Before buying from potentially unscrupulous merchants, call up your credit card company and ask for a virtual credit card number. The disposable numbers expire after a single use, preventing merchants from signing you up for added or recurring charges. Virtual numbers are available to Citi, Discover, PayPal, and Bank of America customers.
It seems that there is nothing a consumer can do to completely prevent a merchant from putting an unauthorized charge through on their account. Even if that account is closed or you’re using a “single-use” or “virtual” credit card, fraud-prevention cards with disposable credit card numbers that change after you use them once, you’re not 100% secure. How come? Well, we’ll tell ya.