Should You Use a Virtual Credit Card Number?

How one-use credit card numbers can help reduce the risk of fraud.

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But if you aren't vigilant about checking your statements and don't report fraudulent charges within the card issuer's window, fraud protection may not help. "The problem is, a lot of people aren't paying close enough attention to their credit cards," adds Siciliano.

Ulzheimer acknowledges this problem as well. "We're busy and if you've got multiple card users on a single account, it's hard to know what's legit and what isn't," he says, adding that free services like those offered by BillGuard.com can help alert you to hidden charges or fraud.

Ultimately, though, some of the responsibility for avoiding shady merchants and detecting fraud still lies with the consumer. "I think it's important that consumers recognize that first and foremost, there is no real security," explains Siciliano. "Every time you use that card, there's a risk that there can be fraud, even with a virtual credit card. It's up to the cardholder to check their statements frequently and use it responsibly."