Credit vs debit: Who pays if your information is stolen?
5:02 PM, Dec 19, 2013
6:34 PM, Dec 19, 2013
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It is the time of year when we give credit cards a workout. That is all the more reason for credit counselors to tell consumers to keep a close watch on their online accounts.
"This time of year, consumers are using their credit and debit cards more frequently. It's very easy to overlook a transaction on your account," Jana Castanon with Apprisen said.
When it comes to debit cards versus credit cards, who is liable if a crook swipes your identity? Federal laws protect consumers by limiting your liability.
With credit cards, as spelled out on the FTC's website, your liability tops at $50. If you report it stolen before a crook uses it, you are not liable.
The same rule applies with debit cards. If a crook uses your debit card, what you pay depends on when you report it. If it's reported before two business days of it being stolen, a consumer can be liable up to $50. The liability can increase to $500 if it's reported within 60 days.
Of course, each credit card and bank has their own policies. This fall, U.S. Bank unveiled a new mobile app that can alert you of any account activity as often as you want.
"A week or two, a lot of bad things can happen. This keeps you up to date on what's going on in your account," Chuck Johnson of U.S. Bank said.