Virtual credit cards come with both benefits and drawbacks. Should Ohio consumers embrace them in order to prevent online credit card fraud?

Identity theft in all of its incarnations continues to threaten Ohio consumers every day. Of course, online credit card fraud is a big issue with consumers in Ohio and across the country. Many consumers do a great deal of their shopping online because it is convenient. However, having your credit card number stolen and used by fraudsters is the opposite of convenient. In response to consumer concern, all major credit card companies have strengthened security measures.

One product that several credit card issuers now offer is the virtual credit card. These virtual credit cards are not actually credit cards at all. Rather, they are temporary credit card numbers connected to primary credit card accounts. When Ohio consumers use virtual credit cards online, they protect their real credit card numbers from scammers. However, while there are benefits to using virtual credit cards, there are also some drawbacks.

How Virtual Credit Cards Help Prevent Online Credit Card Fraud in Ohio

Virtual credit cards offered by different credit card companies work in slightly different ways.

The Bank of America ShopSafe® Service

Bank of America offers this virtual credit card service with both Visa® and Mastercard® accounts, and for any Ohio consumer who uses its online banking service. When consumers engage the ShopSafe® service, it automatically generates a 16-digit virtual credit card for online shopping. Then, the consumer using this number can make it valid for up to a year. For added security, this temporary account number comes with both an expiration date and a security code.

The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card

This offering from Citi allows Ohio ThankYou® Preferred Card holders to create merchant-specific virtual credit cards. This means that a randomly generated account number only works with one merchant. This way, even if an identity thief steals the number, it won’t work when the scammer tries to use it on another site. Cardmembers who use this service can create a virtual credit card for every merchant they patronize online.

Visa Checkout® and Masterpass

Both the Visa and Mastercard virtual credit card services allow Ohio customers to create accounts directly through their actual credit cards. With participating merchants, Visa Checkout® and Masterpass® buttons appear at checkout. This allows for faster shopping, and the virtual credit cards come with the same fraud protection features associated with regular cards.

Drawbacks to Using Virtual Credit Cards in Ohio

When it comes to preventing online credit card fraud in Ohio, every layer of protection matters. So, virtual credit cards are useful because they do add an extra level of security to shopping online. However, they also make the online purchasing process a little more cumbersome.

  • If you need to confirm a credit card number in order to return items, you may run into problems.
  • Booking a hotel or rental car with a virtual credit card may not work because the number won’t match the digits on the actual card if you need to show it in person.
  • Ohio consumers who use virtual credit cards may put too much faith in them and let their guards down. Remember that no security measure is foolproof. So, even if you use virtual credit cards while shopping online, remember to stay vigilant.

Part of staying vigilant in order to prevent online credit card fraud in Ohio involves keeping tabs on your credit reports. This way, if something does slip through the cracks and causes you to become a victim of identity theft or credit card fraud, you can find and remove bogus items.

While going through your credit reports, it’s also a good idea to look for mistakes and errors caused by creditors and the credit bureaus. These inaccuracies aren’t your fault, but many of them can cause your credit score to drop. So, go to, and request copies of your credit report from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) entitles you to do this once every 12 months.

If you do find fraudulent items or errors on any of your credit reports, contact the Law Offices of Gary D. Nitzkin, P.C. After emailing or calling our firm, an experienced credit attorney will fix your credit issues and get you clean credit reports for FREE.

The Free and Legal way to Get Better Credit

Don’t let fraudulent accounts and charges, or errors on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At the Law Offices of Gary D. Nitzkin, P.C., we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? The law allows us to collect our fees and costs from the defendants in any successful action. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.

Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (216) 358-0591 or sending him a message through our contact page.

For more information about Free Credit Repair, please visit