AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Just because your credit card is in your wallet doesn’t mean someone else can’t steal it. We think that if we keep our wallets close and watch where we use our credit cards, nothing can happen to us, but it’s not.
After Agawam Police posted surveillance pictures on social media, it didn’t take long to identify the 2 men suspected of using a stolen credit card to buy items at a local Home Depot.
Mimi Ross of Huntington knows all too well what it’s like to be a victim, even when your card is still in your wallet. “I travel a lot, and I don’t know if that’s why,” said Ross. “It has happened at least 3 times where I’ve had to get my bank card replaced probably within the last 18 months.”
Hacking, data breaches, or simply leaving your wallet behind are common ways your information is stolen. The Federal Trade Commission says your protection against unauthorized charges depends on the type of card and how quickly you report the loss. The faster you make that report, the faster you can stop a thief.
When it comes to protecting your debit cards, never carry or write your PIN. To some like Selena Weigel of Holyoke, PIN protection means keeping a potential thief guessing. “Every month or so, depending on what I’m doing, places that I go to routinely I change my PIN routinely,” said Weigel.
Other ways to protect your credit and debit cards and account information include:
- Check your account activity and card transactions regularly.
- Never share your card number or account information.
- Save your receipts to check against your monthly statements.
- Cut up old cards, cutting through the account number.
- Only carry the cards that you need.