Sometimes you may not want to reveal your address or even your name while making purchases online. The reasons can range from not wanting your information being sold to third parties to the reality that there's no such thing as a 100% secure system, and at some point the online store will be breached. Regardless of the reasons, there is a way to make pseudonymous purchases online: Privacy.com (referral link for a $5 credit - thank you for supporting my blog)
What Is Privacy.com?
Privacy.com acts like a bank that only issues debit card numbers. At no cost to you, you can create as many debit cards as you want, and Privacy.com will approve any transaction no matter what billing address and name you use when making an online purchase (they do not issue physical debit cards, so this can only be used online).
To the best of my knowledge (note: I am not a lawyer), it is not illegal to provide an alias name or address to a non governmental entity that isn't selling insurance (insurance fraud is definitely a crime). Your mileage may vary.
How are These Debit Cards Funded?
When you sign up for an account with Privacy.com, they ask for your bank information. At the time I signed up, they only asked for your bank username and password. I did not want to provide this information, and instead contacted their support via email asking if I could verify my bank information with the two test deposit method instead (after you provide them with your routing and account number, they deposit two small random amounts, and you have to verify the amounts). They obliged and I successfully linked my bank account.
Whenever you make a purchase with a Privacy.com debit card, they automatically draft that money from your bank account via ACH.
How Does Privacy.com Make Money?
The Debit Cards Can Be Limited or Turned Off at Any Time
When creating these debit cards, you can set a limit on the amount that can be charged to the debit card, whether its in total, per charge, per month, or per year. If the limit is exceeded, the charge will be denied.
Furthermore, you can pause or delete a debit card at any time, and any subsequent transactions will be denied.
This makes it perfect for signing up for free trials and not having to remember to cancel the service after the first week/month/what have you.
If you're interested, please use my referral link to sign up. We will each get $5 to spend.
Some people have had success writing the debit card numbers to physical cards and using them in person, but this is not a supported activity by Privacy.com ↩︎
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