Online shops have made it so convenient for tech savvy consumers to switch from personal store visits to virtual transactions.  Who can resist the advantages this technology brings?  With just a few clicks, you are able to get the same item in less than ten minutes,  plus the many perks of online vouchers and discounts.  It is not just convenient, it also saves time, energy, and even money.

But while buying stuff online can be really easy and convenient for most of consumers, this also makes us more vulnerable to possible theft of our credit card information.  Fortunately, there are ways we can feel secure about our online purchases and avoid credit card fraud online:


Virtual or Disposable Credit Cards

Yes, there are such things as virtual or disposable credit cards and they are a great way to add another layer of protection to your online transactions.  Basically, virtual card providers let you create “fake” credit cards which you can use when purchasing items online.  There’s a real credit card number which the merchants charge like normal credit cards, but they do not have access to your real credit card information.

Most virtual cards allow you to create a prepaid card that has a fixed amount of money, so that even when your virtual card is compromised, the risk is limited to the amount that you have placed onto the card.  This way, all your personal information is kept safe from online merchants that may not be trustworthy and your financial risk is limited if your virtual card is ever stolen.


Liability Protection

According to Federal law, the liability for credit card purchases will only allow consumers to be liable for a maximum amount of $50 for fraudulent purchases if you are able to report your concern within 2 business days after you have learned about the theft or loss.  Unfortunately, there are different laws involving credit cards and debit cards, and it may take banks quite a long time to process fraud claims related to debit card use.  This could leave consumers with an empty bank account and no timely resolution.  The Federal Trade Commission created a detailed chart showing the amount of your liability for credit and debit card purchases based on when you have made your report.


Never Store Your Credit Card Information Online

If you don’t want to use virtual credit cards which automatically fill out information for you, then it is best to manually enter the information yourself.  This ensures that no one else would get hold of your credit card information.  Although this would be tedious, it protects your information from hackers who are trying to commit credit card fraud, as well as anyone else who might use your computer, smartphone, or tablet, such as your kids, co-workers, or your spouse.  If your login information is saved in your device with your card information, it will be easy for someone to log in as you and use your credit card to purchase whatever they want.


Always Check Your Monthly Statement

Check your monthly credit card statement as soon as it arrives.  Nowadays, online banking and bank apps make it very easy to check your statement.  This is helpful in enabling you to keep tabs on potential credit card fraud.  Check your transactions and see if there are any charges you don’t recognize, no matter how small it is.  If you see anything strange, contact your credit card company right away to have this investigated.


Arnel Ariate is the webmaster of Money Soldiers.

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Shobir @ Millionaires Giving Money Blog - September 16, 2015

Excellent tips to prevent credit card fraud. I myself have been a victim of online fraud and its not a nice position to be in. Its definitely worth checking your monthly statements with a fine tooth comb. Great tips, thanks for sharing.

    Arnel Ariate - September 16, 2015

    Hi, Shobir. There are a lot of scammers online. There was a time it scared me that I clicked on a PayPal link in an email, to sign in in my account. Lucky that it was not a fraud. We need to be extra careful when logging in in our financial accounts. Make sure that we access the log in page directly from the vendor’s website. Also, I use a prepaid credit card, too. It’s like a debit card but with a valid credit card number. It is good to know that if this card is scammed, the most money I can lose is the amount that I put in it, which I always keep very small.


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