Small merchants accepting credit cards for payment have no fraud protection. Credit cards are the best protection when buying but offer no protection as a small merchant, larger operations have agreements that the smaller merchants do not qualify for.
One scam and there are many, is that the crooks use an partner's credit card and once the item was shipped and received the partner reports the card stolen. The partner is covered by the credit card company but the small merchant is not and took a total loss. The police are too busy to investigate but even if they did, the goods arrived at granny's flophouse of which there are thousands all around the country. The stolen goods are fenced from there.
Credit cards operate under specific laws as set by congress and we know they stand behind the buyer like a hungry dog on a piece of meat.
Debit cards have less protection as set by law and will offer fraud protection IF the card was used without your permission, the number was hacked for example. If you are simply unhappy with goods you purchased on a debit card, which happened to me, the bank may inform you that you are out of luck.
Not so fast. The debit card holder has a powerful yet time consuming weapon called a charge back to which my former bank didn't tell me about. When a charge back is initiated the issuer which would have been my former bank initiates an investigation and paper work is required by both parties. At some point in the process the mother hen issuer, visa or master card for example, takes over. The merchant pays a percentage of each debit sale to the issuer and a chargeback investigation, regardless of the final decision, may result in a higher fee which is charged to the merchant when a buyer uses that debit card. For this reason merchants may be willing to work out a resolution with you when you politely inform them that your hope to avoid all the paperwork, they will know what you are talking about.
Paypal was formed to help the small merchant and are not required by law to follow the same rules as credit and debit cards. The protection is limited to the buyer regardless of what they lead us to believe, read the contract. If you use friends and family to send money to a small merchant you have no protections they say, although I was refunded money under friends and family because they violated a basic tenet of contract law which I caught them on with regard to the email address that my payment was sent to. If you pay the 2 or 3 percent and send money using the merchant option, pay pal will release the funds to the seller once a tracking number is provided to pay pal. When your 500 dollar brick arrives and you call Pay Pal they will initiate an investigation. The seller and his associates have hundreds or thousands of Pay Pal accounts but they leave a small amount of money in said account and vigorously defend stating that your brick in the box is an attempt to defraud them. If Pay Pal rules in your favor Pal Pal itself has to refund you the 500 dollars, they have no way of getting the money back from the seller. Unless you are big time user of Pay Pal, good luck.
I will only use a credit card to purchase goods and services, if a seller online will not accept a credit card, I don't need it.
There are thieves reading this and my thoughts and prayers go out to you. It's a horrible life living with fellow thieves which are your bosses that are smarter and brighter than yourself and taking the lion's share of the bootie and leaving you with next to nothing . I can spot you poor creatures by the written word. Your bosses speak on the phone in a college level educated manner, the rest of the gypsy bottom of the barrel slow witted cohorts squat in smelly dirty rat holes cruising the internet all day. When you type a note in broken English to a "customer" and try to sound smart, "sadly" even spell check can't hide your rank stupidity. Sorry to hurt your feelings Omar and the other miscreants in your rat hole, a little tough love here.