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Everyone can Protect Themselves Against Fraud

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, January 6, 2016 – As the holiday season comes to a close, many consumers nationwide have felt the pain that comes with compromised debit cards and fraudulent charges. Debit card fraud can occur in many different ways, the most popular including physical theft of the card, a stolen PIN/card number by an observer from behind, identity theft, hacking, and falsifying or duplicating cards. Cardholders are vulnerable because funds for debit card purchases come directly from their checking accounts.

To help protect consumers from fraud, South Atlantic Bank now offers a free text messaging service to its debit cardholders called smsGuardian®. Senior Vice President and Director of Branch and Deposit Operations Tiffany Suggs says the service is a huge step in the right direction. “Banks are constantly working to prevent fraud. smsGuardian provides cardholders with instant information and easier access to their accounts, helping us stop thieves in their tracks,” explains Suggs.

Here’s how it works: the program sends a text to the mobile device registered with the customer’s account any time specific card transactions are made. This list includes: purchasing fuel; making international, phone, online, and out of state transactions; any declined authorizations; purchases of more than $100; and purchasing more than three items in a 24 hour time period. These sorts of transactions have a higher risk of fraud. The text is sent within seconds of the card swipe and the customer needs to respond to the text only if he or she did not make the transaction in question.

South Atlantic Bank provides this service for free to its debit cardholders. 

 “We decided to offer the service for free because it’s in everyone’s best interest to deter fraud before it happens. With smsGuardian, we’ve enlisted our customers in the fight. By carefully monitoring their accounts and using a service such as smsGuardian, consumers can help protect themselves,” says Suggs. 

The bank employs other safeguards for debit cards including a live, real-time monitoring system that watches for suspicious activity. In the event of fraud, South Atlantic Bank requires customers to provide notification of the transactions within two business days. Customers will lose no more than $50 if someone used their card and/or code without their permission. They will not be liable for any charges if the proper steps have been taken to safeguard the card. 

 To enroll, visit your local South Atlantic Bank!