The simple act of swiping a credit or debit card at a store's checkout can leave a buyer open to the theft of personal and financial data. Thieves don't lack for opportunities to get the information. American consumers used credit, charge and debit cards 73.2 billion times in 2012, according to creditcards.com, an average of 200 million times per day.

Telegram photo / Alan Campbell

The simple act of swiping a credit or debit card at a store's checkout can leave a buyer open to the theft of personal and financial data. Thieves don't lack for opportunities to get the information. American consumers used credit, charge and debit cards 73.2 billion times in 2012, according to creditcards.com, an average of 200 million times per day.

Cards prove boon for consumers – and thieves

By Tyler Kes
Staff Writer

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Most people would not leave their homes or cars unlocked, yet millions of Americans do the virtual equivalent with their credit and debit cards.

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