What “Catch Me If You Can” Frank Abagnale Says About Debit Cards

frank abagnale aarp

Frank Abagnale – whose exploits were depicted in “Catch Me If You Can” – now serves as a Fraud Watch ambassador for AARP. (Photo: AARP)

Fraud expert and former con artist Frank Abagnale – the man behind “Catch Me If You Can” – now makes a living protecting consumers from scams.

Wait until you hear what he said about the dangers of debit cards in a recent interview with Hugh Delehanty of AARP Bulletin.

“I don’t have (a debit card),” says Abagnale.

I use only credit cards, because if somebody gets my card number and charges $1 million, my liability—by federal law—is zero.”

“But when you use a debit card, you’re exposing the money in your account. And even if you use your debit card every day for the next 25 years, it won’t raise your credit score one point.”

Abagnale makes a good point about the safety differences between credit cards and debit cards.

“Debit and credit cards are treated differently by consumer protection laws. Under federal law, your personal liability for fraudulent charges on a credit card can’t exceed $50. But if a fraudster uses your debit card, you could be liable for $500 or more, depending on how quickly you report it,” explains Melanie Hicken on CNNMoney.

There’s a key difference between credit cards and debit cards, says Kevin Cash of NerdWallet.

 “With a credit card, the card issuer must fight to get its money back. With a debit card, you must fight to get your money back.”

That’s putting it in terms we can all understand.

About Mari Adam

Mari Adam, Certified Financial Planner™ has been helping individuals and families chart their financial futures for over twenty-five years. Have a question about your financial situation? Ask Mari!

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