2.5.1 Case study: Card safety

Joseph using his debit card.

Joseph usually used his debit card when he was shopping because it meant he didn't have to carry around much cash. It was much safer, he thought.

One day, Joseph used his debit card to buy groceries at a corner store near his home, and typed in his personal identification number (PIN) as he chatted with the clerk.

"Time to get a new card reader," he said. "This one's so old, it's cracking." The clerk laughed and agreed.

The next month, Joseph was shocked to see that there was no money in his bank account. In fact, there were several purchases he hadn't made, and he was overdrawn by over $700. He called the bank to complain.

"The purchases were all approved by someone using your PIN," the bank's customer service representative said. Joseph had to dispute the charges. The bank's security department said that it looked like someone had tampered with the machine in the store, and used the store's video monitoring tapes to watch Joseph enter his PIN.

The bank agreed to remove the charges from Joseph's account and told him about steps he could take to protect his PIN when using his debit card.

Lessons Joseph learned:

Page details

Date modified: