How criminals are bypassing stolen debit card PIN numbers

Posted at 6:18 AM, Oct 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-22 08:02:20-04

MILWAUKEE --- A Milwaukee woman is sharing her financial nightmare after her purse was stolen.

Camille Johnson claims more than $1,400 was charged on her debit card, without her permission.

Johnson learned the purse snatcher was able to bypass entering her debit card's PIN number, by selecting credit, "And had taken out over $1,400. On the third of the month, we get our social security checks so the suspect knew that would be a bigger haul."

Consumer protection attorney Gordon Leech explains debit and credit card consumers are protected under two entirely different laws.

"In other words, you get better protection with a true credit card than you do with a debit card," explained Leech.

Leech says the maximum liability you would ever be responsible for with a stolen credit card, is $50. This is a huge advantage when compared to a debit card, "Where you could possibly be liable for the entire amount of the charge if you don't give the bank notice."

Johnson does not expect to get her money back into her bank account any time soon.

"I'm really angry that the banks have not made debit cards more secure, ridiculous!" said Johnson.

Leech pointed out in Europe, a PIN number is required for all debit and credit card swipes.