Browse releases

By date

September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006

Media Resources


Release Date: 03/12/2012

ShopSmart’s Five Debit Card Don’ts

Five Ways to Protect Yourself Against Dangers

YONKERS, NY — Using a debit card may seem like the best choice when you don’t want to use cash or a credit card to make a purchase.   However, the latest issue of ShopSmart identifies five scenarios that can put consumers at risk when using their debit cards. The April 2012 issue of ShopSmart magazine, from the publisher of Consumer Reports also features five ways consumers can protect themselves from common debit card dangers.

“Debit cards are sneaky – they are extremely convenient but can get you into a lot of trouble if your information winds up in the wrong hands,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. “Some simple precautions can save you a lot of trouble and protect you and your account from danger.”

Five Debit Card Don’ts to Help You Avoid Trouble

  1. Don’t use your debit card for big purchases or when you shop online. Unlike debit cards, credit cards may add a year to manufacturer warranties. What’s more, if you buy something online that’s defective or damaged during shipping, you can dispute the charge and ask your credit card company to intervene.  You might miss that leverage with debit cards.

  2. Don’t take your debit card on trips. Many credit cards come with some level of travel insurance and auto-rental insurance. They may also come with concierge services that could help you out in sticky situations.

  3. Don’t use a debit card if you’re worried about getting ripped off. Under federal law, your liability for fraudulent charges on a debit card can be greater than it is for a credit card. With a credit card, you’re only responsible for up to $50 in unauthorized purchases. But with a debit card, you can lose up to $500 if you don’t report the theft or loss of your card or PIN within two business days of discovering the problem.

  4. Don’t rely on a debit card if you want to raise your credit score. When you use debit cards, you’re not building a credit history. But well-managed credit cards can help boost scores.

  5. Don’t use your debit card if you want to earn money on purchases. A recent federal law cut the amount that banks can make on debit-card transactions, so they scaled back their rewards. If you have a good cash-back or rewards credit card, use that instead.

Five Ways to Protect Yourself Against  Debit Card Dangers

  • Save receipts and check them against your monthly statement. Make sure all the charges are correct and there are no errors on the statement or any unauthorized charges.

  • Don’t use a PIN that is too obvious, like your date of birth, and change it regularly.

  • Sign up for online banking if you haven’t yet so that you can check your account often.

  • Reduce your risk of ATM “skimming,” in which a device electronically swipes your data and PIN. Use machines at banks rather than in convenience stores, airports, gas stations, or any isolated locations, which can be riskier.

  • Use your debit card to make purchases only with trusted merchants, and don’t give your card number to anyone you don’t know over the phone or by e-mail.

About Consumer Reports:
Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

About ShopSmart magazine:
Launched in Fall 2006 by Consumer Reports, ShopSmart draws upon the publication’s celebrated tradition of accepting no advertisements and providing unbiased product reviews. ShopSmart features product reviews, shopping tips on how to get the most out of products and “best of the best” lists. It’s ideal for busy shoppers who place a premium on time. ShopSmart has a newsstand price of $4.99 and is available nationwide at major retailers including Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart, Borders, Kroger, Safeway and Publix. ShopSmart is available by subscription at

See press release archive

RSS News Feed

Get all the latest information from the CR Press Room delivered right to your desktop.