the ATM when I used it.


Make sure everything looks right. I know this tip seems unusual, but if something looks funny or feels funny it most likely is. If there is tape, weird markings, an unusual camera nearby etc. my tip would be to move to the next ATM.


I am a big proponent of the cash back method. I’ll stop by a CVS or super market and grab a stick of gum and get some cash back. I feel a little safer doing this.


Also make sure your debit card or credit is secured somewhere in your purse or pocket, there is devices that can skim you through your pocket! I am actually considering buying a special wallet that can block these signals.


Lastly cover up the key pad when entering your pin numbers. Scammers can install small cameras around the ATM in order to see you pin. By simply covering up the keypad you can prevent being ripped off.


I hope these tips help and you don’t have to go through the process of recovering your money like me. In the end I’m not stressing too much, that big Eagles win Sunday night is helping!


[via PCMag.com]

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