What payment method is safer: paper or plastic?

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -  Credit card scams have recently hit Region 8.

Nationally, the Target credit card fraud has affected more than 110 million customers. Locally in Jonesboro, Kimono, Waffle House, McDonald's and Sam's Club have all had problems.

Consumers are split on what payment method is safer: paper or plastic. Some will stick to credit and debit cards because of the convenience, but others are cash-only consumers.

"I play it safe and stick to cash," Jonesboro resident Martez said.

"Cash only is my policy," ASU student Chris Dyson said.

These two consumers would rather be safe than sorry.

"Stick strictly to cash because you never know who's hovering over your shoulder whenever you're making a transaction at the store, wherever you may be," Martez said. "Safety beats conveniency, I guess."

"There are a lot of scams out there with debit and credit cards," Dyson said.

The Jonesboro Police Department has worked eight of these cases so far this year. These reports involve stolen cards, hacked accounts, and fraudulent charges, totaling any where from a couple hundred dollars to thousands.

"I stick strictly to cash to avoid being one of those victims," Martez said.

"It's too easy for people out there to steal your identity," Dyson said.

Dyson has had his identity stolen twice. He said that is the reason he sticks to cash.

However, other Region 8 consumers still prefer the plastic.

"I don't carry cash. My debit card does it all," Jonesboro resident Erma Hall said.

Hall said she will keep using plastic because she regularly monitors her account.

"I listen to scams all the time. I'm very alert and cautious about where I use my debit card," Hall said.

"The debit card still is a better alternative to carrying a lot of cash with you, and if you stay on top of it with your Internet banking, you can certainly head off any kind of fraud that may take place," Centennial Bank executive vice president of marketing Ed Way said.

Way said even with the recent fraud reports, his customers are still using plastic.

"Most of the accounts that are opening up are still requesting a debit card, and we have not seen the transaction level fall much at all," Way said.

Way said if you would see suspicious activity on your account, report it to your bank immediately so you have a better chance of getting your money back.

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