Consumer Payment Card News

The Scoop on Virtual Credit Card Numbers

Virtual credit card numbers offer cardholders an added sense of security when it comes to shopping online or making purchases with unfamiliar merchants. The idea behind a virtual credit card is that you get a phantom number that is linked to your real credit card. You can set your maximum credit limit as well as an expiration date, and when either of those is satisfied, the card ceases to work. This gives customers great peace of mind when it comes to protecting themselves from credit card fraud and identity theft. Like all important things to consider in life, is it too good to be true?

*Risks of Using Virtual Credit Card Numbers*
Some incidences have been documented where a customer received unauthorized purchases on a temporary card number, even after the expiration date or after the max limit had been surpassed. In contacting customer service, the cardholders learned that merchants processing manual claims could override the virtual cardâÃÂÃÂs preset limits on line of credit as well as expiration date. This could be quite dangerous for someone who doesn’t check their credit card statements every month, so it is important to read your billing statements even if you use virtual credit cards when shopping online.

*Advantages of Using Virtual Credit Card Numbers*
Despite the possible risks of using a virtual credit card number, there are still some obvious plusses. Consumers ARE better protected than not using any form of fraud protection at all. In some cases, the temporary credit cards are specific to a certain merchant, rendering them unusable to any identity thieves who may run across your information. Despite the documented cases of expired use or over-the-limit use on these temporary cards, many customers experience no issues at all. It’s just another thing to be aware of as you take measures to protect your identity in life.

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