Thanks to the introduction of Chip and PIN your debit and credit cards are “much less likely to be used fraudulently in the UK” according to Apacs, the UK payments association.
However, in order for Chip and PIN to be successful, we all need to continue to look after our PINs to keep them out of the hands of fraudsters because they are the key to your money if your cards are stolen.
As it is so important to your day-to-day finances, here are some tips on how to keep your PIN safe.
Keeping your PIN secret
• When you receive your PIN through the post memorise it and destroy the notification as soon as you can. If the automatically-generated PIN sent to you is hard to remember, change it to something you can remember more easily. You can do this at a cash machine.
• Never tell ANYONE your PIN, even bank staff. Nobody should know your PIN but you. If you receive an email or telephone call which asks you to confirm your debit or credit card PIN number, DO NOT give it as it is information that you will never be asked for.
• Don’t keep your PIN saved as a number in your mobile phone.
• Don’t write your PIN down anywhere.
• Whenever you enter your PIN use your other hand or even your body to hide the number entry from any hidden cameras or fraudsters’ prying eyes.
• If you suspect that someone has seen or learnt your PIN, change it as soon as possible. You can do this at a cash machine.
Protecting your PIN when shopping
• NEVER let your debit or credit card out of your sight when you are making a payment. Some fraudsters will try to ‘skim’ your card in a machine hidden out of view that will record your card details before it is put in the real card machine.
• Shield your PIN using your spare hand or body to keep it hidden from prying eyes or hidden cameras.
Protecting your PIN at the cash machine
• While at the cash machine, be aware of who is around you. If there is someone near you behaving in a suspicious way or just generally making you feel uncomfortable, cancel the transaction, take your debit or credit card and leave the machine.
• Look out for signs that the cash machine you are using has been tampered with. If you suspect that it has been messed with, DON’T use it and report the issue to the corresponding bank immediately.
• Never accept help from strangers when at a cash machine.
• Don’t allow anyone to distract you while at the cash point.