Be Careful When You Swipe

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Paying with plastic; better make sure you’re protected.

These days’ cash seems to be going the way of CD players and regular snail mail. You know it’s still there and every now and then someone uses it but it’s slowly and surely being replaced by something fast and easy.

In this case it’s plastic. Everyone has some type of card in their wallet and whether its debit or credit swiping a card has become the new way to pay. But while convenient the quick access to your bank account can cause problems. To scare you into caution MSN Money has found some of the most common horror stories involving credit or debit cards. And with about 200 million people carrying some form of plastic; chances are you have experienced some of these misfortunes.

For example through the roof interest rates. The story MSN found was an interest rate of 79.9% percent. In this case it happened to a woman in Texas and it took six months for her to correct the problem and cancel the card. For more tales of terror keep reading and be careful when you swipe.

From MSN Money
Through-the-roof interest rates
Type of card: Credit
Horror story: Outlandish interest rates -- 79.9% to be exact
We've all heard of people who have high interest rates on their credit card because they have bad credit. However, not many people can say they got a 79.9% interest rate without any warning. According to CNN Money, Toni Riss from Texas discovered she would be paying a lot more in interest than she originally expected. On top of that, she said, when she tried to cancel the card, it took six months to finalize.

No credit cards for dead people
Type of card: Credit
Horror story: You are alive, but your credit report says you have passed away.
It's not every day that a person is denied a credit card for being dead. That is what happened to Rita Katz when she tried to apply for a Gap credit card, according to Bankrate.com. Apparently, there was some confusion, because Rita was clearly alive and ready to make some serious purchases.

Waitress's skimming scam
Type of card: Credit
Horror story: Waitress takes your tab, your credit card information and a pretty nice tip.
There are times when you can't decide how much you are going to tip, but to some unethical waiters or waitresses it doesn't matter, especially the ones who use your credit card information to ring up their own gratuities, according to AOL. The lessons: Be careful when you hand over a credit card, and always check your statements for unexpected charges.

Paperless billing confusion
Type of card: Credit
Horror story: Paperless bill payment causes confusion about due dates.
Everyone wants the easiest bill pay option. For this reason, paperless billing has become the new thing to do. It's quick, easy, environmentally safe and more secure than mail. You would think there are no problems with these types of bill payment options. Just make sure you are aware of your institution's "terms and conditions" and the correct due date for payment. You don't want to end up thinking your payment is due on the wrong day and then be late. That could cost you a lot in late fees and even higher interest rates.

$71 for McDonald's
Type of card: Debit
Horror story: Overdrafts can make a small purchase enormous.
You probably wouldn't be too happy about it if you learned that your child had spent $71 at McDonald's. She might claim it was her own money to spend, but there is no excuse for spending like that. Yet that's what happened with one 18-year-old. Little did she know that a McDonald's purchase of less than $5 would turn into a $71 tab, thanks to overdraft and other fees, according to Business Insider. Always stay on top of your budget to ensure that you don't overdraw your account -- and teach your children to do the same.