Whether you’re booking tickets, buying clothes or purchasing items from an auction site, you can pay for many things online these days.
But you need to take care when you are making online transactions…
Before you type your card details into a website, ensure that the site is secure. Look out for a small padlock symbol in the address bar (or elsewhere in your browser window) and a web address beginning with https:// (the s stands for ‘secure’).
Avoid making online purchases when you are in a public place. When you’re using a wireless internet service (also known as ‘Wi-Fi’) in public, you cannot guarantee that the network is secure. This applies eve
Using a payment card online can put you at risk of card fraud – which is when criminals are able to get hold of your details and use your card to make transactions. But you can reduce the risk by knowing what to look out for and by being cautious.
When you make a card transaction, you should never be asked for your PIN or online banking password. Your PIN should only be used at cash machines and physical, point-of-sale terminals, such as a supermarket check-out.
However, when you are making a payment online, you will be asked for the 3 or 4 digit security number (‘CVV2 code’), which is usually found on the back of your card.
Unless express permission has been given, sites are not allowed to store your card details after the transaction has been completed.
So, if you visit a site again and it lets you make new purchases without entering your card details, you should contact the site and ask for your card details to be deleted. It’s much safer to re-enter your card details for each purchase.
There are a few extra things that you need to be aware of if you’re buying items online from a company that is based outside the UK.
Different rules apply depending on whether the company you’re buying from is based within the EU or not. See the HM Revenues & Customs link in the Related Links section at the end of this guide for details of the taxes and duties that can apply.