August 25, 2009

Is my 3-digit credit card security code safe online?

Posted: 08:45 AM ET

From HLN's Money Expert Clark Howard


Is it safe to give the 3-digit security code on the back of credit cards when placing an order online? I was always informed of never give that code out. In reading the statement of why the code is needed, it is to verify the card is in your hand. If the card was stolen the thief would have the card in hand to give the code if ordering online. Thank you for your assistance.


You're absolutely right. But the purpose of the three-digit code on the back, is many times a criminal may be able to steal your 16-digit number but they won't know the secret code. It's just an additional possible way for a merchant to protect himself or herself from fraud. It is not something that puts you at risk giving that number, if you're dealing with a reputable merchant. If you ever give the number out and you're worried later, that you think you might have given it to somebody who's not A-okay, well at that point you should call your credit card company and they can check to see if any weirdo activity is taking place.


Filed under: Clark Howard • Credit • Living

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David   August 26th, 2009 6:32 am ET

I think Batman and Robin are cool dudes.

Ivis Lopez   August 27th, 2009 11:51 pm ET

I just recieved Chase bank correspondence. After 18 years of being a responsible consumer and paying my credit card on time they decided to change my credit card APR from a fix rate to a hilarious 9.99% + prime. When I called to inquire for the rate reason their answer was very simple " we have to cover our costs and every bank is doing the same". Is this driven by foreclosures in the area? Is it driven by my last name ? It 's obvious that good credit and a long term relationship with the bank are not the reasons.
How many others are going thru the same situation?

joseph eaker   September 3rd, 2009 7:21 am ET

question for clark. i have 401k from previous employer, $31,000.

would an annuity be a good safe pkace for my money...i am 53
years old . thank you

Ramon Cabrera   September 26th, 2009 1:42 pm ET

howard i went out of bussine an the phone company dont want to discontinion the service i wait till the comtrast spare them after the comtract spare istill gerent bill . i call the company an they to me that they renueve the comtract .wat to i do , i dont has bussine any more.thank your very much.

Ramon Cabrera   September 26th, 2009 1:50 pm ET

AT&T phone company , to me that they renew the comtract for another year but adont have bussine any longer. thank you.

Moise   October 9th, 2009 6:13 am ET

I used my card to registrer on line. The firm call me and ask me the 12 digits and the 3 digits at the back side. these information are needed to validate my trasaction? I checked in my account an the transaction is already done: fine, Why do you think they need that information for?
Is it safe to give them?


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About this blog

Clark Howard helps you become a wise consumer. We know you're busy, and that's why Clark's tips are quick and effective. He'll arm you with the information you need to make smart choices. During these tough economic times, Clark wants to help you save more, spend less and avoid getting ripped off!