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If there’s one thing that gets me really riled up, it’s hackers and scammers. I loathe how they take advantage of people, especially the elderly, which was always something I cautioned my dad about when he was alive. And despite my own savviness, I recently got scammed when I was invited to be on a podcast. You can read that story here.

That incident reminded me of another situation, which I think is worth sharing to warn others about. This happened a couple of years ago, but I received an email alert from my bank stating that I had a charge of close to $300 for a cable company in New York. First of all, I don’t charge anything to my ATM/debit card because those purchases are not protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act, which is why I’m always preaching to use a credit card, especially one that earn you miles/points, as long as you can pay it off in full each month.

Secondly, I rarely use cash anymore except for tips and occasionally at the farmer’s market but now, many farmer’s market stalls accept Venmo or credit cards. I also took out a few hundred dollars when the pandemic hit and I’m still making my way through it.

The reason I caught the fraudulent charge so quickly and stopped the perpetrators from doing serious damage is because I get an email any time a charge is made to any of my credit and bank cards. TIP: Always set up notifications on your cards so that you can be alerted as soon as a charge is made.

The good news is that it looks like they only got my ATM card by either guessing the 16-digit code or using an RFID reader when I passed by someone. My bank will send me a new ATM card and not change my bank account numbers, which is a HUGE hassle and even more so during a pandemic.

Moral of the story: Protect your purchases and cards by using a credit card not an ATM card, setting up notifications for purchases and using RFID blocking sleeves, which I did not have on my bank card but I will now. They’re inexpensive and can save you a world of hassle. You can buy them here on Amazon.

UPDATE: Reader Sandra wrote in with a further bit of advice. She says, ‘Many wallets come with RFID protection in them so you wouldn’t need an extra sleeve. I have a wallet for my purse which has this and is also large enough for a passport (sigh). I use the paper sleeves when I only want to have one card with me.” Great tip, Sandra! An RFID blocking wallet makes sense. Check out these options for women and these ones for men. There are a lot of options but this is my wife’s pick and this is mine.

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6 Comments On "My Bank Card Was Hacked - Here's How to Prevent it From Happening to You"
  1. Sandra|

    Many wallets come with RFID protection in them so you wouldn’t need an extra sleeve. I have a wallet for my purse which has this and is also large enough for a passport (sigh). I use the paper sleeves when I only want to have one card with me.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Thanks for the tip! Will include it in today’s newsletter

  2. John Bennett|

    Johnny – Sorry to hear you got hacked. It is very bothersome to have to get a new a card, but at least you were notified quickly by setting up notifications when you use your cards. I do the same plus I’ve been using an RFID wallet to carry my single debit card and multiple credit cards for several years and have never had an problem.
    A quick suggestion if you don’t mind. My wife had one of her credit cards hacked and we were notified very quickly. The bank actually called us and the card was canceled. They said we would get a new card in 7-10 business days. That was a problem because we were going to be away for a few weeks, so instead they offered to send it to via FedEx in 2 days which they did and at not extra cost to us. The point of the story is that if you use your card regularly, politely ask to have your replacement card sent sooner rather than accepting the long delivery time (snail mail) that the bank will likely propose.
    Take care and enjoy your weekend.
    Smooth sailing,

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Great tip! Thank you

  3. Anonymous|

    How do you setup alerts on your bank card? My bank has never gave me that option and I would really like to have it so I’d know as soon as someone hacked me, my friend and I use the same bank and we both have been hacked more then once…if we didn’t check our balance everyday we’d never have known

    1. Johnny Jet|

      I would ask your bank but first sign into your account and look for it under your profile or security. Surprisingly, they don’t make it easy.

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