BofA debit & credit card safety

By Denzil & Jennie Verardo
This item appears on page 12 of the August 2019 issue.

In his letter titled “Protecting a Bank Account from Theft” (July ’19, pg. 38), Stanley Mui wrote about precautions he uses when traveling with both debit and credit cards. We use a Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card as well as a Bank of America debit card. Bank of America has a couple of excellent security protections for their cards.

The debit card can be “locked” via an app on your cell phone after use and “unlocked” before you use it again. The locking and unlocking are instantaneous, so there is no waiting period if you see an ATM you want to use. Simply go on the app and unlock your card.

As a security measure for their credit cards, Bank of America has SafePass, which we use for large online purchases such as charging a trip or a flight, though it can be used for anything.

We go online, enter Bank of America’s security features and select SafePass and the card we want to use. SafePass generates a unique credit card number tied to that card, in addition to a unique security code. The card can then be used online for a period of time designated by you, but only with one vendor. You simply use the new credit card number.

If you’re purchasing online from multiple vendors, you can generate as many unique numbers as you want for each vendor.

You can still use the “real” credit card number online, in person or wherever, but this method eliminates fraudulent online use.

These are great security tools! Check with your bank to see if they offer security features such as locking and/or SafePass.

Elk Grove, CA