- Credit Card
- Real Estate
The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that credit card information is among the least worrisome type of personal information belong to any consumer.
If someone’s credit card number is somehow stolen, my understanding is that he’s legally protected against fraudulent charges, and really, there is literally no piece of personal information on the card except the person’s name (which is already pretty public) and signature (which many people don’t bother with filling out anyway).
Given this, you’d think the consumer doesn’t need to worry about this at all.
But it seems like credit card companies beg to differ.
For example, Bank of America says:
We block potential fraud if abnormal patterns are detected and let you know if we suspect fraudulent activity.
Citi has a similar wording:
$0 Liability on Unauthorized Charges
You’re completely protected against unauthorized charges on your account. At Citi, you will not be responsible for a charge that you did not authorize, online or otherwise.
Heck, they go even further when advertising their Virtual Card Numbers:
Why use Virtual Account Numbers?
By using Virtual Account Numbers, you get peace of mind knowing that your actual credit card number is never revealed to merchants.
But… why should a consumer ever bother worrying about these in the first place, when he knows he legally can’t be held responsible for fraudulent charges? What exactly is this new “peace of mind” that he supposedly gets by (say) using features like virtual account numbers that he doesn’t already have? Should a consumer put any effort into worrying about this at all? (Why?)