A new report finds that almost half of Americans fell victim to a credit breach over the past year.
Most of them had their credit card numbers exposed at Target, Michaels Stores, eBay or other retailers that were hacked.
But if you think a debit card would be a safer option after all this, think again.
While debit cards don't hit you with high fees, they are much riskier than credit cards because they provide a door into your bank account.
The personal finance website Bankrate.com says thieves are installing card skimmers in more and more places, and if they skim your number, they get your money, immediately.
So Bankrate says don't use a debit card at:
- Free standing ATM's, that are not part of a bank: there's too much risk of a skimmer installed on it.
- Gas pumps, which are also easy targets for thieves with skimmers.
- Restaurants where the server takes your card from you.
- Online shopping, where you can't be sure who may have access to your card.
Doesn't that Stink
And from the "doesn't that stink" file, what can happen if your debit card is breached.
Thieves will take the money right out from your account.
You then have to wait for a fraud investigation to be completed to get your money back, which can take months.
Consumer Reports magazine recommends tying a debit card to a smaller checking account, not the main bank account you use for your mortgage, rent, or car payment.
That way you don't risk bouncing any important payments, and you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.
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