Credit Card Security Question

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by .:*Robot Boy*:., Jan 22, 2005.

  1. .:*Robot Boy*:. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #1
    Hi,
    I'm looking at buying some Computer/Audio gear from B & H Photo Video. I live in New Zealand, which, for consumers, is an awful country to live in as our isolation breeds heavily inflated prices.

    Anyway... the site looks fine, it has all those emblems at the bottom which are supposed to make me believe that it's safe, however, when I was looking for information regarding their International Shipping policy, I came across this:

    International Orders

    If you are a first time "mail order or on-line" customer, or if you are using a new or different credit card for the first time at B&H, upon completing your on-line order, you must fax or e-mail a copy of both sides of your credit card to 212-239-7549. Our Email address is verification@bhphotovideo.com, (Does NOT apply to customers from Canada).
    Please include the invoice number (that you will get when completing your order) along with the copy of your card. Your card will be charged & the merchandise committed upon submission of your order

    If you have previously ordered online or by phone/fax with this credit card and it is already on file, no fax is required. (Note: If you have ordered before, the only way the web site system can recognize you as a repeat customer is if you use exactly the same name, address and phone number information. Any variation will cause the web site to conclude that you're a first time customer and hold the order pending receipt of the fax.)


    Should I be worried about this? It seems incredibly dangerous to fax a detailed picture of both sides of your credit card to an anonymous person in a foreign company. Why is it that a company like this would require a scan of your credit card whereas Amazon.com only requires your CC#, Expiry Date and the 3-digit number on the back?

    Am I just being paranoid, or is this common practice?

    Cheers
    Tim.
     
  2. mcmav37 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    #2
    I cannot comment about these specific security practices, but I would tend to not worry as much since it is B&H. My impression of them is that they are very responsible, reputable, etc and I have never had any problems with them.
     
  3. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Communard de Londres
    #3
    Robotboy,maybe phone them and express your fears.This may be a reputable company but is a very risky thing to do.Presumably there is on file somewhere thousands of copies of credit cards which must be accessable to at least some employees.On the other hand in the case someone used it the creditcard company would have to pay.
     
  4. .:*Robot Boy*:. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #4
    Hi,
    I just sent them an email expressing my concerns, although I can't think of any way that they could justify what they're doing. I have no qualms about giving them certain elements of my card (i.e blur out the last digit of each block of numbers, the expiry date and the signature) but surely there must be easier ways to convince them that I am me.

    Does anyone know of any other stores that do this?

    Tim.
     
  5. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #5
    Firstly, B&H is a reputable retailer. I've been in their store in NYC many times.

    Secondly, fees paid be merchants who accept credit cards without physically seeing them are very high. (I run the web division of my company and know a lot about this) The type of product you sell and your volume is also related. As they sell electronics, which are targets of credit card fraud as they are easily resold, a hard copy of the credit card will reduce their credit cards fees and fraud.

    Send them the fax. A small price to pay for the low prices they offer.
     
  6. tubedogg macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    #6
    I'm curious...do you not give your credit card to waiters in restaurants? Do they not see the entire thing? Or anywhere else you card is swiped through manually? Not to mention that every merchant that you deal with that has their own merchant account has access to your card number and expiration date.
     
  7. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Communard de Londres
    #7
    IANAL,and not really knowlegable in this field.It would surprise me if a fax or email made it a card present transaction.
     
  8. cwedl macrumors 65816

    cwedl

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2003
    #8
    I know someone that went into a restaurant and paid on his card, they must have cloned his card because his creditcard company phoned up and told him that somepne had purchased a holiday to spain on his card. Not everybody can be trusted, I in fact have not bought from many companies online, because I was not happy with the way they processed my payment.
     
  9. tubedogg macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    #9
    Nowhere in my post did I say everyone can be trusted. However it is rather silly to think that faxing a picture of your credit card is any different from handing a card to a waiter at a restaurant or something similar.
     
  10. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a

    Nickygoat

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #10
    I've bought both online and in the store from B&H. For the online order they asked for the same details they asked you for. I was a bit wary too but did it anyway. AFAIK they're a reputable company and I haven't had any problems with my card since then - nearly a year now. I'm in the UK. Hope this helps.
     
  11. efoto macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Cloud 9 (-6)
    #11
    B&H is a repuatble store for sure. I have ordered from them online many times, and a business partner of mine who travels to NY has been in the b&m store a bunch too. International gets a little more complex I guess (I am in US), but I know they are legit.
     
  12. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #12
    Having a fax copy of the card (front and back) is just a security measure against someone having just a list of card numbers. It may be easier for B&H to verify identity of a US/Canada customer than from other countries.

    If you are concerned, they might accept a wire transfer.
     

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