PULSE's Awareness Month Equips Consumers to Fight Financial Fraud and Identity Theft

June is PULSE ATM & Debit Card Safety Awareness Month

HOUSTON, TX – Jun 15, 2009 — As a follow-up to its ATM and debit card safety tips released earlier this month, today PULSE made available recommendations to combat financial fraud and identity theft.

Even in today's increasingly digital world, where electronic transactions and online banking are commonplace, many individuals continue to utilize paper statements and documents in connection with financial services. Both formats can provide avenues for criminals to take advantage of unknowing consumers.

"Debit and other electronic payments have become a part of our everyday lives, but it is still a good idea for consumers to take precautions with their payment cards, financial statements and other private information," said Steve Sievert, PULSE senior vice president. "By adopting these practices, consumers have a better chance of avoiding financial fraud and identity theft."

Important steps that can help you prevent or minimize fraud losses, and reduce your chances of being a victim of identity theft, include:

  • Monitor your accounts frequently for suspected fraudulent or unauthorized activity.
  • Shred all financial documents and records before disposing of them. Never use your PIN as a password.
  • Destroy unused or expired debit, ATM and credit cards.
  • Remove mail promptly from your mailbox.
  • Match receipts to monthly billing statements.
  • Memorize PINs, passwords and Social Security numbers.
  • Use longer, more complex passwords and PINs, and change them periodically.
  • Sign all debit and credit cards immediately upon receipt.
  • Notify account providers of address changes in advance.
  • Immediately report a lost or stolen card and any unauthorized activity on any account.

PULSE assists financial institutions in protecting debit cardholders by providing safety materials and statement inserts, and by sponsoring the debit awareness site, www.DebitFacts.org. The site features a new video about ATM safety precautions, in recognition of ATM & Debit Card Safety Awareness month, and provides further details about how you can maximize the value of your debit card, keep your finances safe and secure, and manage your money for every stage of life.

For additional information on protecting your debit card and your financial information, visit www.pulsenetwork.com/safety. To follow DebitFacts.org on Twitter, visit www.twitter.com/debitfacts.

About PULSE

PULSE is one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks, currently serving more than 4,500 banks, credit unions and savings institutions across the country. PULSE is owned by Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS). The network links cardholders with more than 289,000 ATMs, as well as POS terminals at retail locations nationwide. The company is also a valued resource for industry research related to electronic payments and is committed to providing its participants with education on evolving products, services and trends in the payments industry. For more information, visit www.pulsenetwork.com.

Contacts

Anne Rhodes
PULSE
832-214-0234
arhodes@pulsenetwork.com
Drew Crowell
GolinHarris
972-314-2581
dcrowell@golinharris.com