Online shopping is safer with a credit card because it gives you more protection than a debit card.
Using your credit card online means that under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, for purchases between £100-£30,000:
- your purchases are protected
- your card issuer will help you get your money back if your seller doesn't deliver your goods or goes bankrupt
- there are checks to make sure it’s actually you using the card
But you still need to take care. You wouldn't hand over a wallet full of your cash to anyone you don't trust, so don't hand over your credit card details either.
Explore more: How to shop safely online
Protecting yourself against scams and fraud
Most credit card fraud can be prevented by following some simple rules.
- Never give out your card details in response to unsolicited phone calls or emails. If you need to give your banking information or credit card information for an offer or prize, this should trigger alarm bells.
- If you’re buying something online, research the product and supplier. It can be a good idea to read customer reviews before you buy, as well as if there have been complaints.
- Check the site's address starts with "https" before entering any of your personal details.
- Sign up for verification services like Verified by Visa or Mastercard Secure.
- If you’re using a public computer, avoid entering personal information as there may be malware that records your details.
It’s also a good idea to check your bank statements regularly and credit report annually. Your credit report contains information about your credit history. You can get a copy of your credit report from companies such as Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
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Reporting identity fraud
If you believe you’ve been the victim of credit card fraud, contact your card issuer immediately. In most cases you’ll be able to reclaim any stolen funds.
Victims of identity fraud should also contact the three credit rating agencies. If someone has your credit card details they may be able to apply for credit in your name. It’s possible to stop the fraud, but removing damaging credit information from your report can take time.
You should also report online credit card fraud to Action Fraud - the national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime.