As debit cards become more popular among consumers, the Federal Trade Commission warns all prepaid cardholders to exercise caution when using these cards for payment, particularly when purchasing from the internet. How can you avoid being a victim of credit card fraud? Check out the following safety tips:
Https://. To ensure the security of a web site, make sure that the URL or the website address begins with https://. You should be able to check this from your browser’s address bar.
Merchant Reputation. It is strongly recommended that you purchase only from trusted merchants online. Get to know the company’s background and reputation. Although you can find online stores that offer incredibly low prices, you want to make sure that you are dealing with a legitimate seller who only sells high-quality products.
Seal of Approval. Look for online shops that bear logos or seals of approval from National Business/Merchant organizations like the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and TRUSTe. Take the extra effort to check the merchant’s record from the BBB.
Fraud Liability Protection. Does your debit card Issuer provide you protection against fraudulent or unauthorized charges made using your account? Prepaid debit cards by Visa and MasterCard comes with this provision as their standard credit cardholders do. If you are not sure, review your debit card’s Terms & Conditions before using your card online.
Purchase Protection. What about purchase protection? For instance, prepaid debit cards with the VISA logo requires online verification before the cardholder can continue with the purchase. This gives VISA cardholders additional security against fraud.
Check your bill. Review your debit card receipts to make sure that all charges are correct. If you find errors, call your debit card company immediately.
Check out fees. Some prepaid debit cards carry so many extra charges on every transaction you make, including online purchases. Before using your debit card to buy from the internet, review the fine print and get to know the possible fees that you may incur.
Check your funds. Make sure that you have sufficient balance in your account to pay for that particular item. Some debit cards charge overdraft fees and other penalties in case your purchase exceeds your limit.
Do not share your PIN with anyone. You will be required to enter your debit card’s Personal Identification Number (PIN) when making purchases both online and offline. Never let the cashier or anyone else enter these numbers for you.
Do not use your debit card account for savings. Limit funds in your debit card account and avoid making large deposits. This way, in case your account gets hacked, it will not be a heartbreaking loss for you and you can always switch to a new account.
About the Author
Tara Tiemann is a credit analyst for Go-prepaid.com which has been a resource site for people who want to live debt free. If you are on a budget using prepaid debit cards,prepaid credit cards and prepaid cell phone service can save you big money!