How to keep your bank account details and debit cards safe

Your bank account details and debit cards are important information that should not be handled with a lackadaisical attitude but with utmost care. This is because if these details or cards mistakenly get into the wrong hands, you are not only at the risk of losing your money but you may also get implicated if these details are used to perpetrate crimes.   

There have been reported cases of card swapping whereby unsuspecting individuals have been robbed of their debit cards in the name of being helped at the ATM stand while some have lost huge amounts of money to robbers who cart away their ATM cards or mobile phones.   

Despite the increase in awareness of these fraudulent acts, it is still surprising that some individuals still fall victim to these fraudsters. Thus, this article is written in order to help you safeguard your bank account details and debit cards.   

To ensure the safety of your bank account details and cards, below are safety tips you can follow.  

1. Block your cards immediately you lose them or notice unsolicited debit alerts  

The chances of losing your cards either as a result of being robbed or through other means can not really be removed. In such cases, it is best you block the cards immediately as a means of safeguarding your account.   

Also, if you notice debit alert(s) that you didn’t perform, ensure you block the cards immediately as this can be an indication that your bank account details have been tampered with.   

If you have a smartphone, you can easily do this using your bank app and if not there are codes that can be used to block an account or cards when dialled.  

2. Be very careful when using POS  

No one is to be trusted and that is the reason it is advisable you avoid the use of POS as much as you can. Some of these POS operators are dishonest individuals who are always looking for means to outsmart those who patronize them.   

These individuals may clone your card through the use of a card skimmer. The card skimmer, according to information technology experts, allows the fraudster to capture and record all the data on the ATM card. The card skimmer is placed on any machine that accepts debit or credit cards like Automated Teller Machines or POS machines. When an unsuspecting victim inserts their card into the skimmer, the data on the card is captured.   

In order to safeguard your bank account details and cards, avoid the use of POS and if you must use it, be very careful and vigilant.   

3. Avoid online purchases on unsecured sites   

With the wide use of online purchasing platforms in our society today and the proliferation of websites where you can make use of your card details for online transactions, certain individuals have fallen victim of fraudsters because of the use of their card details on an unsecured website.   

To safeguard your bank account details and cards, ensure you confirm that the website you  are transacting on is secured and verified.   

4. Never disclose sensitive details like your BVN to anyone   

Anyone who has access to your BVN has access to almost if not all details about your account. Therefore,  as a means of safeguarding your bank account details and cards, do not disclose your BVN to anyone no matter how close they are to you.   

You should beware of scammers who call and pretend to be officials from your bank. No bank will ever call you to ask for any of your personal details, your BVN inclusive.  

5. Avoid saving your BVN and other sensitive details as contacts on your phone   

Saving your BVN and other sensitive bank details as contacts on your phone is a way of putting your bank account at a great risk.    

Contacts such as my BVN, my card pin, my account details and so on should not be found on your phone. In cases where you lose the phone to a fraudster,  those saved contact will grant them unrestricted access to your bank account details.  

If you need to save your details at all on your phone, you can save them on your drive and do not make the contents of this file obvious by saving it with titles such as my accounts details, my BVN, my pin, and so on.   

6. Visit your bank immediately you lose your phone if you use of USSD or mobile apps   

For individuals using mobile apps or USSD for their bank transactions, another means of safeguarding your bank accounts or card details is by reporting to your bank immediately you lose your phone. This is in order for them to block withdrawals from your account through any of the platforms.  

7. Do not disclose your card PIN to people   

Disclosing your card to almost everyone around you and sending different individuals  to help you make withdrawals either from the ATM or POS is not safe and this puts your bank accounts at risk.   

To safeguard your bank account details, the maximum number of people who have access to your card pin should not be more than three and they must be trusted.  

8. Avoid patronising fraudulent schemes   

It is a known fact that everyone wants to make money but trying to get this money through schemes that are obviously fraudulent may not only hurt you but your bank account as well.   

Avoid patronising schemes that are too good to be true or that have quicker means of doubling your investment within the shortest time frame. Doing this will help safeguard your bank account details and cards as well protect you from losing your hard earned money.   

Safeguarding your bank account details and cards is a decision that is mostly dependent on you, following the steps above will help you from losing your hard-earned money to swindlers as a result of some careless decisions or ignorance.   

As a bonus for reading the article through to the end, check out how to identify fake bank alerts   



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