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Only Use Your ATM PIN at the ATM or You’ll Pay the Price

Red Bank, Sept. 1, 2008 /The FraudBlog Newsletter/ - Every time I speak publicly, or when I tell people what I do for a living, I get asked this question: "When I use my debit card for a purchase should I run it as credit or debit?"

My answer has always been to use your credit card or your debit card, as a credit card, but save your pin for ATM transactions only. For us in the business we generally understand our rights and level of protection, but I would imagine few of us really understand the actual legal rights and limits for each payment type.

If fraudsters strike, you often have stronger protection with credit cards than with debit cards. With credit cards, under federal law, you're liable for no more than $50 if fraud occurs, though most issuers don't hold you liable for even that much. With debit cards, your maximum exposure is $50 if you report it within 48 hours. Report it after two days, and you could be liable for up to $500. Take longer than 60 days, and you could be responsible for the entire dollar amount of fraud.


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