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How safe is your debit card?

By Karen Blumenthal
One of the big selling points of debit cards, highlighted in ad campaigns and on bank websites, is that you'll have "zero liability" for losses if your card is lost or stolen—just like credit cards.

Turns out that's only sort of true.

In fact, nearly every debit card comes with restrictions in cases of theft. Some banks limit your coverage if you are slow to report a lost card or potential fraud. Some don't cover fraudulent ATM transactions. Some may require that you show "reasonable care" in protecting your card or PIN number.


Asked by tasches at 5:10 PM on Oct. 1, 2010 in Money & Work

Level 48 (298,202 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • This is why everyone for 10 bucks should have FULL IDENTITY THEFT PROTECTION! It doesn't JUST cover those Debit and CC's it covers everything from SS#'s, Health Insurance #'s, Drivers License #s, Criminal and Character Intenet and All FInancial Information with the #1 PROVIDER IN THE WORLD....KROLL...who offers not only Monitoring but complete Restoration..

    This is the group that took down Enron in Nyc and took down Saddam.

    For 10.00 bucks a month it protects YOU, HUBBY, and a YOUR KIDDOS

    Answer by Happymom2-2 at 9:01 AM on Oct. 2, 2010

  • Mine is safe because I don't even own one.

    Answer by jilligan362 at 5:57 PM on Oct. 1, 2010

  • People shouldn't use their debit cards for online purchases either!

    Answer by youngmm at 6:02 PM on Oct. 1, 2010

  • Except that Visa has a zero liability policy on both credit and DEBIT cards. We've got visa, we're not stupid about our pins, we don't use our debit card on unknown websites.

    We're as safe as anyone else that walks around with plastic.

    Answer by Erica_Smerica at 8:02 PM on Oct. 1, 2010

  • someone stole my husbands debit card number and used it to spend $5000... we got it all back and the bank actually caught it. i once had a $10 on mine that i had not charged and my bank refunded me that as well.... its a wide range that the bank will do... now if this 'charge' keeps hahappening then yes the bank may think you are actually making these charges...

    Answer by pinkdena at 6:18 PM on Oct. 1, 2010

  • i did have an actual credit card that had a charge on it that wasnt me and the cc took over 30 days to come off the bill and alot of fighting with the cc compony to get the money back. i feel its easier with a debit card to get my money back...

    Answer by pinkdena at 6:20 PM on Oct. 1, 2010

  • I hope it's safer than a Wal-mart money card. It said when I purchased one that I would be covered for fraud, but I used it at a local ATM whose bank was later hacked and account numbers were stolen from it. Someone from Nigera charged my card several times, before I caught it and called the number on the card to have it shut off. I explained what happened ( I saw a news story about the hacked bank accounts) to the lady over the phone but she wanted me to talk to the bank in Nigeria (!!!) first and get a police copy of the police report. After getting the run around from the Nigerian bank (no surprise there) I sent them the police report and a detailed explanation of the fraudulent charges. I never heard anything back, so I called back and they said it was under review and that I would get a call from them. I never did (after a MONTH) and called back, but they said my claim was DENIED. Ugh, it was such a pain.

    Answer by mbdc at 8:26 PM on Oct. 1, 2010

  • Under federal law, your losses from unauthorized charges on your credit card are limited to $50, and there is no time limit for when you must report the problem. Many issuers go further, waiving all losses due to unauthorized credit-card use.

    Debit cards, by contrast, are covered under a different law, and the rules are much more complex. If you call your bank within two business days of discovering your card is missing, your losses are limited to $50. But if you wait, you could be on the hook for up to $500. And if you don't report the problem within 60 days after it shows up on a statement, you might face unlimited losses.

    Comment by tasches (original poster) at 5:11 PM on Oct. 1, 2010

  • Link to full article:

    Comment by tasches (original poster) at 5:12 PM on Oct. 1, 2010