Using a credit card for online shopping during the holidays has a very real risk of becoming a victim of fraud. Adobe’s online shopping projection for the 2023 holiday season projects a 4.8% annual growth in the amount of online sales. 58% of shoppers, according to the National Retail Federation, want to purchase online during the holidays.
Since so many people shop online for gifts for the holidays, online merchants can be excellent targets for con artists attempting to obtain your credit card information. Fortunately, you can safeguard yourself in a number of ways this season, beginning with your credit card.
Avoid Online Credit Card Scams And Fraud:
- When making purchases online, use a credit card rather than a debit card
- Practice smart online browsing
- Try using a digital wallet
- Double-check before giving your info
- Opt into added security
- Know your purchase protection benefits
Avoid Online Credit Card Scams And Fraud :
To protect your money and identity, read these recommendations before you start adding gifts to your online shopping cart.
6.Know your purchase protection benefits
Any new purchase, particularly those made online during the holiday shopping season, is best made with a credit card because of the buying protections it offers. Although the exact coverage your card offers may vary, these advantages are usually intended to shield you in the event that whatever you purchase is lost, stolen, or damaged.
In addition, extended warranties are excellent presents, particularly when you’re buying an expensive item. For products you buy with your card, you usually receive an additional year of coverage on top of any active manufacturer’s warranty.
Here are a few credit cards with excellent purchase protection features that are fantastic for online shopping:
American Express Blue Cash Everyday® Card: Up to $1,000 per covered purchase and up to $50,000 annually are insured against unintentional damage or theft for a maximum of ninety days following the date of purchase. Your card agreement contains all the information regarding coverage.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 annually are covered against theft or damage to new purchases with this premium travel card from Chase for a period of 120 days. Additionally, if you buy something with a qualified warranty that lasts three years or less, you’ll receive an extra year of coverage.
5. Opt into added security
In addition to its built-in fraud protection and security measures, your credit card might come with extra security features. To view the alternatives, you could be qualified for, log into your mobile app or online account.
For instance, a lot of credit cards come with the option of “activity alerts,” which allow you to receive an email or text whenever you make a purchase. If you don’t always check your card statement until it’s time to pay your payment, these activity notifications are a wonderful method to immediately identify unauthorized activities.
For instance, with Chase, you have the option to enable security alerts for all transactions or just those that exceed your predetermined threshold (e.g., $100 or $500). You may earn rewards on your online purchases with a variety of credit cards, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Freedom Unlimited.
The majority of credit card issuers also provide you with access to your credit score through your mobile or online account. Make regular use of this option to monitor your score for any indications of abrupt or unusual changes that might be the consequence of fraud or identity theft.
Additionally, for a more thorough understanding of your own credit history, don’t forget to routinely check your credit report. Using AnnualCreditReport.com, you may obtain a free credit report once a week from each credit bureau.
4. Double-check before giving your info
Give your information exclusively to websites you can trust to keep it safe from shady individuals. If an offer looks too good to be true, or if you click on a dubious-looking link, it most likely is.
Purchasing false internet advertisements is a popular scam where individuals fall victim. A 2022 AARP study found that 35% of American consumers have been impacted by this. Another one goes after they have made their actual purchase: 29% of consumers report being the victim of fraud after getting a fictitious shipment notification. You may keep an eye out for potential hazards by using the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s continuing list of prevalent scams.
Make sure you’re on the correct website by always verifying the information and website address, especially if you’re about to make a transaction. Use your browser to go directly to the website or shipment tracking rather than navigating through a link. You’ll have the assurance that you’re providing your sensitive information to a reliable website even though it could require a few extra steps.
3. Try using a digital wallet
If you have the choice to pay using a credit card linked to an electronic wallet (such as PayPal, Apple Pay, or Google Pay), that might be the most secure method of payment. A token number, not the credit card number, is assigned to a card when it is linked to your digital wallet.
Consequently, your card information will be secure even if your purchase exposes you to fraudulent activity. Experts at the Identity Theft Resource Centre state that since “when using a digital wallet, your payment card numbers—credit or debit—never leave your device, criminals cannot intercept your information.”
An extra advantage? Using a digital wallet to pay for your purchases online may allow you to accrue more credit card rewards than you otherwise would. Here are few instances:
- Chase Freedom FlexTM: In addition to other cash back benefits, this no-annual-fee cash-back card gives 5% rewards in quarterly rotating categories. You can now earn 5% back when you use your Freedom Flex card to make purchases through PayPal through the end of 2023.
- Apple Credit Card: When you pay using Apple Pay, you’ll receive a base 2% cash back when using the Apple Card, which has no annual charge. When you pay with the actual card, you’ll receive 1% in non-bonus categories. Additionally, when you use Apple Pay to make purchases at specific stores, you can receive an increased 3% cash back.
Using a virtual credit card number that your credit card issuer generates is an alternative that is comparable. For example, Capital One cardholders can generate multiple virtual card numbers linked to various online businesses by using the issuer’s digital assistant facility.
These virtual cards are connected to your Capital One credit card, so you may still accrue the same potential benefits with cards such as the Capital One Venture benefits Credit Card, which earns miles, or the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, which offers cash back.
In contrast, keep in mind that peer-to-peer payment methods (such as Venmo and Cash App) are distinct from digital wallets and are typically not a secure way to make payments to strangers. When using this payment method instead of a credit card or digital wallet, you might not be able to enjoy the same protections.
2. Practice smart online browsing
When purchasing online, don’t rely solely on your credit card for security. Regardless of the season, it is advantageous to use secure practises when perusing virtual stores.
Maintaining the most recent versions of your operating system and browser, creating strong passwords specifically for each account, and avoiding making transactions over public wi-fi networks are just a few of the many precautions you can take.
Use whatever extra security measures the store may offer for individual sites, such as two-factor authentication. By doing this, you can help protect your account and any private information you enter.
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1. When making purchases online, use a credit card rather than a debit card
Always choose your credit card over your debit card when making an online purchase. In the event that you become a victim of fraud, resolving the matter could be somewhat simpler.
Consider the workings of each payment method. After an online transaction, if someone manages to obtain your debit card details, they can immediately make purchases from your associated bank account. It can take weeks for the money to be returned to you if it has already been deducted from your account by the time you realize what’s happened.
However, a credit card only gives you direct access to your credit limit.
You won’t be at risk of losing any real money as long as you discover the theft before you complete your subsequent payment and notify your issuer. Even after you’ve paid a bill, you can still contest an unauthorised charge; it could just take longer to receive your money back.
Additionally, after you contest possible fraud, there is a change in your potential culpability.
If you wait more than 60 days after receiving your statement to report an unauthorized transaction on your debit card (assuming no one has taken your actual card), you may be responsible for the entire amount.
If your credit card details are used to make a fraudulent purchase, but your actual card isn’t lost or stolen, you won’t be charged for the transaction.