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A nationwide skilled in stopping fraud stated every digital vacation buy is a dangerous guess that exposes consumers to the darkish world of hackers, thieves and scammers primed to empty financial institution accounts and destroy lives.
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A nationwide professional in stopping fraud stated every digital vacation buy is a dangerous guess that exposes consumers to the darkish world of hackers, thieves and scammers primed to empty financial institution accounts and break lives.

With that warning, Steven Weisman suggested buyers to take a while to ponder the terrifying realities of cyber-scams and id theft amid the Black Friday insanity.

If that’s not sufficient to scare even probably the most fearless shopaholic, the danger of being victimized with out ever shopping for one thing can also be heightened within the wake of huge-scale knowledge breaches.

HACK: Equifax data breach exposes millions of Americans to identity theft risk

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Recent hacks of credit-rating giant Equifax, for instance, compromised at least 143 million Americans’ personal information. That means their credit cards, Social Security numbers and other key data may already be for sale on the internet’s shadowy black market.

Weisman spoke to The Journal News/lohud about how to avoid turning holiday joy into financial nightmares. The conversation has been edited for space and clarity.

Q: What’s a big safety tip for shoppers?

A: Do not use your debit card. The debit card, regardless of the fact it looks like a credit card, it’s not a credit card. It’s always going to be tied to your bank account.

Q: What’s the worst that can happen?

A: If you don’t pick up on the fact the debit card has been fraudulently used right away, you can actually end up having your entire bank account wiped out.

Even if you’re online and checking your balances and you find (the theft) out immediately and report it to the bank, they will freeze the debit card while they do an investigation, which makes it harder for you to access money.

Q: So what are debit cards good for?

A: You pretty much only want to use it at an ATM.

Q: Why are credit cards better?

A: With a credit card, if it’s compromised and used fraudulently, by law your personal liability is capped $50. But even then most companies won‘t charge you.

Q: How can shoppers stay safe?

A: One of the more important things is: Use your chip card when you can.

There are some stores that still use the magnetic strip, and you‘re always going to be more in danger of having your personal information and credit card number stolen when you use the magnetic strip.

If you want to use the Apple Pay (and smartphone payments) that’s good too.

Q: I’m afraid to even ask about online shopping, but…

A: Online shopping is terrific. You can get some great deals, but sometimes you can…