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Can Virtual Credit Card Numbers Save Your Credit?

02.18.2009 · Posted in Finance Articles

I just received my the credit card bill for a credit card I haven’t even activated since receiving it several months ago. It appears I have signed up for some monthly MLM deal as well as purchasing a train ticket in Washington DC. Oh, and I also bought something from Now, as I say, the card has been in my wallet since I received it seven months ago and still has the little sticker on it telling me to call and activate it from my home phone. The charges only started in November. Could this have been prevented?nnThrow away card numbers – virtual card numbers – can be of some use when shopping online but I doubt they would have prevented what happened to me. In my case, the thief had somehow determined my name and correct card information. If you want to use virtual card numbers for online shopping protection that is fine, just don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. They wouldn’t have protected me since I wasn’t even using the card to make physical purchases.nnJust like using a disposable camera instead of your expensive camera while you are traveling to protect from loss or damage, you can use a virtual card to prevent loss when purchasing online. With a virtual credit card number, the number is discarded after one use.nnAs credit card fraud is so widespread we are no longer surprised by it which means the card companies are looking for some method to deal with their costs. This means they must do so without inconveniencing the ability of the consumer to make purchases online and in person while at the same time protecting vital information. Many would say that the use of virtual credit cards may well be the solution to the problem.nnVirtual card numbers are used for online purchases the same way regular credit cards are but the number is only temporary. The number is generated on demand and issued as a replacement for the actual card number to be used for a short time period. Personal information is not sent to the vendor and these numbers may be single use or they may be used for multiple purchases for a limited time before the number becomes invalid.nnThe objective here is to protect the real number from those who would use your card for their purposes thereby damaging your credit. If a computer hacker accesses a secure processing center to gather card information having used a virtual number could save your credit. Their attempted use of the virtual number will lead to denial of credit.nnEveryone expects their card information to be safe and secure when making a purchase online. But there is the possibility, however remote, that an employee of the online merchant would sell card information to criminals. Of course this would make them a criminal as well but some people will do anything if the price is right and there is little possibility of them being caught.nnThe biggest benefit of virtual card numbers is protecting your private information online. The subsequent use of such a number results in denial of credit. If you are used to making several purchases online with your credit card per month then you may see a real benefit from the use of a virtual credit card. This will assure all your transactions are secure and your information is protected.

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