Get scissors, destory debit cards!

Yesterday I was hoping to hear back from a job, instead I got a horrific message from one of my credit cards.  They were calling about possible fraudulent activity to the tune of nine thousand eight hundred eighty nine dollars.  Yes, you read that right. $9,889!!!!

Luckily, this was a credit card, not a debit card so I am not liable.  I believe that legally I could have to pay $50.  My first breathe of release was followed by the strong impetus to tell all my friends, and blog readers, to get rid of their debit cards.  Or, at very minimum, read really carefully and find out what protections you do or do not have on those cards.

To make the whole thing just a little scarier–because, yes, I do know that this happens to hundreds of people everyday– this card is pretty new, has not been lost, and has only been used twice. It had never used on the internet to buy things-although I did have an online account where I submitted payment for each of the prior each purchase.

Still, despite the fact that I am not liable for the fees incurred, I lost much of my morning. I had to call all my other credit cards and put fraud alerts on them.  I also had to change the log in and security protocol on my bank account because I do online banking and if my info had been stolen from my computer that could have been compromised.

Moral of story: get scissors, destroy debit cards. Get credit cards, protect yourself.



  1. yowzers, that is scary!!! i think my debit card is okay though and anyway, it doesn’t work if there is no money in the account and there generally isn’t much in there, haha.

  2. This has happened to me, luckily it wasn’t as much as you had happen to you! I’m really sorry. Luckily, I wasn’t held liable for a penny of it, and it was a debit/credit card, but I had to wait months for the investigation to complete.

  3. The two running theories are this:
    1- The waiter at the restaurant copied down my number when I paid for drinks for Seba, my best friends in the US, and I in August and used the numbers.
    2- That my computer has some sort of spyware that copies keystroke and they got the info when I was setting up my account online to pay off.

    The only times I ever used the card was paying for my plane ticket home in July and then in August in that restorant in Milwaukee.

    As for the debit issue– some cards do not hold you liable if it is proven that it is fraud. That said, there is no government requirement for that and so not all debit cards do. And, they can change those rules at any time. Just seems a little scetchy to me.

    The other thing that was odd, and the reason my card was flagged, was that the person charged over twice my credit limit. This is my backup card so the limit was only $4,000. Otherwise, the person stopped before $10,000 where it would have been flagged automatically.

  4. Wow! That is scary and thanks for bringing it up. I hope everything gets resolved!

    I have heard about waiters copying down credit/debit card numbers. My dad told me that when paying with a debit card you should never let it out of your sight, so at restaurants where they take the check away you should pay with a credit card.

  5. I have a friend who said that stores are dangerous too, because people take pictures with their cell phones! And obviously online is problematic as well. This is why I stand by my original statement. Get rid of your debit cards!

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