6 Places You Should Never Use Debit Cards

6 Places You Should Never Use Debit Cards

6 Places You Should Never Use Debit Cards

Cards (MP) Thieves can’t wait for you to use your credit and debit cards at certain locations. A number of them are even drooling at the mouth waiting for you to make a mistake. While credit and debit make our purchases easier; personal information inside the wrong hands can be a living nightmare. Particularly for people who use plastic. But, why?

Debit cards may seem identical to credit cards, but there’s a big difference: Credit card users who spot fraudulent charges on their bill can decline the charges and not pay the bill. But with, debit funds are drawn directly from your checking account instead of from a credit card company. And this can cause significant hardship but more on this later. The fact is you will save yourself a big future headache if you don’t use your plastic at certain places.

Don’t Get Caught in a debit cards Web

Although using debit or credit cards really is a convenient way to buy products online,  unfortunately, the Web is full of online traps.  Be certain the online retailer you’re purchasing from has a safe and secure website. Before you enter your credit or bank card information, look for the green locked icon before the https at the beginning of a URL meaning it’s a secure site. An HTTP at the beginning of a URL isn’t a good place to put your credit or debit card info.

1. Is it safe to use credit cards on Amazon

Sites, like Amazon, won’t show you a locked icon until you log-in into your account or begin the check-out process. This means that while your shopping anyone can see what products you’re looking at. But, again once you’re checking out of your shopping cart no one will be able to steal your credit card information.

2. Skimming ATM’s and Gas Terminals

Be suspicious of the ATM and gas station skimming terminals when you are out and about shopping. Nowadays, skimming devices are small enough to fit inside pockets or even hidden within debit card slots in payment terminals. Skimming is the practice of capturing a bank customer’s card information by running it through a machine that reads the card’s magnetic strip. This type of machine is usually placed over the real card slots at ATMs or gas pump terminals.

And it’s most likely an ATM or gas pump that is furthest away from an attendant that gets compromised. This means you may hand over your personal banking information when swiping a card at the pump or ATM. So go inside to pay.

6 Places You Should Never Use Debit Cards
Small skimming device

3. Cellphone Charging Areas

As consumers spend more time on their smartphones, charging your phone becomes more of an essential than a preference. While it seems like a no-brainer to swipe your card to charge your phone when the battery is almost dead, the convenience could cost you. These devices can also dump the information from your smartphone to other devices while charging. This attack method is sometimes known as “juice jacking.”

4. Outdoor Pay Terminals

Another place that consumers ought to be wary of using their debit cards is at outdoor pay terminals including – drive through locations at fast food restaurants. Being outdoors means it’s another prime place for a skimmer device to be hidden. Skimmers have also been found on the door readers that require users to scan their card before entering an ATM lobby.

5. Mobile Vendors

It’s tempting to use credit or debit cards to pay for a T-shirt at a concert or a vendor at temporary open air markets, swap meets or craft fairs, thanks to the miracle of mobile Internet connections. But these outlets supply an excellent venue for the grafting of credit card information. Your left trusting a vendor that doesn’t have an actual retail location and bam a week after you find out your information has been compromised. If you’ve ever done this. Do not do it again!

6. Restaurants

Any place where your debit card leaves your “hand” can increase the possibility of fraud. The waiter shows up at your table, takes your card and disappears for some time, so he or she has privacy, providing them with the opportunity to copy your card information. Even restaurants without sit-down service can present a threat. Using your plastic to order delivery can be risky too because cashiers tend to keep customer payment information on file.

What to use instead?

Reloadable pre-paid plastic and cash are two good options since they are not linked to any personal financial information. In addition, you must know cash is still King.

What can you do?

Many banks offer online balance alerts that email or send an SMS message to your smartphone once your balance drops below a set amount you decide. I would strongly advise you to set up a balance alert and don’t set it too low.

What happens if you’re compromised?

Your protection under federal law is lousy with a debit card, compared with the protection offered by credit cards. With a credit card, your liability in case of fraud or errors is limited to $50 if you notify the card issuer within 60 days after the statement listing the transaction is mailed. With a debit card, the $50 liability limit expires two days after the fraud. After that, your liability goes up to $500. But wait, nowadays many banks will reimburse you if a fraud occurs on your card and it can be proven the expenditure wasn’t you granted by you. If your bank doesn’t reimburse you for fraud committed on your debit card, maybe it’s time to find another bank.

Don Briscoe
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Don Briscoe

Finance educator, advisor, and leading voice in the global financial literacy movement.Founder and editor of MoneyPacers.com.He lives and enjoys life with his family in New York.
Don Briscoe
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