Limiting how much someone can steal from your credit card

credit card

I’m sure anyone reading this page has ordered something from the internet if not many things. Every time you make a purchase you’re exposing your credit card to strangers, you might think its just computers talking to computers but at my previous company, I was hired to create a new e-commerce site for them that interacted with an AS400 system they used for phone orders.

Their old method was

1. Someone places an order online
2. Each day it was someone’s job to PRINT out the orders WITH CREDIT CARDS NUMBERS
3. That person would then hand key them into the AS400 system, if they didn’t finish them they left a stack of orders on their desk overnight tech supports, janitors, salesman, etc… basically, anyone could stroll by, glance at the order on top and get your CC number and your billing address, everything they need to use your card. This was at a multi-million dollar e-commerce site too, not just some 5 order a day place, we’re talking hundreds of orders a day, just sitting around.

As a consumer you cannot prevent your credit card information from being stolen in this manner, all you did was key it into a browser now it’s on someone’s desk waiting to be keyed in. Since that experience what I did was contact my bank and get a credit card that I specifically use for the web with a $1000 limit, so the most I could get hosed for is a grand or less if there is a balance. I’m sure a lot of people out there enter their cards with 10, 20, 30 thousand dollars available. Why take the risk, get a small card just for the net, $250, $500, $1000 limits. This is also helpful for gas stations, restaurants, etc.

I know a few people first hand, one waiter and one full-service gas pumper who would copy CC numbers down from customers cards and then use them that night to order whatever they wanted, it worked and they got away with it.