Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Second Checking Account to Prevent Identity Theft

After talking to Wellsfargo about another issue, the banker recommend that I create a second checking account solely to make online purchases.

The balance of this secondary checking account will almost always be $0. When I want to buy something online, I transfer money (using online banking) into the account and make the purchase. If my information for this account is stolen, then I will make a fraud claim. While Wellsfargo investigates, this account will be frozen. But since I only use this account for online purchases, it will not disrupt my life...I still have access to my credit card (which I use for purchases in real life), my savings account (which contains most of my money), and my main checking account (which I use to pay bills). After Wellsfargo determines that I was not responsible for the fraudulent purchase, I will get back any stolen money and not be charged any overdraft fees.

Because the fraud risk associated with this account is so low, I thought of another benefit of a secondary checking account. I often purchase products from Google (i.e Google Checkout), Amazon, Barns and Nobel, and Newegg. Each site recommends that I save my card information with them so that it will be easier to make purchases in the future. Normally this is a bad idea since it is just one more way that your card information could be stolen. Now I will be less risk averse and choose to store my secondary checking account information with these sites.


  1. So if you use your credit card for purchases you make in real life, what do you use to make purchases in fake life?