03-13-2013 04:42 AM - edited 03-13-2013 05:07 AM
I have a suggestion. What worked well for me was closing the debit card and requesting an "ATM card". It does not have a visa or mastercard logo, can only be used for PIN-based transactions and ATM cash withdrawals, and can not be used for signature-based purchases or online/over-the-telephone purchases.
Unfortunately, a USAA agent had told me that it does not issue a Maestro card (what it calls an ATM card) to anyone anymore other than a customer who already has one and needs an expired one replaced. If you have a Maestro card and want to open a second checking account with USAA, I'm not sure if in that scenario USAA will let you request a Maestro card for the second checking account.
Regarding lowering the maximum purchase amount for the debit card, when I had a Wells Fargo account I could lower the maximum purchase amount for my Wells Fargo "ATM card".
I had one Wells Fargo branch employee politely argue with me round-and-round that this was not possible until suddenly he reversed his answer and was able to to complete my request to change it.
USAA will let you lower the maximum purchase amount, but the last time that I asked about the rules I was told that the new limit that you request will expire and revert back to the default amount after a certain amount of time unless you submit in writing your request for a change to the maximum purchase amount.
To limit my exposure to the risk of PINs being stolen by card skimmers, I limit my use of the ATM card for purchases to just purchases at Costco since I don't have an Amex card. Furthermore, at Costco I always use the palm of one hand to cover my other hand while I'm entering my PIN.
But if a person has been using a debit card because he/she does not qualify for a credit card, then maybe my ATM card suggestion would be too restrictive.
03-13-2013 05:13 AM - edited 03-13-2013 05:16 AM
There is also another way that PINs for debit/ATM cards can be stolen. Here is an excerpt from this article
"PINs no obstacles for debit card thieves -- Debit card thieves get around PIN obstacle"
On Thursday, Litan will release a report indicating she believes the PIN information was stolen in bulk, at the same time the account information was stolen.
Stealing PINs sharply ups the ante in the cat-and-mouse games between criminals and banks.
Litan says many merchants incorrectly store PIN information they should be destroying after customers enter the secret code on PIN pads in stores around the country. While the information is often encrypted into something called a PIN block, the keys necessary to decrypt the information are often stored on the same network, she said. That makes stealing the PINs as easy as breaking into an office computer using a password a careless employee has taped to the screen.
"Once the thieves have a cardholder's PIN, they have enough data to create and use counterfeit cards to withdraw cash at ATM machines," Litan said. In her report, she says careless PIN storage by retailers is to blame for the recent spate of ATM fraud, including Citibank's troubles.
“But in defense of (the retailer), it’s just using payment software and probably doesn't even know what's in there,” she said. “The software is storing PINS just because it can. No one is paying attention to this stuff, it's deep in the software.”
Consumers might be surprised to learn that their PIN numbers are stored by merchants they shop at, and can be stolen from merchants by hackers.
While storing PINs is against network rules, many retailers inadvertently store the information, said Mike Urban, who runs Fair Isaac Inc.'s ATM fraud detection program called CardAlert. It ends up accidentally saved in temporary files and other software nooks and crannies.
03-13-2013 05:25 AM
Hey, sorry for your situation. I know how frustrating that is.
I've had this happened to me with Wells Fargo debit card; once every year from 2010 to 2012. They would debit my money the following day but had paperwork
sent over to me that i needed to sign.
However what they did was they used the card at gas stations and ran it as credit, never from an ATM. I dont know how they were able to copy my card since it
never leaves my wallet unless I use it. I stay away from gas pumps and self check out machines at groceries store. I use credit when it comes to those.
Cash is a must when its time to paying bills. If one thing I can recommend, if you ever go on vacation, don't use your debit card.
Use your credit and pay as soon as you get back.
As someone else recommended, I love Chase's security. Despite the fact that I never had any fraudelent activity with them, they catch "suspicious" activity when it doesnt match to places I frequent. I get txt messages as soon as it catches those transactions.
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