Many people are now using credit and debit cards that have security chips.

While the chips offer more security for financial transactions, they do have one little-known disadvantage that could result in big charges for consumers. Chip cards work through a special reader that processes data safely.

It assigns a special code to every sale to make it unique to that merchant. The problem lies with merchants that do not provide a chip reader, which forces a customer to swipe the card rather than having it securely read.

This opens up an avenue where fraud could occur, and if it does, the merchant will pass the cost on to the customer. While the chances of this happening are very low, it is better to be safe than sorry in a world where fraud and hacking are a daily reality.

In addition, many people are wary of the chip cards themselves because they seem to indicate a serious problem with banking security. The best way to avoid fraud while shopping is to use cash when a chip card reader is not available.

Major retailers that have not yet upgraded to the new readers include Bed Bath & Beyond, Staples and Panera Bread.