Credit Cards online... What's the problem?

I was inspired by dougie_monty who, in another thread, mentioned his lack of enthusiasm for ordering anything online with a credit card.

Actually, his exact words were, “I’ll be damned if I’ll divulge my credit card numbers online…”

I don’t see the problem with this. I mean, how is ordering online any more likely to get tyou screwed than giving the number out on the phone, or even just USING IT in person? I mean, how do you know that waitress who just took your card isn’t keeping your info for a future mail order purchase sent to her anonymous PO Box?

I have ordered many things online with my credit card, from CDs to books to computer accessories. Never had a problem thus far.

And even if I had a problem, all you are legally held accountable for in the event of fraud is $50.

Why is dougie_monty and others like him so scared of this?

Yer pal,

I dunno but I hope it’s catching. I need to catch it before Amazon bankrupts me. :slight_smile:

I think it’s caled Amazinsolvency.

well I tend to agree to a point with doug…and with satan. I think you should only go and order things off of legitimate sites not ones that you obviously can tell have been made by amatures. Sites that have good reps. But then again I dont even give out my last name to ANYONE on the net of course besides Brian and my Best friend on here knows it. I could never EVER post something with my last name. so I guess Im just a little more cautious then some people, but there is nothing wrong with that, everyone is different I guess.

Me?? an asshole?? You better believe it!

Heather Lee

I’ve never had a problem either, but I hear if you’re really paranoid about it you should get a credit card with a really low limit (like $500) for using online, that way if the number does get stolen any thieves won’t be able to put plane tickets to Zaire on it or something. But like Satan said, you’re only liable for the first $50 anyway, but you have to be on top of stuff like that and have a good credit record to begin with, otherwise everyone would run up their credit card and say “Ah, all that stuff isn’t mine…yeah, that’s the ticket!”

I order online all the time. Just look for one with a secure server and you’ll be fine.

More woman than you’ll ever inflate!

I order online alot and have had only one problem so to speak… I ordered an international phone card and when I got the number/code and tried to use it I kept getting an adult transvestite phone sex place. I thought wtf?? I emailed to complain and the company couldn’t beleive it. They dialed the number they had given me and sure enough… The woman and I had a great laugh and then she gave me a new number that worked. Everything came out fine in the end.

“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing, does the painter do good
things.” --Edgar Degas

Physically, your card number is probably more secure in an E-commerce transaction than in a restaraunt. There is a common form of petty graft where employees of a store will collect card numbers and sell batches to crooks. Before credit card slips went carbonless, it was also fairly common for crooks to dumpster-dive for carbons, which would provide them both your card information and your signature. With an E-commerce transaction, the card number will probably go into a secure database and be forwarded to the card company for approval, without a human even seeing it.

One difference, however - companies that take credit card info over the net have special merchant accounts that let them process credit card transactions without signatures. So they could double or triple bill you or whatever.

They have a new gimick out on the market. A waiter takes your CC and on his way to swipe it in the resturant machine he swipes it in a small portable swipe machine he keeps hidden. (the thing is real tiny). This records all the info off your CC. Boom then they sell it to crooks who dupe your CC.

BTW hotels are worse than restuarnts. I would bet dumpster diving you would find tons of CC numbers.

Well, when you order online, American Express’s Optima card waives the $50 – you pay nothing if your credit card is misused. That says to me that there isn’t a hell of a lot Internet credit card fraud going on.

Obviously, you need to be careful and only use trusted sites and secure servers. But it’s probably no more dangerous than ordering by phone or in person.

Good topic, and I agree completely. Ordering online is probably the safest way to use your credit card. As long as, and this is critically important. it’s a secure server, this is critically important.

The way the internet works, you don’t just connect into, for example,’s computer - you connect to a computer at your ISP’s office, it connects to somewhere else, repeat over and over until the message finally gets to Amazon. I just used my dial up connection to do a traceroute to my Internet server (it’s sitting about twenty feet away). The message goes through 14 other machines before it actually hits my server, and several of these machines are in Ontario, about 2,000 miles away. The potential problem with this is that any of these 14 machines could quite easily examine the message and see if contains anything worth saving. Like a credit card number. The actual likelyhood of this happening is small, but it’s theoretically possible, and that’s the original source of the concern.

Note that eMail is processed in a very similar way, and your messages could be examined and saved in exactly the same way. Also, note that if you’re looking at a secure web page the information is encoded and even if someone did intercept it, they wouldn’t be able to do anything with that information. eMail is never encoded (unless you manually do it yourself before sending), so there is no protection there at all.

I don’t have a problem with ordering online, but I’d never, ever release my credit card number in an eMail.

Sorry, faulty editing again …

Interesting. Just for fun, I tried a traceroute to The message gets into the amazon network at step 9 and then the trace fails - it can’t see any computers past that point.

AFAIK Amazon has never been the cause of credit card fraud. How many stores can say the same after processing so many millions of credit cards.

Plus you can never forget it on the counter! =)