The Scam

One of the most common scams today is card fraud, the unauthorized use of a credit or debit card to fraudulently obtain money or property.

Fraudsters use multiple tactics to collect this information, including copying your card’s magnetic strip (known as skimming), intercepting your card in the mail, or using a strategy called “formjacking,” where cybercriminals use code to steal credit card details during checkout at an online retail site. And with the pandemic causing online shopping to soar more than 74 percent compared to 2018 it’s even more important for consumers to be aware of how to protect their personal information.

How to Protect Yourself

Card fraud happens every day, but here’s how you can protect yourself from scammers:

1. Review your monthly statements

Carefully reviewing monthly statements may help you spot transactions that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Contact your bank immediately if you notice any unusual activity.

2. Keep your cards in sight

If you have misplaced a card, contact your bank to freeze, replace, or report your debit or credit card lost or stolen.

3. Know when to expect a new card

Keep note of when your cards are about to expire, and when you should receive a new card in the mail.

4. Sign the back of your card

A signature on the back of a card indicates that the card is valid and usable. If you do not sign it and a scammer obtains your card, they could sign it for you.  

5. Memorize your Personal Identification Number (PIN)

Avoid using the same PIN for all of your cards and never write your PIN number down.

6. Shred receipts and other personal documents

Receipts reveal the last several digits of your card and possibly your signature. Shred other documents, like pre-approved credit card offers, before you throw them away.

7. Keep your statements secure

Sign up for eStatements and do your banking online. If you receive account statements in the mail, file them in a safe place and shred them before you throw them away.

8. Only shop on secure websites

Look for a small key or padlock symbol in your browser’s address bar that indicates the site is secure.

9. Beware of fraud calls, texts and emails

Never give your card number through email, text, or over the phone when receiving an unsolicited call. 

10. Sign up for text message alerts

When an unusual transaction appears, FirstBank will send you a text message to notify you and confirm the purchase. Here’s how to sign up

To sign up for debit card alerts, visit and log into online banking. Navigate to Online Banking>Alerts>Security Alerts and turn to ‘On’. 

To sign up for credit card alerts, visit Navigate to Products>Credit Cards>Personal Credit Cards and scroll to the bottom. Complete steps 1-4 under Credit Card Fraud Alerts.

If You’re a Victim

If you have further questions or concerns or think you might be a victim of card fraud, please call FirstBank’s fraud department immediately at 800-964-3444, or call the number on the back of your card.

Fraud comes in many forms. Check out these tips to ensure you are aware of potential threats, and doing the most to protect your information and money.

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