Debit cards are quick and convenient. But convenience could be costing you.
"Your account could be drained in a matter of minutes," Denver Boulder Better Business Bureau representative Megan Herrera said.
Officials from the BBB say there is a difference between using a debit card and a credit card when it comes to being a victim of fraud.
"You can contact a credit-card company in writing within 60 days, and they are, by law, supposed to protect you from any fraud," Herrera said.
But, if you are using a debit card, those laws are not there for you.
"With a debit card, it can be much harder to fight bogus charges," Herrera said.
9NEWS asked the Denver Boulder Better Business Bureau for five worst places to use your debit card. Their list starts at the gas station.
"Criminals attach a device to the card reader, and when you swipe your card, they're instantly able to access your account," Herrera said.
She recommends, if you have to use your debit card at a gas station, pay inside. WiFi hot spots draw people into businesses. But, if you're using your debit card, be wary of hot spots with unsecured networks.
"It means that other people who are online are able to see what you're doing online," Herrera said.
But, it's not all about Wi-Fi hot spots. The BBB discourages using your debit card online period.
"The way that cyber crime is evolving, it has become [easier] for criminals to hack into certain systems," Herrera said.
If you plan on renting anything from a car to a bike, the BBB says think about using a credit card. It may be your best way out of trouble, if something happens to the item you rent.
"If something gets stolen, it's completely not your fault. So if you use your credit card, you have those extra protections," Herrera said.
Thinking about buying a big-ticket item? Credit cards sometimes offer warranty protection and easier return process.
"If you need to take it back or you want your money back for whatever reason, it is easier to get that through your credit card than your debit card," Herrera said.
Finally, the Better Business Bureau says if you signed up for anything that involves a recurring payment, you may regret using your debit card when you try to cancel that service.
"If they're not canceling as they should be, you can file a complaint with your credit-card company, and they will stop those payments, and credit you those that you shouldn't have to pay," she said. It's all about being strategic with your debit card, and the money connected to it because, once it's gone, it is gone."
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