I love to shop on line. I do the majority of my shopping on the internet and have always been concerned about credit card fraud. Crooks can do major damage with your credit card numbers even before you get the first hint that you have been hacked.
Over the years our credit cards have been compromised and I have had to shut them down (don’t take chances just reporting them – insist that your bank shuts them down and issues you a new card).
Setting up “alerts” with your credit card company is very helpful and can alert you within seconds of any unauthorized charges against your account. I have the set up for both of our major credit cards.
However I have found a way to keep the crooks from tapping into my credit cards and therefore avoiding the stress of worrying about when the next time my cards will be compromised.
Some credit card companies can issue you a “temporary” credit card number to use for uncertain purchases. Uncertain meaning a company on the net that you have never dealt with before on one that does not have a stellar reputation.
Unfortunately for me my major credit card company does not offer this “temporary” credit card feature so I had to come up with another way to keep my information safe.
There are companies such as Green Dot who issue pre-paid credit cards that you can load in advance and use like a disposable card but for me that wasn’t an option as I didn’t want to maintain a certain balance nor pay the fees that they charge.
After speaking with the teller at my bank she recommended that I purchase a pre-paid debit for such purchases. These cards work just like a credit card and work for such questionable purchases.
Load the card with a specific amount of money and use it just like any other credit card. I have been doing this for over a year now and it has worked out just fine.
I don’t worry about my info being compromised and if something should happen where you do suspect fraud all you have to do is call the number on the back of the card and you will be connected to a friendly customer service representative that will help you with any issues you may have.
So if you absolutely have to have that leather jacket you saw on the web from that no so recognizable website this is the perfect solution.
These cards work just like any other credit card and you do have recourse if something goes wrong and you never receive your merchandise. Just file a dispute with the issuing bank and you will get the same protection just like you would with your regular credit cards.
My bank uses a VISA debit card but other banks may issue you a Master Card or other major company debit card either way they all work the same.
PS – don’t let those small balances on these cards slip away. I recently learned that my bank will issue a refund if you call them and ask for it. I had three cards with balances under $5.00 that I just couldn’t use and before I lost the money on each I called and asked what could be done. The customer service rep informed me that the three balances could be combined and deposited back into my checking account in about 14 days. Worked great for me.
PSS – be sure to read the fine print or at least ask at your issuing back if there is a “maintenance” fee assessed if you do not use the card within a certain period of time. My bank does not charge a maintenance fee but some do if there is no activity on the card for a certain period of time.