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How to find your credit card security code

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It doesn't matter what you call them -- a card security code (CSC), card verification value (CVV or CV2), card verification code (CVC) or even a card code verification (CCV) -- those three or four digits provide an additional measure of credit card security when you make purchases online or by mail order. But, finding them can be confusing, especially if you've never made an online purchase with that specific card. 

The card security code "is one in a series of steps that merchants can take to prevent fraud and verify that the order is being placed by the actual cardholder," says Matthew Towson, senior manager of community affairs for Discover Financial Services, adding that in most cases, the only way for a cardholder to provide the security code is to actually be in possession of the card.

Where you find the security code depends on the card. If you have a Visa, MasterCard or Discover, turn the card over. In the signature box or just to the right of it, you wil…

cvv number

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Visa®, Mastercard®, and Discover® cardholders:
Turn your card over and look at the signature box. You should see either the entire 16-digit credit card number or
just the last four digits followed by a special 3-digit code. This 3-digit code is your CVV number / Card Security Code.

American Express® cardholders:

Look for the 4-digit code printed on the front of your card just above and to the right of your main credit card number. This 4-digit code is your Card Identification Number (CID). The CID is the four-digit code printed just above the Account Number. 

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