What is the exact concern when you pay with a card at a restaurant where the card leaves your sight? I pay with my debit card sometimes. Should I stop doing this?

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Posted by Lauren R. (MONEY FORUMS: 4, Answers: 1)
Asked on February 15, 2016 2:33 pm
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Hopefully, with chip cards, skimmers won’t be able to replicate the credit card for use. However, I would still feel more comfortable handing over a credit card versus a debit card. Credit cards are much easier to manage if the information is compromised. You are only responsible for $50 of fraudulent charges, if that….EVER. The debit card can be harder to deal with. Banks may require more proof the charges weren’t yours, they don’t have to return all of the money (depends on when you report the fraudulent use, as Hannah was mentioning), and it can take some time to sort it all out (and you will have no way to pay for things in the mean time, unless you have a credit card.)

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Posted by Beth Tallman (MONEY FORUMS: 1, Answers: 61)
Answered: February 16, 2016 5:01 pm
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The very exact concern is that a waiter/waitress/cash register operator might engage in a form of identity theft known as “account skimming.” In account skimming, a non-authorized user steals account information electronically, and then uses your account later.

If the non-authorized user manages to get your PIN number, then you could be on the hook for up to $50 in fraudulent liabilities if you report within 48 hours, or up to $500 if you report within 3 months (need to check my facts on the second one, but it’s a longer time frame).

Most of the time, it’s impossible for account skimmers to also get your PIN, so you don’t really have to worry as you’ll not be held liable for those charges. Still, identity theft is a PITA to clean up and a tiny bit harder with debit than credit.

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Posted by Hannah Rounds (MONEY FORUMS: 1, Answers: 54)
Answered: February 16, 2016 8:17 am
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Do you have a credit card? Personally I would probably use the credit card instead of a debit card… The debit card will be processed as ‘credit’, but I believe the process of solving ‘fraud’ cases is easier and less hassle when it is involving credit card companies than when it is a debit card through a bank. That way, if someone working at the restaurant is dishonest and tries to take your info, you may catch it (or solve it) sooner.

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Posted by Julie (MONEY FORUMS: 4, Answers: 2)
Answered: February 15, 2016 7:20 pm