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10 Times Swiping Your Debit Card Puts Your Money at Risk

Reader's Digest Logo By Marissa Laliberte of Reader's Digest | Slide 1 of 11: Debit might seem great because there’s no chance of spending more than you have or risking steep overdraft fees, but the stakes are also higher when it comes to fraud. That's why debit cards are one of the things you should never, ever keep in your purse. For one thing, debit cards take cash straight from your bank account, while credit cards give you time to look at your charges. 'A credit card is more like a loan,' says Mason Wilder, research specialist at the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. 'You have more time to dispute charges before any actual funds of yours go out.' Plus, the Fair Credit Billing Act only leaves you legally liable to up to $50 on a credit card, and the four major credit card companies all have zero liability, says credit expert John Ulzheimer, president of The Ulzheimer Group. If you are a victim of debit card fraud, though, you could be out up to $500—especially if you swipe at these risky places.

What’s wrong with debit?

Debit might seem great because there’s no chance of spending more than you have or risking steep overdraft fees, but the stakes are also higher when it comes to fraud. That's why debit cards are one of the things you should never, ever keep in your purse.

For one thing, debit cards take cash straight from your bank account, while credit cards give you time to look at your charges. 'A credit card is more like a loan,' says Mason Wilder, research specialist at the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

'You have more time to dispute charges before any actual funds of yours go out.' Plus, the Fair Credit Billing Act only leaves you legally liable to up to $50 on a credit card, and the four major credit card companies all have zero liability, says credit expert John Ulzheimer, president of The Ulzheimer Group. If you are a victim of debit card fraud, though, you could be out up to $500—especially if you swipe at these risky places.

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