If you’re anything like me, the thought of not using your trusty debit card when you’re out running errands or at a restaurant fills you with a little pang of dread.
See, I usually don’t like carrying more than $40 cash in my wallet, and I’ve always viewed credit cards as an easy way to get myself into debt.
Well, it seems like we just need to get over it. According to a new article for USA Today, tech wiz Kim Komando says we should avoid using our debit cards at gas stations, restaurants, stores, and online.
“ATMs aren't the only places criminals can install card skimmers. Gas stations are a favorite target for thieves. Last year, four men were arrested for allegedly stealing $2.1 million using skimmers at gas stations in the south. The skimmers were installed in the pumps and were even equipped with Bluetooth — which allowed the thieves to come by and extract the collected numbers and PINs wirelessly!”
Remember that Target fiasco last year when hackers got into their data systems and stole up to 40 million customer’s card numbers around the holidays? This sort of thing happens more than we think. In 2011, both Michael’s customers and Subway restaurant patrons were victims of fraud. In most of these cases, swindlers get away with millions of dollars.
Komando suggests some things you can begin to practice to ensure security:
1. Keep your hand over the keypad when typing in your code at ATMs and stores. Sometimes thieves install cameras there that capture your PIN.
2. When making small purchases, use cash.
3. Apply for a credit card! Using debit cards does nothing to build your credit for one, and if you’re a victim of fraud—you’re out of your own money until the bank can reimburse you.
Want more info? Check out USA TODAY.
Are you a fan of swiping your debit card most of the time? Or are you into using credit cards and cash too?