Thursday, August 8, 2013

Protect your Debit Card!

Michael Stuart of Sagicor
Lloyd Smith of Victoria Mutual Building Society
Members of CCRP listen intently
Michael Stuart of Sagicor and Joscelyn Campbell of Jamaica National

The Jamaica Bankers Association (JBA) and the PSOJ were kind enough to host Caribbean Community of Retired Persons (CCRP) seniors for an Anti-Fraud Workshop. Lead presenter Lloyd Smith of Victoria Mutual Building Society walked us through some scenarios which showed how vulnerable debit card users are to fraudsters.

Consider, he said, giving your debit card to a supermarket cashier, who then hands it to the bag handler to take to the processing counter. He showed us the tiny device, no bigger than one's thumb which that handler could have in his pocket – one quick swipe would transfer all the information from that card to the device. Then you line up at the counter to enter your PIN; a nicely dressed gentleman in front of you allows you to go ahead of him. Lloyd says that chivalrous gentleman could well be the mastermind, keenly peeking over your shoulder to see your PIN. He then collects the device from the bag handler, goes to his laptop in his vehicle and creates a clone of your debit card. Armed with the PIN he spied over your shoulder, he can now go to town with your bank account!

In another scenario, you hand your card to a cashier behind a heavily tinted glass. Could they have a cloning device? You are asked to enter your PIN on the device on your side of the glass – you figure you cannot be seen and openly enter your PIN as there is no one standing behind you. In fact, the
cashier can see you and that PIN number quite clearly. When I mentioned that I feel embarrassed to be covering the keypad while entering my PIN number, I was told, "You must – so please get over your embarrassment."

Michael Stuart of Sagicor pointed out that one should never share one's PIN as 35 percent of card frauds are perpetrated by relatives or friends and Joscelyn Campbell of Jamaica National assured us that the recently passed Cyber-Crime Act makes it an offence to possess the scanner device – even if
it is unused.

Here are guidelines to remember:

- Do not share your debit card

- Do not divulge your PIN

- Do not let your card out of your sight

- Check your bank balance frequently

- Change your PIN if you suspect that your card has been

- Minimise the amount in the account used with your card

Big thank you JBA!

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