Keep Track of Your Debit Card

March 1, 2009

Plastic money is accepted everywhere these days. Many merchants even prefer it to checks. That’s why your new debit Visa or MasterCard is such a convenience. The merchant runs it through like a credit card, but the funds come out of your bank account like a check.

And therein lays the danger. If someone else gets hold of your card, they don’t need your PIN to use it. They can charge things simply by forging your signature. Before you even know it, the money has disappeared from your checking account. Unlike a disputed credit card bill that you can simply refuse to pay, the money stays gone from your account until you straighten things out with the bank.

Another danger is that you may accidentally use the wrong card. Instead of charging that $1,200 washer and dryer to your Visa, you may unwittingly be authorizing the $1,200 to come right out of your checking account which may in turn cause you to overdraw your checking account and paying the bank additional fees.

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