Credit and debit card fraud prevalent after holidays

Bankers in the Austin area said they have had to issue more temporary cards than usual this year.

The holidays are prime time for credit and debit card thieves and around the New Year people everywhere start seeing purchases on their cards that they didn't make.

This year one of those people was Dan Beyer.

"You try to figure out how to get this right. You wonder how soon the money's going to be back and whether they got into anything else and if they could get that, could they get your social security or anything else too?" said Beyer.

As the swiping, signing and shipping season comes to a close, the security of shopper's bank accounts is at an increased risk.

"Because of the great increase in volume of the use of debit and credit cards, you're going to see more opportunities for the credit card information there to be compromised during the holidays, especially as compared to your regular retail environment," said Texas Bankers Association Executive Vice President John Heasley.

Whether consumers shop at a store or online, there are steps to take that can protect their bank account. Heasley said when shopping online, it's best to only purchase from known companies.

"Any consumer should actually be a little bit concerned about not just going to any website and purchasing anything," said Heasley.

Don't make it easy for thieves to get Personal Identification Numbers.

"There are actually people who will put their PIN number on their debit card or their ATM card, which is just like giving somebody your wallet," said Heasley.

Keep a close eye on account balances.

"Monitor your credit card usage and just be aware of the transactions that you were making and note those that you're not making," Heasley said.

If any purchases seem out of the ordinary, report it immediately.

"The best thing to do in order to protect yourself, your bank, your credit, your credit rating is to immediately notify your financial institution and they will normally do their best to shut down that card and get you a new one," said Heasley.

Heasley said new card security could change the game in 2015. An anti-fraud microchip will be placed in most credit or debit cards that will log consumer's shopping algorithm.

"So you're going to see in this country an increased use of chip and PIN, which should limit fraud losses and should hopefully protect consumers even more than the current system," said Heasley.

The new cards will be more difficult to counterfeit. Meaning fewer people would have to go through what Beyer went through.

"It took a while. It took a couple months to get everything straightened out and credited back," said Beyer.

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