When NOT to use your debit card

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Though using your debit card to pay for things is convenient it’s not always your best option. In some cases using your debit card can be dangerous.

If you’re at an ATM that’s not in a bank, pay attention. They’re not always monitored and you’ll want to make sure it hasn’t been tampered with.

You’ll also want to be careful using your debit card at the pump. Gas stations are targets for thieves who attach skimming devices to pumps to steal credit and debit card information. Or cameras to record your pin as you enter it.

Be careful when using your debit card to pay for hotels and restaurants too. They might authorize a higher dollar amount than your actual bill, since it’s not certain what final amount you’ll be paying. Since you might have fees charged to your room or you might leave a tip. This will tie up money in your account.

If you’re shopping online you’re better off paying with a credit card. Many websites have been compromised and your chances of having your card information are greater. Viruses on your computer can also capture your card information.

“It’s also worth mentioning that debit cards open you up to more liability if it’s stolen and you don’t report it right away. Many credit card companies will give you zero liability meaning you don’t owe anything if the card is stolen,” said Howard Schwartz, Connecticut Better Business Bureau.

You might also want to think twice before linking automated payments, like a gym membership to your debit count. It’s easy to forget about these and if you don’t have enough money in your account you could be hit with overdraft fees.

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