Author Topic: Online purchase safety question - CC or PayPal?  (Read 4668 times)

Rollin

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Online purchase safety question - CC or PayPal?
« on: July 03, 2014, 07:41:31 AM »
Just got hit again with a bunch of fraudulent credit card charges.  This has happened to me three times in the past year, causing me to need a new card.  Little bit of a pain since I do a lot of auto payments on the card so I have to go and change all.

For online purchases (such as through Amazon) do you think it is safer to use PayPal, or your credit card?  Can you offer information as to why which one is safer than the other (if there is a difference)?  Do you know of the safest way to order products online?

frugalnacho

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Re: Online purchase safety question - CC or PayPal?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2014, 08:17:24 AM »
Some credit cards allow you to create a temporary number to use for just such an occasion.  You set the limit on the temp number, and the expiration date.  For example if you are buying something for $20 on amazon today you can create a temporary virtual card that expires next week and has a limit of $20, then you use that number to pay.  If that information gets stolen they can't charge anything to it, and they won't have your real credit card information.  I have done this with my bank of america master card.  Not sure what other companies offer this service, but I wasn't aware of it until someone told me.

randymarsh

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Re: Online purchase safety question - CC or PayPal?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2014, 08:18:42 AM »
I imagine Paypal would make fraudulent charges less common since the merchant never receives your information, just the money.

But this will only fix your problem if the leaks are coming from the online merchants you buy from. It's just as possible a waiter or store clerk copied your card. Or you fell for a phishing scam and typed your CC info into a website that wasn't the real deal.

deedeezee

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Re: Online purchase safety question - CC or PayPal?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 08:23:52 AM »
I use Paypal if there is -0- chance of return or sketchy vendor activity (i.e., no chance they won't send what they said they would).  If there is any chance that I want to return, by mail or at store, I use a credit card.  If there is any chance that I may want to dispute the charge, I prefer to do that through my credit card because the process is simple and straightforward.

Discover used to allow unlimited one-time use numbers for shopping online - which I made copious use of - but they discontinued earlier this year.

Jack

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Re: Online purchase safety question - CC or PayPal?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014, 09:14:20 AM »
If you're having fraud issues that often, maybe it's worth it to make your automatic payments with a different card than the one you use for ad-hoc purchases. It might be less optimal in terms of rewards or whatever, but you'd have to weigh that against the convenience of not having to re-set-up the automatic payments so frequently.

unpolloloco

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Re: Online purchase safety question - CC or PayPal?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2014, 09:16:06 AM »
Credit card is probably better (easier to dispute charges).  However, you're probably more likely to have your card info physically stolen at a merchant or restaurant (probably what you're experiencing)

Snow White

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Re: Online purchase safety question - CC or PayPal?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2014, 09:32:23 AM »
Hubby and I only had one credit card for years then it was compromised just before we were heading out on vacation and it is darned near impossible to rent a car (even if you pay cash) without a CC. So we got a second CC just as a backup. We have a Paypal account too and I use it when buying something on Ebay or Etsy as I really don't know who these people are.  I feel more secure when using a CC with a major company online but that is just a false sense of security as their records are likely more of a target to hackers. 

I check the CC statement as soon as it arrives for unauthorized activity and our CC company has been good about calling when something out of character is going on.  Last year I got a call from them asking if I was in Spain trying to use my CC to rent out a movie theater. Uh, that would be a big no. Sounds fun but I wasn't invited to that party. :)

Rollin

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Re: Online purchase safety question - CC or PayPal?
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2014, 09:38:15 AM »
If you're having fraud issues that often, maybe it's worth it to make your automatic payments with a different card than the one you use for ad-hoc purchases. It might be less optimal in terms of rewards or whatever, but you'd have to weigh that against the convenience of not having to re-set-up the automatic payments so frequently.

Good idea.  That will save me as I do have an American Express that I use only for gas and groceries.

As to the other responses, I'll look into those (and thanks!).

This has happened before and I can guarantee you that I could have tracked down the people doing this the last time, but the credit card company probably didn't go after these small fry.  The lady from the cc company grilled me over the phone (last time this happened) "are you sure you were not in New Orleans on these days?"  I said look at the charge in Flamingo Florida for gas on the same day - I was in the middle of the Everglades when the crooks were buying pet food in New Orleans (and KFC, Dunkin Donuts, etc.).  I called the pet food store and they were small enough and had a unique enough product that I could have likely narrowed down their customer list and located the perp(s).

This latest crook(s) went bigger and charged two Paypal charges for over $3000, plus a hotel, move tickets, grun hub food (what's that???), and the now ubiquitous Dunkin Donuts, etc., etc.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 12:41:27 PM by Rollin »

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Online purchase safety question - CC or PayPal?
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2014, 01:48:30 PM »
Big opposer of PayPal here, they couldn't get much shadier.  I cancelled my account with them a year or two ago and I still read things that make me glad I did so.  All they are is a middleman to your credit card anyway, so one more point of failure.  It's very hard to dispute things through them.  Not buying things from sketch sites should protect you from 99% of online fraud issues.  If all you're buying from is Amazon, then they are getting your info elsewhere (ATM?  local corner store?).

If I had continuing problems with this I would open a second checking account (opting out of overdraft protection) with a debit card and only transfer money in there when I was getting ready to use it.  If it's a second account with your existing bank, transfers would be instant so wouldn't be too big of a deal depending on how often you order online.

okashira

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Re: Online purchase safety question - CC or PayPal?
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2014, 02:47:17 PM »
Big opposer of PayPal here, they couldn't get much shadier.  I cancelled my account with them a year or two ago and I still read things that make me glad I did so.  All they are is a middleman to your credit card anyway, so one more point of failure.  It's very hard to dispute things through them.  Not buying things from sketch sites should protect you from 99% of online fraud issues.  If all you're buying from is Amazon, then they are getting your info elsewhere (ATM?  local corner store?).

If I had continuing problems with this I would open a second checking account (opting out of overdraft protection) with a debit card and only transfer money in there when I was getting ready to use it.  If it's a second account with your existing bank, transfers would be instant so wouldn't be too big of a deal depending on how often you order online.

Agreed. Paypal is absolute garbage.
Stick with a CC you trust to stick up for you.
Virtual CC #'s are awesome if your CC offers it.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Online purchase safety question - CC or PayPal?
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2014, 04:57:20 PM »
I've had a Chase issued card for years. They have always sided with me whenever there is fraudulent activity.

I only use PayPal when it is literally the only payment option. Their dispute process is notably anti-customer.

Barclay's also seems to be decent, though we don't use that card as often.

Rollin

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Re: Online purchase safety question - CC or PayPal?
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2014, 07:28:03 PM »
The card number stolen was from Chase.  They called me at 3:20 in the AM to ask me about the suspicious activity, but I turn my phone off.  Got an email first thing in the morning though and they denied all the fraudulent charges.  They always support me, but I was looking for a better way.  I still like the idea of a card just for the automatic stuff, but I really like life more single ands more cards isn't always better.

rmendpara

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Re: Online purchase safety question - CC or PayPal?
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2014, 11:56:00 PM »
Not sure about PayPal, as I haven't used it in a long time (and only to purchase things on Ebay), but I find credit cards to have good protection.

I had a duplicate charge from some restaurant post twice one time a while ago, and I just disputed it online and it was removed while investigated, and cleared within a few days.

I also recently had my credit card automatically closed and reissued by the bank as they had detected my information had been compromised by a merchant (I'm assuming Ebay, but not sure), however, it was nice to know they are at least monitoring for these things.

I think the best way to stay ahead is to make sure you have 2 cards, so if one has to be reissued/cancelled due to fraudulent charges, you have a backup.

babysteps

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Re: Online purchase safety question - CC or PayPal?
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2014, 05:56:58 AM »
2 additional thoughts:

1-as mentioned on other threads, avoid typing your cc# and info in over non-secure (or non-encrypted) wifi, someone could easily pull your info that way

2-May not really help, but makes me feel safer - I don't type my info in each time.  I have a spreadsheet with my cc#'s and info typed in (cc# goes in 2 cells, 8 characters each, you have to format as text if there is an initial zero) - then I copy and paste into online forms.  In theory only helps if someone is watching/recording my keystrokes, but spouse's cards have been compromised 2 or 3 times in last few years and mine so far not yet, so could help.  You'll want to create the spreadsheet while offline :)  Wait to see if anyone posts why this could be a *less* secure idea before implementing!

arebelspy

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Re: Online purchase safety question - CC or PayPal?
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2014, 11:31:16 AM »
Credit card is much better.

You can always do both though, pay with a CC through PayPal.
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Goldielocks

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Re: Online purchase safety question - CC or PayPal?
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2014, 11:56:06 AM »
CC is much better.  Get one just for online purchases, for merchant sites.
With lower limit and low fees.

Never had a problem with big retailer sites, but only smaller sites or media purchases.
We found the biggest fraudulent issues when son thought he was buying a one time purchase with birthday money and then had monthly charges show up.

Retailers hate cc because it is so easy to challenge or reverse charges without a signature.

Never use debit card on line, BTW..  No protection. Access to all your acct.  I am cautious and won't use cc linked to my debit acct either.