5 Places Not To Use Your ATM Card (SHARE THIS)
The use of ATM cards, also known as Debit cards is one thing that should not be taking lightly. If thieves or fraudsters get access to your account due to wrong usage of ATM card, you could really lose a lot. With credit cards, users who spot fraudulent charges on their bill can simply decline the charges and not pay the bill. On the other hand, debit cards take money directly from your checking account, rather than from an intermediary such as a credit card company.
Where are some places that are especially risky?
“You don’t use a debit card online,” says Susan Tiffany, director of consumer periodicals for the Credit Union National Association. Since the debit card links directly to a checking account, “you have potential vulnerability there,” she says. Especially on websites that have doubtful security.
Her reasoning: If you have problems with a purchase or the card number gets hijacked, a debit card is “vulnerable because it happens to be linked to an account,” says Linda Foley, founder of the Identity Theft Resource Center. She also includes phone orders in this category.
“To me, it’s dangerous,” says Gary Foreman, editor of the frugality minded website The Dollar Stretcher. “You have so many people around.” So watch the restaurants where you pay.
“Anecdotally, the cases that I’m hearing of credit or debit information being stolen, as often as not, it’s in a restaurant,” he says.
The danger: Restaurants are one of the few places where you have to let cards leave your sight when you use them. But others think that avoiding such situations is not workable.
3. Checkouts or ATMs that look ‘off’
Criminals are getting better with skimmers and planting them in places you’d never suspect — like ATM machines on bank property, says Foley.
So take a good look at the machine or card reader the next time you use an ATM, she advises. Does the machine fit together well or does something look off, different or like it doesn’t quite belong? Says Foley, “Make sure it doesn’t look like it’s been tampered with.”
4. Buy now, take delivery later
Buying now but taking delivery days or weeks from now? A credit card offers dispute rights that a debit card typically does not.
“It may be an outfit you’re familiar with and trust, but something might go wrong,” says Breyault, “and you need protection.”
5. Lonely ATMs
You run the risk of skimmers. While skimmers can be found on bank ATMs, they’re less likely because there are often security cameras in place.