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How to Be Financially Safe in 2019

Don’t Use Debit Business or Personal Debit Cards for Purchases

“A debit card is certainly and truly the worst financial tool ever given to the American consumer.” – Frank Abagnale, Jr.

Every year, nearly 7% of the US population are victims of scams and fraud. In 2017 the number of fraud victims reached 16.7 million, with 16.8 billion lost.

If you ever watched the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie “Catch Me if You Can”, you might remember the name “Frank Abagnale, Jr.” who was portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio.

Frank Abagnale is a former professional impostor and the author of the best-selling memoir, “Catch Me If You Can.” He is one of the world’s most respected authorities on the subjects of fraud, forgery and cyber security. Trusted by the FBI for more than four decades, Frank also lectures at the FBI’s Academy and field offices.

In a recent article of CNBC Frank advised against the use of debit cards. He stated:

“Want to avoid identity theft? Never, ever use a debit card. I don’t own one. I never have and I never will. I don’t recommend them to anyone — not my family, not my friends, not you.

“As I said at the Google talk, a debit card is certainly and truly the worst financial tool ever given to the American consumer. Why? It’s simple: Every time you use one, you put your money and your bank account at risk.

“Instead, use a credit card. I use one for practically all of my purchases, even when I’m traveling abroad. With credit cards, federal law limits my liability if there’s an unauthorized use of my card.

“When I use a credit card, I’m spending the credit card company’s money every day until I pay my bill at the end of the month. Meanwhile, my money is earning interest in a bank account.”

“If there’s a large data breach (and you know that there will be) and a criminal does somehow get my credit card number and charges $1 million on it, I’m protected and my credit card company will cancel the card and send a new one within the next couple of days.

“I won’t be responsible for any purchases made. If the same thing happens and the criminals get my debit card information, however, I could lose the money in my bank account and have a difficult and lengthy time recovering it.

“Also, keep your check-writing to a minimum and be vigilant about examining your bank statements frequently.”


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