PIN IT

3/17/2011

Bank Robbers Hate Penny Pinchers

How to avoid the pin skimmers and bank robbers.


How to get around the new bank plan to charge you for using a debit card



Organized crime actually will set up cameras to see you manually punch the numbers and steal the information code. Although most banks cover the loss, it is a nightmare to have your account tapped and defrauded.

Today's skimmer is a small piece of plastic that is crazy-glued on the outside of a gas station or retail store credit card slider. The slider should not protrude from the machine. Wiggle it and see if it will come loose. Cover your hand over the hand typing in the security code. Change your codes frequently on line or in the bank.



The next person in your pocket is going to be the banks themselves. I use debit rather than credit cards, as have many Americans in this Third Great Depression. Some Senator and a man named Barney Frank / Dodd decided they should limit what banks may charge vendors for debit transactions. The new law goes into place in weeks. Banks will be charging you for number of debit transactions. The law limits the amount a bank may charge to 12 cents. In the past banks, credit unions and financial institutions charged 44 on average. Since banks are not operating on charity and income is squeezed for them they will pass the charge to you.

If you have a checking account at any big box bank, take a look at your statement very carefully. Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo are no longer free checking. If you overdraft a check, the pain of fees on top of more costs is going to bite. I plan to get rid of the many duplicate accounts, but you have to go into a branch in person and check that no more direct deposit or auto drafts will be forgotten.

Be diligent in your penny pinching. Ask the banker for waiver of fees in the meanwhile.

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