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Monday, April 14, 2008

Online Credit Card Protection

Being a bit paranoid, I was always nervous about putting my credit card information on line for purchases. I got a specific credit card with a low limit to protect myself. I only used that card for online purchases. Then the credit card company bumped up my low limit by a factor of 10 due to my paying my bills on time and defeated the whole purpose of lower liability. I know they claim you won’t be held responsible for more than $50, yadda, yadda. The folks who claim that are the same ones who hose over the poor schmuck that misses a payment and has his interest rate bumped so high that loan sharks would be ashamed.

There is a surprisingly simple solution. Discover will provide you with a little popup program that assigns a unique credit card number each time you make an online purchase. That number is then specific for that online vendor. The number on the plastic card in your wallet is never used and thusly never exposed to online tampering. Plus the unique numbers per vendor undoubtedly help the credit police track down evil doers. I have received communication from my Visa folks that they have a similar program. I don’t think I need multiple online credit card protectors.

I thought this was common knowledge but after the subject came up in several conversations recently and neither party had even heard of this service, it seemed like a logical blog. So if nothing else this protects you from even the supposed $50 deductible claimed by most credit card companies. Of course this is assuming that they (credit card industry) can’t come up with some new way of insuring that the lead foot of exorbitant profits remains on the neck of the consumer.

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