Most risky places to use your debit card

Those who prefer using debit over credit should pay close attention to the types of places they are choosing to swipe.

Debit card fraud can happen almost anywhere, but there are some places that are more likely to be targeted by thieves.

Consumer finance company Bankrate said outdoor ATMs and gas stations are easily accessible day and night so they are prime targets for thieves looking to install skimming devices.

That is when someone puts a machine that can read card numbers over or inside the real card slot. Debit card users should also take caution at restaurants and bars, especially if they can't see where the server is taking the card.

Making online purchases can also put someone at risk, so caution is advised when shopping with a new company.

Experts said using a credit card can offer more protection because they are not linked directly to a bank account. Disputing fraudulent charges is also easier with a credit card.

An even more secure payment option is using a mobile wallet or payment system. When a card is linked to those services they create a virtual credit card number and keep the real one hidden.

Of course, the safest payment option is always cash.
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