Which protects you better from fraud: Credit or debit - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Which protects you better from fraud: Credit or debit

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

We're just 11 weeks from Christmas, have you hit the stores yet?

If so, you'll want to know how safe those purchases are and with new requirements for debit and credit cards coming out we've got you covered.

If you're someone who uses their debit card most of the time, this story may have you reaching for your credit card instead.

With identity theft at an all-time high, some financial advisers say a credit card is a safer option if your identity is stolen.

"Sometimes it makes you wish you had never done computers or cards, it harder to get your information then,” said Rita Langhans.

When Langhans found out she was victim to identity theft, she changed the way she shopped.

"I would just rather use cash, I'll use Visa whenever I have to,” she said.

Langhans is part of the 13 million Americans whose identity was stolen in 2014.

The crime has skyrocketed over the last decade, surpassing drug trafficking in the U.S. and the headache that comes with having your identity stolen could be avoided by switching out your usual method of payment.

Financial Advisor Tyler Cuba said while a debit card and a credit card may look similar in the palm of your hand, if they get hacked or stolen, the way your account is treated is very different.

"A credit card has a maximum liability of $50 no matter how large the charge might be. On a debit card, depending on when you report the fraudulent purchase, makes a difference on the amount of liability that you actually have,” said Cuba.

Tyler said if you report a fraudulent charge on a credit card, the amount is almost immediately refunded.

But Cuba said some should be hesitant about embracing credit if you don't actively check your statements.

"If you are not actively monitoring your accounts whether it be a credit card or checking account, savings account and you let a fraudulent purchase exceed a certain period of time you have maximum liability of the amount of money that was taken,” he said.

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