Friday, February 27, 2015

Debit Card Information Stolen While Driving To Another State

Feb. 27, 2015

Dear Cathy:

On my drive moving to another state instead of taking cash with me, I used a debit card to purchase gas as I passed through several states.  When I finally reached my destination after 3 days, my bank contacted me to see if I purchased over $2,000 worth of items from Wal-mart, so obviously somewhere along my route, my bank information was stolen.  The bank did put the funds back into my account but what should I do in the future to make sure this doesn’t happen again?  Risky Traveler, Florida

Dear Risky Traveler:

This is a two-edged sword because when you drive or travel around the U.S., it’s always good to use debit or credit cards in case you come up missing and law enforcement officers can track your moves, however, when you drive to other states, your information can be easily stolen especially today in the world of technology.

Traveling is always risky when you use a debit or credit card so having cash especially to pay for food and other emergencies, might help avoid this situation in the future.  Most hotels will probably prefer debit or credit cards so they can bill you after you leave in case of any additional room costs.

Even when you eat inside of restaurants, visit drive-thru eating places, when paying for gas, or making other purchases, your credit card information can be swiped and stolen especially today.  

Most people should have two debit cards or two credit cards and use one specifically for gas, food and other emergencies. This way any would be criminal won’t have access to the bulk of your funds.  It's also a good idea to check your bank account balances at least once a day, even when traveling, in case you have to report any type of fraud to your bank.

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