Traditionally, one of the ways fraudsters have accessed people’s accounts is by accessing their cards. When you hear about someone’s debit card being skimmed at a gas station or store, people often wonder whether it’s too risky to continue to use a debit card. Of course, it only takes a moment before I realize that I love my card and the convenience it brings and I really don’t want to face life without it!
Part of protecting your accounts and your cards is to be smart. Don’t use easy to figure out numbers for your PIN (like your birthdate) and definitely, don’t give your PIN to anyone else (even if you love them and are sure they would never do anything to hurt you). Be mindful and aware of your surroundings when you use your card… shield the PIN pad, be wary of anything odd about the debit machine and look to see if any cameras are aimed at the PIN pad.
While these fraud awareness steps can go a long way toward protecting your account, there are still other things you can do to protect yourself. One of these things is to make full use of one of the services that Encompass Credit Union provides: Lock’N’Block. This service is truly fantastic because it gives you control and allows you to lock or unlock your card instantly from anywhere you can access your Internet Banking.
Using Lock’N’Block, you can lock your debit card completely when it is lost or stolen (in this case, don’t forget to notify your branch as well so they can report your card as lost or stolen and get you a new card pronto). You can also lock it for a variety of different situations. For example, if you always use the card in Canada, you can block it for International transactions. And, if you go on a trip, you can just unblock it while you’re away! You can also block it for in-store purchases or ATM transactions if you don’t regularly use your card for those kinds of transactions and you can always unblock them yourself instantly from right inside your online banking. Not only do you get all the control, by blocking certain transactions, you will cut down on the number of ways a fraudster can use the card if they do get your card info in spite of all your careful diligence.
Learn more by visiting our Lock’N’Block page on the encompasscu.ca website. Also, be sure to check out Encompass Credit Union’s Alerts which are another amazing service that will help you protect yourself and your accounts.