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There were 619 publicly disclosed data breaches in 2013. (Target, Facebook & Neiman Marcus are commonly recognized companies included in this total). Each breach is unique to what information is targeted and the method used to steal/obtain the information. 

*Examples of targeted information include: magnetic strips linking your debit/credit cards to your bank account, name, address, phone number, email address, etc. 
*Examples of methods used to steal your information: skimmers attached to ATM machines or point of sale devices, malware/software, phishing emails, etc. 
 
Cardholders need to protect themselves. Utilize online banking and/or telephone banking OFTEN; do not wait until a statement is mailed to you. These products allow you to regularly monitor transactions posting to your checking account or your credit card account & promptly address any area(s) of concern. The key to protecting yourself & your money is acting fast!

 A debit card & credit card may look identical but they are NOT the same! The difference is how the transaction(s) are processed and the protection(s) offered to consumers when the card is used. 

  • A debit card is directly linked to your bank account! Typically, authorized transactions debit your checking account within 5 days. 
  • A debit card is ready access to your money. It should be treated with the same precautions as you would your wallet.
  • A credit card has a credit limit allowing you to make purchases up to that amount. You are technically borrowing the money & agree to pay the credit card company for the purchases plus interest for any balance not paid within 30 days. 
  • For debit card fraud, your liability is $50, if you notify the bank within two days of noticing the fraudulent charges. After two days, your liability increases to $500 and up to your entire account balance after 60 days. So, if you report the theft after two days, you can be held responsible for paying for purchases or charges that you did not make. 
  • Credit card companies are held to strict liability laws: the law limits consumer liability for credit card fraud to $50. Credit cards also offer more consumer protection on purchases made. 

    If you have any questions, please contact us at (870) 887-2661 or (870) 379-2293.

    *Sources: www.incharge.org; www.cnbc.com

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