Recently, I had my credit/debit card from my bank "stolen." The thieves somehow got my card number and information and took quite a bit of money from my account. Fortunately, I was able to recover it all.

The whole process was stressful and time consuming. My account was frozen so I could not access my money, I had to get issued a new card which took weeks, and I had to dispute the charges made.

There were two main purchases made using my card. One purchase was made online from all the way across the country! The other was an in-person transaction made at a store downstate from where I live. The bank told me that someone made a fake card using my card's information, and that's how that purchase was made. Is that something that can be done or were they just telling me that for whatever reason?

Now that everything is back to normal, I want to know how to prevent this from happening again. What caused this in the first place? Was it just my carelessness? How can I ensure that this does not happen again?

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  • If the fake card was used for an in-store purchase, then law enforcement could potentially review security tapes to identify the perpetrator. You may have been a victim of card skimming. Be very careful about using ATM's. Only ever use them in secure well maintained and well lit environments. ATM's in out-of-the way places can easily be targeted. – user1751825 Feb 5 '16 at 22:17

What you need to do is learn the tricks of the trade. What likely happened was your card was read by a "Skimmer" and then re-programmed on another card. Many Credit Card Companies make gift cards that look very similar to a real credit card, which makes life easier for a would be thief as finding a legit looking credit card has become much easier.

Your best lines of defense are as follows

  • Learn to look for and spot card skimmers (on ATM's and employees who you hand your card to feeding it through a cash register)
  • Only pay with a security chip enabled card
  • Don't ever leave your credit card unattended (don't give it to a waitress to charge your meal to - ensure they bring the machine to you)
  • Protect your PIN at all costs
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