Debit & Credit Card Safety

Keeping Your Cards Safe

Debit and credit cards are a quick and convenient way to pay for your purchases. During hectic times of the year it is easy to become distracted. Remembering some card safety tips will help keep your accounts safe.

Secure your Cards - Keep your cards in a safe location and pay close attention to your purse and wallet while shopping. For additional safety, carry only the cards you need to make your purchases.

Monitor Account Activity - Closely monitor your account activity and report suspicious transactions. Staying up-to-date is easy with the help of online banking, mobile banking and our telephone banking system.

Shop Trusted Merchants - Shop with merchants you know and trust both online and offline. When shopping at a store, keep an eye on your card (see skimming below) and be sure to collect any receipts. When shopping online, look for the small padlock icon that appears in the bottom right of the Web page. The beginning of the retailer's Internet address will change from "http" to "https" when a purchase is made using a secure connection.

Watch for Skimmers - Card skimmers are electronic devices capable of capturing your account information for purposes of creating a duplicate card. Skimmers are most commonly found on ATMs and gas station pumps but can also be used by a dishonest employee of a store, restaurant or bar to obtain your card information.

Protect your PIN - Beware of "shoulder surfers" who peer over your shoulder while you enter your PIN into an ATM or while making a purchase. Don't use a word or number that is easily guessed or that can be found in your wallet (e.g. birthday). Memorize your PIN and don’t share it with anyone.

woman holding tv remote in one hand and a debit card in the other

Safeguard Your Debit Card with Card Controls and Alerts

Card Controls allow you to safeguard your Mechanics Bank debit card against unauthorized transactions and purchases. You can conveniently manage how and where your card is used through online banking and our mobile banking app. With Card Controls you can set transaction limits, establish merchant or transaction restrictions, and even turn your card on or off.

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Card Skimming

Skimming is a method used by fraudsters to steal or “skim” your personal information off your debit, ATM or credit card during a transaction. Once the card information is captured it is encoded onto a fake card and used to withdraw money from your account or to make purchases.

A small device is usually placed close to or on top of the regular card reader, such as at the ATM or gas pump. In addition, small cameras may be installed to capture the PIN number as you enter it. These are both very well hidden and often blend in with the machine they are placed on. Once installed the fraudster simply waits for an unsuspecting person to use the machine and gathers their personal information.

Helpful tips to spotting a skimmer:


instructions on the display screen or a blank screen.

The flashing area 

of the card entry slot on an ATM is not visible.


of an overlay on the keypad, possibly making it difficult to type.

Signs, especially

those posted over the card reader, saying directions have changed or to use a specific machine.

An unusual appearance 

to the front of the machine, mirrors, differences in look from nearby machines or extra piece.

Appearance of an attachment

to the card slot. Pull on it. If it comes off or loosens, do not use the ATM and report it immediately.

Protect yourself:


yourself on how to spot a skimming device.

Review your account

transactions frequently to look for any suspicious charges

Set up balance,

transaction and debit card alerts in Personal Online Banking.

Choose the credit option

instead of the debit option when making purchases, so you do not have to use your PIN.

Where possible,

use ATMs you are most familiar with. Choose well-lit, well-placed ATMs where you feel comfortable.

When you enter your PIN number,

cup your hands over the keypad to help block the view of any cameras or individuals.