The title may sound to be a bit intimidating for the people who swipe their debit cards at every other convenience store. The surge of card culture has made it very easy for the user to avoid taking heavy cash everywhere. However, the recent reports indicate to the massive data breaches. Fraud victims are at one end, the regular people who get their cards replaced by their banks also tend to have big problems.
There are times, when the people miss the days when cash was common. However, cash is now extremely impractical for buying everything. But when the debit card breach news is making rounds in the market, people are considering the cash refuge again.
There has to be an awareness about the breach that is caused to the card owners. When you take your cash out, you have to be alert there too. The criminals are a step ahead of all the laws and procedures, they can easily install invisible skimmers at the ATM’s. These skimmers are good enough to take away your card info and the camera that is installed over the keypad takes away your pin. This is all that is needed by the criminals to take a toll on your account and the money residing there.
The best way out can be avoiding ATM’s that are located in the isolated areas. The ATM’s in restricted access foyer shall be used in first place. Also, make sure that you have covered the pin input with your hand in order to hide the important info. Now you are aware of how to carefully and successfully fetch out your cash from the ATM’s. Now let us discuss the places where you can use your card.
1. Gas Stations :
ATM’s are not the only refuge for the criminals. They can install the skimmers wherever they find the opportunity. Gas stations are the best places for the criminals to install such skimmers. It was the last year’s scam when four people were taken into prison for stealing 2.1 million USD with the help of skimmers installed at the gas stations in the South. These skimmers had been installed in the pumps and they were equipped with Bluetooth technology too. This enabled the criminals to fetch the important info wirelessly.
In order to avoid the fallouts, you can prefer to use cash at such places. Else, give preference to a credit card rather than the debit card at the gas station. The charges that are incurred on credit card can be easily contested as compared to the debit cards. You are charged only 50 USD for the purchases that are made fraudulently. This is one of the best advantages of using a credit card over debit cards. The debit cards also have the same rule but it depends on how many days did you take to report the fraudulent purchase.
2. Restaurants :
Restaurants can prove to be a big trouble too. Handheld card skimmers can be installed by the criminals to take out your card info. The low tech thieves can also jot down your card number at such places. The old computer systems used by the restaurants can prove to be a source of theft too. The hackers find it very to install the card swipe software at such places. This technique was used in the target hack recently. You have to pay a hefty price in such cases. In 2011, the Romanian hackers hit the subway and took away 10 million dollars from as many as 150 restaurants.
3. Stores :
Restaurants and gas stations remain to be the easiest targets for the criminals. Same is the case with stores too as they are fed with customers all the time. If you want to purchase something that costs you miniature money, try to use cash for that purpose. For buying clothes and also at the grocery, try using the cash instead of a card. In the worst scenario, try to use a credit card over debit card. Debit cards have more liability than the credit cards and hence they should be preferred in most cases than not.
4. Online Purchase :
In this case, you don’t have the option of using the cash. However, in the online purchases you should prefer to use a credit card than the debit card. There are better fraud protections in the credit cards. There is no overdraft fees and this is one of the best advantages of using a credit card.
The banks also provide the one time credit card numbers that can be used for online shopping. The numbers that are provided by banks work only once each time and it reduced the possibility of your card being hacked and the important info being leaked.
However, there lies one major drawback of using a credit card and that is the interest payments in case you are not able to pay the amount on time. Therefore, apart from having so many advantages, there are a few shortcomings of using a credit card too but it’s not as important as your card’s safety.