Guard Your Card this Holiday Season

The holiday season is filled with good will, plenty of cheer and of course, the “gift of giving”.  In the spirit of giving to loved ones and friends, many consumers will use a debit (check) card for their purchases.  Although these cards are convenient and safer to carry than cash, it’s important you understand that your bank account can be drained if your card falls into the wrong hands. 

  • Your debit card is a quick, pay now product with no grace period. Cash comes out of your bank account immediately, even if you choose to use it as credit.
  • Do you know what your liability is for any unauthorized use, theft or loss of your debit card? According to the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, if you report an ATM or debit card missing before someone uses it, you are not responsible for any unauthorized transactions; however, if someone uses your card before you report it lost or stolen, your liability depends on how quickly you report it. Contact your card’s issuer for more information.
  • What kind of protection do you have from non-delivery or defective merchandise if purchased with your debit card?  Although problems can be disputed within 60 days, you have better protection with a credit card.
  • Never carry your PIN number in your wallet, purse or pocket.
  • Keep all of your receipts and periodically check your bank account activity.

 Practicing these safe and simple shopping tips will help protect your cash from thieves looking to destroy your holiday cheer.

 For more information about this Safety and Security Tip or to report a fraud or scam, please call the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Fraud Line at 258-3292.