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5 Risky Places to Swipe

By on May 14, 2012

Even though credit and debit card fraud remains at an all-time high, being cautious with your personal account data never hurts. The next time you are inclined to pull out your debit card to pay in any of these five locations, you may want to think twice and use your credit card instead.

No. 1 Place to Avoid: Outdoor ATMs

ATMs are among one of the most dangerous places to swipe your debit card, specifically outdoor kiosks provide an opportunity for thieves to skim users’ data, grabbing it out of thin air, even in broad daylight. None of us wants that! Skimming machines are frequently placed over the actual card slots at ATMs or other outdoor card reading terminals like vending machines or parking lot payment kiosks.

No. 2 Place to Avoid:  Gas Station Pumps

Gas station pumps share many of the features card criminals love when exploiting outdoor ATM locations. Commonly thieves have been known to employ video cameras at gas pumps to capture footage of unsuspecting card users typing in their PINs, saving it for later and going on a spending spree. Don’t let it happen to you.

No. 3 Place to Avoid: Street Vendors

Debit cards are an undeniably convenient way to purchase products when you are out and about at a street fair, a carnival, or a summer festival. But saadly, it is also one of the most dangerous places to use your debit card because street vendors can create duplicates of your card number and depending on the type of card reader, your single transaction can be turned into a dozen.

No. 4 Place to Avoid: Restaurants

It’s way too common for waiters to regularly take customers’ debit cards to run them behind closed doors or out of the line of sight. However, some unscrupulous waiters will keep debit card numbers and expiration dates with the intention of using them later on. If you must use debit at an eatery, get the name, mark the date/time of the transaction.

No. 5 Place to Avoid: The Web

Using the debit card online is still a risk, even with “trusted websites” but when you put your debit card online, it is almost as if you are putting it on display for someone to steal. Your data isn’t as secure as you may think in cyberspace. Get confirmation numbers for every purchase. Consider designating a card for only online transactions.

In most cases, the credit card company forgives the charges and writes off the theft as a loss. Debit card users are not always as successful when it comes to disputing identity theft and fraud on their accounts.



One Comment

  1. Leslie

    August 4, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Although many uses of the debit card would be hard to stop but at least this article makes you more aware of the risk of the places mentioned above. Thanks for sharing!

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