Is AliExpress Safe To Use With a Debit Card? Guidelines for Secure Shopping
Often referred to by consumers as the Chinese version of Amazon, AliExpress is an online marketplace that’s enjoyed success around the world. In January 2023, it hit an all-time peak, attracting over 449 million visitors globally. The biggest contributors to AliExpress’s advancements are its vast selection of items and below-competitive prices.
Still, some users are skeptical of AliExpress, as there have been many reports of undelivered or ill-advertised goods. Other users have concerns about the security of their data, which is understandable and expected when dealing with large e-commerce platforms like AliExpress.
This article will tackle the topic of payment data security on AliExpress by answering questions such as:
- Is AliExpress safe to use with a debit card?
- Is it safer to use a credit card than a debit card on AliExpress?
- What are the security risks AliExpress users should be aware of?
- What are some steps buyers can take to make shopping on AliExpress safer?
Is It Safe To Use a Debit Card on AliExpress?
AliExpress has its own payment platform and uses the escrow system for transactions. This means that the platform withholds the payment until the delivery is complete, and the seller receives the payment only after you confirm that the package has arrived and meets the provided description.
The escrow system enables AliExpress to have a robust buyer protection program. According to this program, you can request a refund if an item doesn’t arrive within the specified period. In case the item was delivered but is defective or unsatisfactory, you can file a dispute with the seller and try to reach an agreement. AliExpress will step in to help resolve the issue if the negotiation process doesn’t wrap up within 15 days.
Although AliExpress is generally safe to shop at, it’s not foolproof. Regardless of the website or app you’re using, you run the risk of having your card data stolen whenever you give it away.
Potential Security Issues AliExpress Users Should Be Aware Of
- Data breaches—In recent years, there haven’t been any publicly known reports of a security breach on AliExpress, but the possibility always exists, as it does with any online merchant. Retail websites are a profitable target for hackers since they store sensitive user data, such as card numbers and home addresses.
- Account takeover—A hacker may attempt to guess your login credentials and access your AliExpress account. AliExpress doesn’t offer an additional authentication method during login, which may only increase this risk. A hacker who manages to obtain your login credentials and access your account can also steal other sensitive information and sell it on the dark web or use it to impersonate you.
- Phishing—A cybercriminal may pose as a legitimate entity, such as AliExpress customer support, in an attempt to obtain sensitive information from you. The criminal may send you a message or an email asking you to provide information such as your debit card numbers or login credentials, click on a link that directs you to a fake login page embedded with malicious code, or download content infected with malware. While these messages can be well-crafted and difficult to distinguish from the real deal, there are certain giveaway signs that may help you recognize a fraud attempt—such as the urgent tone, grammatical or typographical errors, and an impersonal greeting.
- Seller fraud—Some sellers on AliExpress may be fraudulent. They typically operate by performing subtle deceptions in an attempt to earn additional funds. However, some of them may try to acquire your payment card information. For instance, they may ask you to pay them externally and then swipe your data via a compromised payment gateway.
Buying With Debit Cards vs. Credit Cards—Which Is Safer?
If you fall victim to debit card fraud, you are protected regardless of the type of card you have used.
According to the law, debit cards and credit cards have slightly different protection terms. In case of an unauthorized transaction on your credit card, your liability as a consumer is limited to $50 if you file a dispute within 60 days.
Debit cards offer protection as well, but they impose stricter time limits for reporting the issue. Generally, if you notify the issuer of fraud within three days, the maximum amount you can be liable for is $50. Your maximum responsibility for unauthorized charges is $500 if you report the problem within 60 days.
While most debit and credit card issuers have zero-liability policies for their customers, you still have to go through an arduous dispute and card replacement process in case of fraud. The only way to avoid it is to prevent your card or bank data from becoming compromised in the first place. You can do so by taking measures to fortify the security of your payment card data when shopping online.
Tips for Enhancing Your Payment Data Security on AliExpress
The following table explains what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to keeping your financial information safe on AliExpress: