Identity Theft

Debit Cards Offer Fewer Fraud Protections for Consumers

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Debit card protections simply aren’t as hefty as those for credit cards, according to a report from Reuters. Even though many banks promise that their debit accounts receive the same zero liability protections as their credit cards, that may not be legally true.

Credit cards are better protected from fraud for a number of reasons, including the average cost of a crime and the time it takes to detect an incident has taken place, the report said. For example, the average debit card fraud incident in 2009 cost a victim $3,677, took 35 days to detect and 24 hours to clear up. But in the case of credit card fraud, it was far easier to resolve, usually taking less than 20 hours.

“We are very clear on that matter. We do not recommend that people use debit cards,” Beth Givens, director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, said. “We think they can be dangerous.”

However, while debit cards have become the most popular form of noncash payment during the last few years, consumers have also leaned more heavily on cash to make purchases. Some have even turned to prepaid cards.

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