Nervous for online shopping due to worries about credit card fraud? Here are some tips to help you shop wisely and protect yourself:
1. Contact your bank or credit card issuer and request a separate low-limit credit card to be used exclusively for online purchases. This will give you peace of mind in case your card details are compromised, as the fraudulent amount would only amount to a few hundred dollars instead of thousands of dollars. However, remember that, in most cases, you are not financially responsible for fraudulent charges (see your credit card terms).
2. Review the terms of your credit card. Most companies do not hold you financially responsible for fraudulent charges. If you notice any allegations of fraud, contact your credit card company immediately. They will block your account to stop making other purchases and remove charges from your account. You will need to sign affidavits stating that the charges were not yours and were actually criminally charged to your account.
3. Use your online credit card instead of a debit card linked to your bank account. Although the money in your bank account is usually protected from fraudulent charges as well, it may take a few weeks for your bank to refund your account. Documents are involved and you will need to sign affidavits.
Since your living expenses have yet to be paid while you wait for your money back, having an empty bank account only adds stress to an already stressful situation.
4. Consider using an online financial service such as PayPal.com. When you use PayPal, online merchants don’t have access to your credit card information. Since PayPal transactions require you to log in and confirm every purchase, this can reduce the risk of fraudulent charges. PayPal also has a Buyer Protection Policy.
Online shopping can provide you with a much wider selection of products and save you money with all the price cuts and offers found online. By shopping smartly online, you can help make the shopping experience enjoyable.