Personal Finance 
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Comments of the week, debit card fraud edition

Debit cards can have pretty kitties, serious fraud riskWe had some great comments this week; as always, Bargaineering readers weighed in with perceptive commentary on the issues we covered.

A few readers had stories to share about how debit card fraud had affected them or people they knew, most of which turned out better than my poor friend’s story.
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 Taxes 
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Government to Issue Debit Cards for Tax Refunds

Plastic is a very real part of our society. Indeed, cash is rarely used as we pay with credit or debit. The government has long let taxpayers use credit cards to pay their taxes, and now the government is trying to decide if it is worth it to issue debit cards to those expecting refunds. Bankrate.com reports that a pilot program will be used to see how taxpayers react to receiving a Visa debit card in the mail instead of a paper check.

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 Travel 
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How to Protect Your Money While Traveling

When I was 18, I traveled to Europe as an exchange student. I really didn’t know how to protect my money while traveling, and kept all most all of it in pocketbook, in a single form. I was lucky: The only danger my money faced was being spent. If I had been robbed, I would have been hard-pressed to get my money back (although, as part of a student exchange, I would have had help dealing with the aftermath).

True, I was at a disadvantage: I didn’t have a credit card, and I didn’t have a debit card. (This was a looong time ago.) Traveler’s cheques were the way to go when traveling overseas. However, some of the basics of protecting your money never change. It is especially important to be careful of your money if you know you will be traveling to a place in upheaval. Plus, you never know if the country you are in might suddenly become unpredictable, as what happened in Egypt recently.

Before you head out of the country, consider these tips for protecting your money:
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