One morning during the holiday break I received a phone call from my main bank, CIBC. It was an automated message and it informed me that they had detected some anomalies with my debit card and I should phone them right away. Given I was quite under the weather at the time, it took me a couple of hours to drag myself out of bed and make the call to a live person. When I did get through to them, they told me that somewhere where I had used my debit card, there was some funny business going on. CIBC doesn’t let you know exactly what they detected nor will they tell where the offending business is. I’m not sure what detection schemes they have in place. If I had to guess, I believe my debit card data was being cloned at some establishment when I used it there. I would also guess that it happened at a place where I swiped the card as opposed to when I used the chip portion of my card. It’s my understanding the chips on the debit cards are much more difficult to do all that crazy “hacker” stuff the kids are doing these days.

Though I was somewhat concerned, there appeared to be no odd transactions with my account and the CIBC rep told me I just had to change my PIN at any CIBC ABM. They gave me a two-hour window to change my PIN and even in my weakened state, it didn’t take me very long to limp to the nearest CIBC ATM. With my PIN changed, I proceeded as normal with my banking. I kept an eye on my account but nothing strange appeared.

This morning, I got the same automated call again. Since I had done this song and dance again, it didn’t take me very long to call up CIBC. I explained to the rep that it would be very difficult for me avoid going to the same places of business because most people are creatures of habit when it comes to shopping. We all go to the same supermarkets, shops, and restaurants time after time. I again asked if they had any info for me about the possible source of fraud. They again told me that I would not be told which business it was nor exactly what the actual problem was. I then made it clear to the rep that since I didn’t know where to stop patronizing with my card, I’d probably be getting another call in a few weeks again. The rep seemed to sympathize with my situation but there wasn’t anything else she could do for me, other than give me another two-hour window to get my PIN changed. So before I stepped into work today, I once again changed my PIN.

I fully expect to have to go through this exercise again in the near future because I have no idea which business is the evil one. I supposed I could start paying things with cash for a while but that defeats the purpose of having a debit card. I like the convenience of not needing to have cash on me all the time. I suppose I should be thankful that no one has drained my bank account but it still sucks having to change your PIN every few weeks. Has anyone else gone through something like this?

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