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Card Security Code

Three-digit code provides added security.

If you’ve ever purchased an item over the phone or via the Internet, the merchant might have asked you for the three-digit security code on the back of your credit or debit card. Here’s why.

The three-digit number imprinted on the signature panel of your card helps merchants accepting payments over the telephone or on the Web verify that you possess the card and that it is legitimate. Once you provide the number to them, they check it with your card issuer as part of the authorization process.

Protecting the three-digit number on the back of your card, helps ensure that even if someone gains access to your account number and expiration date, the scammer won’t have the security number on the reverse side, and therefore wouldn’t be able to make unauthorized purchases.

Most importantly, keep in mind that many legitimate businesses or financial institutions may request your three-digit security number. However, before you provide any personal or account information, make sure you know who you are doing business with in order to protect your confidential information.