Be sure to change your PIN regularly
On Sunday, December 23rd at about 11:30 or so, my husband and I went shopping and were told as we made our first purchase of the day that our daily limit had been exceeded. Since this was not possible at this point, we went over to the nearest bank machine to check our account and found our account was $1,000 short. We raced home, checked our online banking account to see that someone had made 2 $500 withdrawals earlier in the day. We called the bank and were told that my husband’s card had been flagged by the bank earlier (that week? That day? I have no idea) as his bank information was found on one of those bogus PIN pads (How did they get that info? I don’t know.) They told us to get to our branch on Christmas Eve to get a new card and to change our personal number for our bank cards. They assured us the fraud team would get in touch with us and after my husband answered a few questions, we’d get our money refunded.
Once we got to the bank, they gave us a bit more information, but not much. While I had heard about the phony debit card pads at Park Royal and around downtown, they did mention it may have been at Metrotown as other bank customers had this problem there as well. They cautioned us about using our bank card at sketchy corner stores and using other questionable looking debit card machines. They also suggested using a credit card instead of a debit card for awhile and mentioned to change our PIN for our debit card regularly. They told us that it’s possible that the people collected our information months ago, and since it’s copying the information you’re punching into the pad, it’s not about covering your number while you punch it in. At least if you change your PIN regularly, they won’t have the correct one and can’t access your account.
This is just a heads up and a friendly reminder – don’t use your bank card at sketchy shopping places like Metrotown or Park Royal. And change your PIN.