By Doug Smith
Isn't That Illegal?
Yes, using credit cards fraudulently is illegal. This article
is absolutely not suggesting that you make up and use a credit
card number. You should also never use credit cards belonging
to other people.
Below is a summary of new services the credit card companies
have created to make online credit card use more secure.
How Does It Work?
It is more appropriate to use the terms "temporary credit card
numbers" or "single-use credit card numbers" rather than "fake
credit card numbers."
Some credit card issuers allow customers to generate and use a
credit card number that is different from the number on their
plastic credit card.
Current Online Security Measures
Security-conscious online buyers should only submit their
credit card numbers to web sites that are secured by Secure
Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. You can tell if a web page is
secure by looking for the following signs:
1. The page address in the browser address bar begins with
https. The extra "s" means secure. Normal web page addresses
begin with http.
2. The browser will usually display a closed lock or a
key symbol when you are at a secure page.
3. Clicking or double-clicking the closed lock symbol (or the
security symbol your browser uses) will usually show the
security information for that website.
4. Secure (https) web pages will encrypt (scramble) your
card information before sending it across the public internet.
Chances are that a human being will never even view the
That Sounds Secure Enough. Why Do We Need Single-Use Credit
It is a bonus to the consumer any time a vendor can provide an
extra layer of security. Online credit card consumers can
generate a separate credit card number for each online
purchase, if they wish.
This easy-to-use extra security measure makes consumers more
confident about buying with credit cards over the internet.
Anyone who did view your information in transit would see only
your encrypted information. Encrypted information looks like
gibberish to everyone except the credit card company's
Additionally, it is no longer necessary to submit online the
credit card number imprinted on your physical credit card.
Will They Run Out Of Credit Card Numbers?
No! Assume that Earth's population is about 6 billion people.
Most credit card numbers have 16 digits in this familiar
pattern: nnnn-nnnn-nnnn-nnnn. Assume that each digit in a
credit card number can assume any value between 0 and 9.
That works out to be almost 1.7 million credit card numbers
available to every man, woman, and child on Earth!
Even if the first 4 digits are reserved for some reason, there
are still about 170 credit card numbers available for every
person on the planet. In short, the credit card companies will
not run out of single-use credit card numbers.
How Are They Different From My Real Credit Card Number?
They are as valid as your plastic credit card to online
merchants. Each single-use credit card number is linked to
primary credit card account. Purchases made with single-use
numbers appear on your monthly statement. Refunds made to
single-use numbers will appear as credits on your monthly
OK, What's The Bad News?
There are certain circumstances under which you should not use
a single-use credit card number to make an online purchase.
This author learned from experience not to use a single-use
number at home to purchase movie tickets from a popular online
The problem occurred because the machine at the movie theater
that dispenses the online movie tickets requires the insertion
of your real plastic credit card. If you did not use your real
credit card number to buy the tickets, the machine will not
release your tickets.
Any online purchase that requires you to present your physical
credit card at the venue should only be made with the number
your physical credit card. Web sites that sell movie and other
tickets will warn you of this.
Furthermore, your online ticket purchase will come with a
confirmation number. Write or print that number and take it
with you in case of problems.
Single-use credit card numbers are easy to generate, make
online buying safer and more secure, and give consumers extra
confidence when making online purchases. Call your credit card
company or visit their website to learn if it offers this
peace of mind on your credit card account.
Use the links following this article to learn more about cash
rebate credit cards and gas credit cards.
About The Author: Learn Which Gas Credit Cards and Cash Rebate
Credit Cards Save You the Most Money. Visit
GasCreditCards.FindCarsForHire.com and Start Saving
Money and Gas Today. Click to Learn More.