South Fourth Street | Main | If I had a bucket...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Debit card versus credit card

Catching up on my privacy and security blogging. Ed Mierzwinski of the U.S. PIRG (Federation of State Public Interest Research Groups) has some serious advice on not using bank debit cards:

Stop using debit cards! This has always been my recommendation for Internet use and is now my recommendation for all use. Your federal debit card legal rights are weaker than your credit card rights. Even if the card associations make promises to make you whole, you'll still face the problem of fighting with your bank to get your own money back. Meanwhile, the money drained from your checking account (and perhaps a linked savings account) could make the rest of your financial life miserable until the bank comes through on its promise. [...]

Link: Latest breach at TJ Maxx/Marshalls

Posted by Marie at January 27, 2007 9:01 PM


i'm in the middle of this situation right now. somehow my debit card numbers were stolen and used to make three charges of $108.80 each to a company in new york that sells phone cards for calling india. i had to sign an affidavit to dispute each charge, cancel my debit card (against the bank's recommendation!) and get a new one. national city's customer support was no help at all. they kept telling me to call the company and deal with it myself. that is apparently corporate policy. the only way i got anywhere was to finally get the number for the chargeback department, and they were actually able to get the dispute process going.

Posted by: jason at January 28, 2007 12:46 AM

This is absolutely true. It happened to us. Someone drained our checking account to buy an gift card. Naturally, it came at the worst possible moment because we had checks in the mail and automatic monthly debits coming up. I had to borrow money to replace what was taken. Fortunately, our money was restored but only after Amazon and our bank were satisfied it was a fraudulent charge. Whatever those two did took about two weeks and we were never certain that we would get anything back. We have been trying to wean ourselves off of our debit cards ever since. They are so convenient, though. :(

Posted by: Rob Author Profile Page at January 28, 2007 12:52 AM

Jason, what a nightmare. I wonder why National City recommended against canceling. That is baffling. Good luck.

Rob, I'm glad you got your money back. I wish Amazon would notify the buyer if someone enters a different ship-to address, or uses your account number other than the registered buyer. Of course, that would only work if you used Amazon in the past.

Posted by: Marie at January 28, 2007 1:22 AM

Oh, great. Mrs. Abstract goes to TJ Maxx like twice a week.

Posted by: The Abstract Prosaic at January 28, 2007 1:31 AM

AP, If she has a store credit card, I don't know if it'll do any good, but, she might want to think seriously about canceling it. Good luck.

Posted by: Marie at January 28, 2007 1:39 AM

national city recommended not canceling the card because "it was just a one-time thing." i told them i'd rather make SURE it was a one time thing by getting a new card.

Posted by: jason at January 28, 2007 9:11 AM

Yes, someone's having a party with my debit card right now. I called QVC immediately, after the bank, and was told they'd already identified the charges as fraud.

That hasn't stopped them from billing me anyway--while they "investigate."

It's all over with the debit cards for me.

Posted by: MICHAEL at February 9, 2007 11:22 PM