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What’s New With ‘Virtual Credit Cards?’

For decades, people have used their credit cards to make purchases at retailers without giving security a second thought. Now that hacking has become commonplace (remember the Target fiasco?) we’re all more aware of the possibility that unscrupulous cyber thieves can steal sensitive information. One study reveals that in 2013, there were over 13 million U.S. victims of identity theft — a new victim every two seconds.

Enter the “virtual credit card” (VCC). As the name indicates, it’s not a plastic card but a dedicated number that is matched to your “real” credit card. It’s linked to your credit or debit card, and you can use the number while shopping online or by phone. Think of it as a “code number” for your regular credit card number.

Are you thinking of getting a Virtual Credit Card? Here are some things to keep in mind.

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