I want to buy an item online using my credit card (5$). the site is not famous, and I'm afraid that they can reuse my credit card information to withdraw money from my account in the future (2000$ for example). is that possible ?

How can I be sure that there is no recurring payment ?

  • 3
    How can I be sure that there is no recurring payment? Eternal vigilance, which you should be exercising on your CC anyway.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Sep 24, 2017 at 22:15
  • Note that there is another way to avoid recurring payment, but it requires you use a company that offers single-use credit card numbers, like Citi's Virtual Account Numbers: cardbenefits.citi.com/Products/Virtual-Account-Numbers With regular credit cards, once someone has your account only the idea of the law - and legal protections from fraud on your account - protects you from an unauthorized use.
    – BrianH
    Commented Sep 24, 2017 at 22:38

3 Answers 3


They could if they wanted.

It's of course illegal to do if you didn't authorize it, and to process credit cards, they need to have a relationship with a credit card processing company, which is not so easy to fake - not any Joe could do that using a fake ID.

Note that you are protected through your credit card company; if you tell them it's an unauthorized charge, they'll return it to you without discussion. It is then the vendor's duty to prove that it was authorized, and if he cannot, he'll pay extra fees to the processing company.

Overall, the risk is very small; it shouldn't be your worry.


Yes, it is possible, and many companies do it for legitimate reasons. For example renewing subscriptions or one-click ordering.

The only way to completely stop it would be to cancel the card. More realistically, check your bill whenever it arrives, and report any unauthorized transactions to the card issuer.


Yes, but note that some credit card companies let you create virtual cards--you can define how much money is on them and how long they last. If you're worried about a site you can use such a card to make the payment, then get rid of the virtual number so nobody can do dirty deeds with it.

In practice, however, companies that do this are going to get stomped on hard by the credit card companies--other than outright scams it basically does not happen. (Hacking is another matter--just pick up the newspaper. It's not exactly unusual to read of hackers getting access to credit card information that they weren't supposed to have access to in the first place.)

So long as you deal with a company that's been around for a while the risk is trivial.

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