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Timely advice from ATB

Timely advice from ATB

Posted on: July 15, 2015
Author: Staff

Change your PIN.
We repeat: change your PIN!
And while you’re at it, do a good thing and tell a friend or family member to change their PINs, too.
In review: change your PIN.

If you get nothing else from the words below, or if you’re too busy to dig in and understand how criminals try to steal your PIN, we’re happy if you, yes, simply take our advice, change your PIN, and then get back to your life. Whether you bank with us or not, that’s just good practice.

So, why the change-your-PIN advice?

We are detecting an increase in skimming attempts out there lately, and we want to protect you from the hassle of getting targeted.

Skimming works like this: fraudsters modify debit card machines with a homemade device that tries to read your account number and PIN. That information gets made into bogus cards that are used to withdraw real money from banks in countries (not Canada) where you don’t need extra-protective technology to get the cash.

Of course, if ATB customers lose money this way, ATB replaces that money.

So, you ask, why should you change your PIN if you don’t really lose your money? Fair question.

Here’s the answer: honestly, you’re busy. And, so, the process of having your card cancelled and having to replace it…, well, you’ve got other things to do.

It can be a bit of a hassle to get one of those phone calls or notices from your bank saying your card may have been compromised and, as a result, has been cancelled and will be replaced. You ask why? We say it’s because your card was used at a location tied to suspected fraudulent activity. You say, where? We say we don’t release that information because that business is a victim of crime, too. You say, but no money has been taken out of my account illegally, so why did you cancel my card? You’re told that criminals sit on that information for a long time before using it, and if you haven’t changed your PIN, they can still get your money months from now, etc.

And that can all happen even if your money hasn’t been stolen. If your money is temporarily stolen, it means more of your time.

So, avoid that hassle and change your PIN. Change it often, say, every month. It’s important to know that changing your PIN doesn’t mean there’s a weakness in the technology in your card. It just makes it harder for those who fiddle with debit machines to get away with it.

And while you’re motivated to help us thwart the fraudsters, let us sneak in some more good advice:

  • Don’t make your PIN your birthday or your dog’s name or your home address or the easy-to-remember 1-2-3-4.
  • Cover the keypad when punching in your number.
  • Don’t give your PIN or card number to anyone.
  • Don’t write your PIN on your card.
  • When you’re using a debit machine, don’t let it out of your sight.
  • If you think a debit machine has been altered (with an overlay or another piece of machinery added to it), call police.
  • Put the reminder to change your PIN into a monthly daytimer message to yourself.

You can change your PIN at any ATB automated banking machine or branch. It takes less than a minute.

You’re thinking hassle? Maybe. But not compared to the alternative.

If you have any questions, please give our ATB Client Care a call at 1-800-332-8383.

Psssst, change your PIN!

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