HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Debit cards can be convenient as an alternative to writing checks or using a major credit card. Generally, the money is taken out of your account as soon as you make a purchase. However, your debit card can make you the victim of a scam and a thief who wants to make sure you and your money are soon parted.
With the recent breeches involving Target and other store's databases, a new scam has reared its ugly head and this one involves text messages purportedly from your bank.
"They are getting a text message saying there is a problem with their debit card and they have had to freeze it," said Michelle Mason of the Better Business Bureau. The person is given a number to call to clear it all up and to lift the freeze on your account.
"You are not going to get a text message from your financial institution if there is a problem," Mason continued. "It seems the scam is set up for you to contact them and then key in your debit account number, and once you do that, that is the end of the call."
Remember to never give out your card numbers over the phone. If there is a question about your account, contact your financial institution. One more bit of advice Mason wanted to pass on: if you have both a debit and credit card, it's best to use your credit card. That was the money isn't taken out of your account immediately, and if there is an issue you can work with your financial institution to rectify it.
If you only have a debit card, be careful where and how you use it, and hold on to all your receipts so you can compare your statements with your records. Also, check your balance and bank activity daily if possible so if there is a problem you can catch it quickly.
Remember, when breaking news happens, we break it first online, by email, and by text. If you want to receive our breaking news alerts by text, pull out your phone right now and text NEWS to 44848. Message and data rates may apply. You can text STOP at any time to cancel your subscription, text HELP for more information, or call 877-571-0774 for support.