Identity fraud and data breaches are so commonplace now, we need to be careful with our personal information. Did you know there are especially risky places to use a debit card? And that cash comes out of your account right away. Protect your checking account by using your credit card instead of your debit card in these spots:
We often use our plastic interchangeably. Credit, debit, whatever. But when you're buying online, it's dangerous to use your debit cards because it's so easy for your information to get stolen. Insecure Wi-Fi networks and malware can make it a snap for someone to get your personal information. Or worse, a vendor's database can get hacked, endangering data from thousands of customers. If you're a victim, it's better to have the protection provided by credit card companies instead of having the money disappear from your bank account.
The Gas Pump
Gas stations are also risky places to use a debit card. Skimming devices and pinpoint cameras are fairly easy to install at some pay-at-the-pump kiosks, and even if the thieves can't steal your PIN, they can duplicate your magnetic strip and create a fake card for use in retail scenarios.
It's shocking to imagine your debit card information getting stolen at an ATM machine, but believe it or not, it's one of the most dangerous places of all. The same type of skimming devices found at gas pumps can be installed directly onto an ATM machine's card reader, and even the access doors to ATM vestibules. The crooks simply duplicate the magnetic strip and hit the mall with "your" debit card.
Every time a server leaves your table with your debit card, you're running the risk of fraud. Your card's information can easily be copied and used for online and telephone orders. Even casual places where you order delivery give workers the opportunity to steal your information when they enter it. Again, make it a practice to use credit cards since they offer greater fraud protection.
Be on Guard
Now you know about these risky places to use a debit card, so you can protect yourself by using a credit card instead. Don't give criminals an opportunity to drain your checking account. The consequences could be financially challenging, and you could end up needing credit counseling. Safeguard your debit card!
If you are the victim of debit card fraud and need help making ends meet, a cash advance or other personal loan service from CashMax could help you if you are in a pinch.