Are debit cards so dangerous they're not worth using?

Many Slashdotters think so, for reasons that are self-evident.

What is the Dope’s thoughts on this?

In my personal experience, I’ve never known a bank to require me (or any of my relatives) to be liable for more than the first $50 charged to a stolen debit card. I don’t worry about it at all. I reckon we’ve had a card lost or stolen probably half a dozen times, among the six of us.

I didn’t read the whole thing, cause I assume it’s BS.

Every debit card I have had came with a little thing that explained it has exactly the same security measures of a real credit card. If I suspect it was stolen, or someone got my number, i call the phone number, tell them, and if they deem it’s true (using the same criteria a credit card company uses to determine if there are fraudulent charges,) the money is refunded,

My ex had had her card stolen twice. The first time, the thieves used it for gas a few times before the card was frozen by the bank (she’d lived in Florida all her life and now suddenly there were charges in Louisiana, so the account was frozen) and she eventually got all her money back. The second time we called it in and had the card canceled before any of the money could be used.

If I ever get an amount of money on my card that’s worth seriously worrying about, I’ll just put it in a savings account that’s tied to my checking account so I’ll be able to spend it but not before moving it over. Presto. It’s what my ex eventually wound up doing and it worked for her.

I can speak from personal experience - my debit card number somehow was stolen (likely a dumpster-diver who got an cab receipt, which is the only paperwork I can think of that would have the whole number on it).

They used it at various local businesses over the course of several months to rack up over $1000 in fraudulent charges. I know, you’re thinking “how does someone not notice $1000?” - no, I’m not rich. All I can say is that our 2nd daughter had just been born, and we were a bit frazzled.

Anyway, after 2-3 months of charging $10 here and $20 there, the thief(s) got bold and charged $100 or so at a couple different locations, which overdrew me and of course, got my notice. I called my credit union, and they worked with Visa to charge back every fraudulent charge. It was a pain in the ass and a lot of paperwork, but the whole process only took about 14 days. Lesson learned, and my credit union even reversed the overdraft fees.

And you can bet that I scour my statement now for every charge.

My debit card number was stolen from a restaurant I’d eaten at. The thieves went to various ATMs and withdrew $1200 of my money. The credit union fraud department knew about it before I did and called me in a panic (seriously, they sounded very worried on the phone). I got all my money returned to me.

I’m not worried.

I’ve got a visa debit card that somehow people keep stealing (I think it is because I use it at gas pumps, I’m not sure).

But I’ve had fraud about 4x in the last 18 months. Each time the bank caught the fraud charges, alerted me and refunded my money if they weren’t able to stop the fraud before it was finalized. That or the companies who had fraudulent charges made to them refunded the money instead.

I’m pretty happy with my fraud services. I just wish I knew why/how people keep stealing my info. I had a card for 5 years and no problems, then all of a sudden my info keeps getting stolen.

But, isn’t there a chip that locks the card after 3 wrong PIN codes ?

Simple, just introduce chip and PIN cards.

Whut ? Is that a whoosh ? What you call debit cards don’t have those ?

If US debit cards do have chip and pin then, surely they can’t be used in an ATM if they are stolen. That’s the situation in the UK and the rest of Europe.

Wow… So, if in the US, you “stumble” upon someone’s wallet and there’s a debit card, you can empty her/his account without any hack ?

I might add that in the UK most face-to face purchases in shops and restaurants would require you to enter the PIN to complete the transaction.

This does not apply to on-line transactions which just require the card number, the security code and the expiry date. That’s when a stolen card could be used successful.

If you do not have chip and PIN, do you at least have PIN?

Most debit cards can be run through as credit cards, which doesn’t require using the pin at all, just a signature.

Aah, ok then.

I’ve never owned a credit card in my life (in fact until a few years I didn’t even know it even existed - spending the money you don’t have :dubious: ?), so…

Since Chip and Pin was introduced in the UK signatures are not used at all. There was a period at the beginning where you could still sign for things but I believe it is now impossible to confirm a card with a signature now.

There are a few retail outlets that still will accept a signature, but now they have to accept any liabilty if it turns out that the card is stolen or cloned.

Also people with certain disabilities can request a chip and signature card.

Canada, too.

Same here. I’ve been using my debit card for 12 years and in that time, my number has been stolen once. It was an annoying week while I waited for a new card, but every dollar was refunded me and the bank even calculated the lost interest and credited my account with that, too.