How safe is it to shop online?


Jun 30, 2008
This morning, I got a call from my bank, informing me that someone has tried to make a charge of approximately US$5000 with my credit card in an auto parts store in Japan. Of course it was not me making the charge, and obviously it was another credit card fraud.

The question is, how did they get my credit card info?

Coincidentally, a friend of mine told me she experienced the EXACT fraud from the EXACT store on the same day! So we started checking which websites we have both used our cards and it turned out that we have both placed orders in the same sale on a private sale site! We don't have any evidence showing that our cc infos got stolen from that site, it was just a coincidence. But this has already scared me from shopping online from now on!


But its on sale!
Jun 6, 2008
I try to stick with on-line companys that are well known or ones someone else has used and have had no issues with. I am very leary about ones that I haven't really heard about. I usually always make on-line purchaes with my minimal credit card line that way if anybody decides to try and make big purchaes they can't. My bigger credit card, Citi is EXCELLENT with their fraud department. My husband travels internationally and they call me all the time there is a purchase made that is beyond the "normal" but for us that is normal they should be used to that by now. Better safe than sorry though:smile:


Jun 30, 2008
The private sale site that we have both shopped is a well-known and legit one. That's why I'm so scared to shop online now. But again, we can't be totally sure that our infos got stolen from that site, either.

I agree that Citi is great because my company card is from Citi, and whenever I make a purchase, the transaction shows immediately in my online banking account. I really think all banks should be able to show this to prevent fraud. I mean, if my bank didn't call, I wouldn't have known about the fraud until a few days later when the transaction finally appears online, or even until when I receive my monthly statement!


Aug 8, 2008
Most sites are fine, but there are some that are set up as traps or fakes. Stick to site of known retailers or with established histories on the web. Avoid eBay.

Also keep in mind that the best, most honest companies can have dishonest employees.


Aug 26, 2007
The Playground
You have to be careful using your credit card at places that you dont normally shop or are not familiar with. This happened to a friend of mine. They went to this mini mart and used the credit card and turns out that someone had charged their card so the amount that was charged was not accurate to what he charged.

when shopping online, its important to always make sure the lock image is on the page where the address window is. Sometimes its even located by the status bar.

I like to do my online shopping at bigger companies like Neimans or Saks.


Back to reality
May 2, 2006
Don't store your CC info with sites either. It's one thing to shop with a site and another to let them keep our info for "next time". I hate it when stores automatically capture and keep my info and if given the option, I never choose to store my info there...if their server or something gets hacked, then thieves are getting MY info also.
Jan 25, 2006
I stick to big name sites and stay away from ordering from sites i'm not familiar with. I also don't allow the sites to store my credit card for use "next time". I wish more sites let you pay through PayPal.


Oct 1, 2006
Also keep in mind that the best, most honest companies can have dishonest employees.
exactly. the smartest thing to do is to have a card designated for online shopping/charge sends that is NOT LINKED to your bank account. i do this and keep a relatively low limit on the card, so if it does fall into the wrong hands there's no way they can charge thousands of dollars.


Jan 12, 2009
Personally I think you have to be careful about where you use your credit card no matter where you shop. The numbers can be stolen from so many places along the transaction chain - from atms, card skimmers at the point of purchase, data theft from merchants and payment processors. I guess the problem is that online it can be harder for you to get clues to assess whether you think a place is too sketchy to use your card there. There are new cc security standards for merchants coming up that are supposed to make things better. Other than not using a card at all I'm not sure that you could really avoid it when it's the payment processors that get hit since you don't even usually know how is used.


Jan 18, 2009
Yikes, I can't believe this happened!! :wtf: Some possibilities to explain this include a possible hack of the site (if this is indeed a legit site that's usually safe), or some dishonest employee who stole the info. It's definitely a good idea to always check your credit card statements online, and that's true about using a card where you can see transactions online immediately after they have been made. Another good idea to protect your card would be to set a low limit on it, and stick to using that low-limit card for online transactions only.

I primarily shop online and will probably still continue to do so, since the prices are still usually better and I have few in-person options where I am. This is definitely a reminder to keep close tabs on your account/statements, though! Sticking with safe, trusted stores that have a good reputation is always a good idea too, IMHO. Glad to hear that this scare was at least resolved quickly by your bank, though!
Apr 15, 2007
Wise words and good guidelines for all of us to know.

Even though the shoppings sites may be secure, there is always someone to take the

info and do something inappropriate, so we have to insure ourselves either with a low-

limit card or with a cc that has a excellent fraud dept.