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The Cashless Society And The Dangers Of Plastic

Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Gene Wheeler has been a precious metals and coin broker for a long time.  The Seymour, Texas resident knows the precious metals and collectible coins business inside and out.  Many of you may know him from the local gun shows or the annual coin and stamp show in Wichita Falls.  Gene also believes that America is inching it’s way toward becoming a cashless society.  Before you scoff at that, consider this: The Seattle Times reported in 2010 that debit card use had surpassed credit card use, mainly because of fears over debt in the depressed economy.  I took my own informal poll among a group of people I had lunch with a couple of months ago.  Out of seven of us, only two had any cash at all; everyone else was breaking out the debit card to pay for their meal.

Gene and I both agree that there is a biblical element to this shift in currency.  It’s an issue of control more than convenience.  Sweden recently made itself the proving ground for the cashless society by abandoning paper currency altogether.  A bill passed by the Louisiana legislature in 2011 and signed into law by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal bans cash transactions among second hand merchandise dealers and customers.  Seems rather anti -Republican, doesn’t it?  The claim is that the new law will combat criminal activity, like the sale of stolen goods.  Sure it will.  It’s to the benefit of only a handful of people to see you and I abandon cash in favor of electronic transactions exclusively.  I, for one, try to use cash whenever possible.

Most of you reading this have a debit card in your pocket or wallet or purse and you use it everyday.  I have one myself and I consider very carefully when and where I will break it out.  CreditCards.com offers these 10 places you should NOT use that handy, dandy bank debit card. Enjoy!

1. Online – lots of vulnerability here.

2. Big-ticket items – use a credit card, they offer dispute rights if something goes wrong. Debit cards offer fewer protections.

3. Deposit required – When using a debit card, the amount of the deposit is frozen in your account.

4. Restaurants – It’s one of the few places that you have to let the card leave your sight.

5. You’re a new customer – Get a feel for how the business is run first.

6. Buy now, take delivery later - see #2

7. Recurring payments – Charges could continue even after you stop them.  Also, your own memory and math skills could cause problems when money is deducted that is not there.

8. Future travel –  Money comes out immediately, hotels are not immune to hackers and data breaches.

9. Gas stations and hotels – some stations and hotels  will place holds to cover customers who leave without settling the entire bill.

10. Checkouts or ATMs that look ‘off’ - Criminals are getting better at planting skimmers in places you’d never suspect.

Click to learn more about these 10 places not to use your debit card

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