Credit cards are a great way to make purchases online or in-store. However, they can also be a target for fraudsters who may use their access to your account to steal money from you.
Whilst it can be worrying, yet common, to use a credit card to shop online or at the local grocery store, using a credit card to pay over the phone is still happening today, no matter how old fashioned it may sound.
The following article will help you understand how safe it is to give credit card details over the phone, and some tips on how to protect yourself when giving your personal information over the phone.
Should You Give Credit Card Details Over The Phone?
If you’re reading this article then chances are that you’ve already given out your credit card number over the phone, whether it was to an automated system or to a human operator.
If so, there are many reasons why you may not have felt confident about doing so.
Firstly, if you have any doubts about the safety of giving your credit card details over the telephone, you shouldn’t do it. However, if you have purposely rung up to pay for goods, then you should feel confident about doing so.
The truth is that with the right precautions taken, it’s actually safer than handing over your credit card information in person.
Secondly, if you don’t want to hand over your credit card details over the phone, you don’t need to. There are plenty of other ways to purchase goods and services without having to provide your credit card details.
For example, you could order gift vouchers, which you can redeem later by providing your bank account details. Or, you could even ask friends and family members to buy things for you.
Thirdly, if you’re not sure what to do next, just follow the instructions provided by the company you’re dealing with. They’ll usually tell you exactly how to proceed after you’ve given them your credit card details.
Is There A Security Risk Of Using A Credit Card To Pay Over The Phone?
There are two main risks involved in using a credit card to make payments over the phone:
- The risk of someone else using your credit card details to make fraudulent purchases. This happens because credit card numbers are easy to remember, and most people would rather keep their financial data to themselves.
- The risk of identity theft. If someone gets hold of your credit card details, they can use those to make unauthorized purchases.
How Can I Protect Myself When Giving Out My Credit Card Information Over The Phone?
When giving out your credit card details over a phone call, you’ll always want to take the following steps:
- Make sure that you know the name of the company you’ve called. This helps you avoid being scammed because you will be able to identify the business.
- Never give out your full credit card number. Instead, only give out the last four digits. The reason for this is that the first three numbers are used to verify your identity, while the last digit is used as a security code.
- If you’re asked to enter your PIN, never reveal it. Instead, hang up the phone immediately and contact your financial institution to cancel your transaction.
- If you’d rather not give out your credit card details at all, you can still shop online safely using secure payment methods such as PayPal.
- Finally, if you’ve ever had problems with a company before, check their reputation before you give them your credit card details again. You can find this information on websites like Google Reviews.
What Are Some Other Ways To Pay Over The Phone Without Providing Your Credit Card Number?
You may have heard about ‘pay-by-phone’ schemes where you can pay for items by calling a certain telephone number. These schemes are often offered by retailers who want to get rid of their old-fashioned point-of-sale systems.
Unfortunately, these schemes aren’t safe either. For one thing, they require you to share your personal banking details with the retailer.
And secondly, there’s no guarantee that the retailer won’t charge you extra fees or interest charges when you eventually make the purchase.
You might also hear about apps that allow you to send money to other users via text messages. However, these apps don’t offer any protection against fraud.
In fact, some apps even encourage you to provide your bank account details so that you can receive funds from others.
So, what should you do instead? Well, we recommend that you stick with traditional ways of paying for things. That way, you’ll be protected against fraud and you won’t have to worry about sharing your personal details with anyone.
Traditional methods include cash, debit cards, and checks – and not over the phone. Of course, you could also use an alternative method such as PayPal or Apple Pay. But whatever you choose, just make sure that you follow our tips above to stay safe!
Whilst paying by credit card over the phone is fine, it isn’t the most secure. So long as you are aware that the business you are speaking to is reputable, then you should have no problems.
However, if you are giving your credit card details to a stranger, there could be consequences. For example, they may take your card details and use it to make fraudulent payments.
Even though using your card online may not be as safe, it could be better than giving out your full payment details.
There could be protection steps taken online for a customer, unlike paying over the phone where you may have no choice but to tell a stranger your full credit card details.
Whatever option you decide to take, just make sure that you are taking the right steps to keeping your money secure and away from the wrong hands.
And if you have a gut feeling that you don’t want to pay over the phone, pay by cash in-store instead. It is the safest way to pay for goods.
Paul Martinez is the founder of EcomSidekick.com. He is an expert in the areas of finance, real estate, eCommerce, traffic and conversion.
Join him on EcomSidekick.com to learn how to improve your financial life and excel in these areas. Before starting this media site, Paul built from scratch and managed two multi-million dollar companies. One in the real estate sector and one in the eCommerce sector.