Guard your card and PIN over the holidays

The New Zealand Bankers’ Association is urging people to beware of card fraud over the holidays.

“It’s that time of the year when people are getting into the festive spirit, doing their Christmas shopping and anticipating the New Year sales. At this busy time it pays to keep your guard up when using your bank and credit cards,” says New Zealand Bankers’ Association chief executive Kirk Hope.

“Fraudsters love the festive season and will look for every opportunity to take advantage of busy shoppers and people having a few drinks out with friends and family.”

So whether you’re using an EFTPOS terminal to buy gifts, getting cash from an ATM, or buying a round at your local pub, here are some tips on how you to keep your card safe:

  • Guard your card. Treat it like cash. Don’t leave it lying around. Make sure you know where your card is at all times.
  • Protect your PIN. Never tell anyone your PINs or passwords – not even the police, bank staff, friends or family.
  • Cover up. When entering your PIN number at ATMs and EFTPOS terminals, shield the PIN pad with your other hand. Criminals may ‘skim’ your card details by attaching a device to the card reader, and then ‘shoulder surf’ or use hidden cameras to record your PIN.
  • Check your statements. Advise your bank immediately of any unauthorised transactions.

“Banks work hard to protect their customers from financial crime. But it requires a joint effort. By protecting your card and PIN, you’re helping protect yourself and your money.

“Your bank will reimburse any losses if you’re the genuine victim of fraud. That promise doesn’t override your responsibility to protect access to your accounts. If, for example, you give your PIN number away, you won’t be covered,” cautions Hope.