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ATM & Debit Card Security
Using your Mercantile Visa Debit Card or ATM Card is one of the safest ways to get cash or make purchases. Just follow these simple safety practices to help protect yourself and your card.
Safeguard Your Card
- Treat your card as carefully as if it were cash.
- Protect it by not exposing the magnetic stripe to other magnetic objects, which can deactivate your card.
- Record your card number and the all necessary phone numbers for reporting its loss or theft, and file the information safely.
- Report a lost or stolen card immediately.
- Sign your card on the signature panel as soon as you receive it.
- Memorize your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Never write it on your card or on anything you carry near it.
- When selecting a PIN, avoid number and/or letter combinations that relate to your personal information (no addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, SSN, etc.)
- Never disclose your PIN to anyone. No one should ever ask for your PIN.
- Never insert your card or enter your personal identification number (PIN) in any terminal that does not look genuine, has been modified, has a suspicious device attached, or is operating in a suspicious manner.
- At a drive-up facility, keep your doors locked and all passenger windows closed. Remove your cash, receipt, and card after every transaction. If you make a withdrawal, pocket your cash immediately.
- Have your card ready when you approach an ATM.
- Seal checks or cash in an envelope. It is also a good idea to endorse checks with the restriction “For Deposit Only.”
- Block others’ view. Always stand between the terminal and any person who is waiting, or cup your hand over the keypad as you enter your PIN.
Point of Purchase Protection
- Use your hand or body to shield your PIN when you are conducting transactions.
- Ensure that you receive your debit card back after every purchase, and don’t forget to remove your card from valet folders at restaurants.
- Always check sales receipts for the correct purchase amount before you sign them.
- Keep copies of your receipts at least until you verify the amount on your bank statement.
- Promptly check your bank and billing statements and verify the amounts of your purchases.
- Do not volunteer any personal information when you use your card, other than by displaying personal ID as requested by merchant.
Help Prevent Fraud
- Closely monitor your bank statements and transactions. If you notice any transactions that seem suspicious, contact your bank right away. Using online banking services and electronic statements can help you monitor your information more quickly and easily
- Don’t share your PIN or account number and never loan anyone your card.
- Never provide your PIN over the phone. Be especially cautious about information you discuss when using cellular phones, particularly in public areas.
- Never give your card or account number over the phone, unless you know you are dealing with a reputable company and you initiated the call.
- Be wary of phone scams and "robo-calls" that tell you your card has been compromised. Find out when debit card calls are real versus a scam.
- Don’t fall prey to “Phishing.” Never respond to an email requesting your card number, PIN, account number, or any other sensitive personal information via the Internet.
- When in doubt, PIN for your purchase. PIN-based transactions may offer some additional protection against certain types of card fraud, so if you are uncertain about a transaction, consider using your PIN rather than your signature for purchase authorization.
- Keep your contact information up to date with your bank and financial institutions so that you can be reached in the event of any questionable transactions. Learn more about Debit Card Purchase Protection – our free service that helps prevent fraudulent transactions.
- For more tips regarding online shopping safety, see Safe Online Shopping in our Online Security section.
For more information on ATM and Debit Card safety, please give us a call, email or stop by any of our locations.
NOTE: Mercantile Bank is providing the above information for educational purposes only and assumes no liability for the use of this information. We do not guarantee that the above recommendations will prevent all fraud.