Holders of credit cards are protected when a card number is stolen and used. Credit card companies, such as MasterCard and Visa, say cardholders are responsible only for up to $50. The often do not charge any amount.
The same is not true for debit cards. When unauthorized withdrawals take place they could lose hundreds of dollars. It is possible they could lose all the money in their checking account.
Debit card companies monitor their systems looking for hackers. The holder of the card is not liable for any losses due to that type of crime. If necessary, the company will issue a new card.
Consumers should contact their credit and debit card issuers to make sure their cards are safe. They should also review their checking account regularly to make sure unauthorized withdrawals are not taking place.