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Netflix used a prop card to protect Zac Efron in 'Down To Earth'—but here's how your issuer protects you from fraud

Netflix protected Zac Efron with a prop credit card on his new show "Down To Earth". Here's how credit card issuers protect consumers every day.

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Zac Efron's new Netflix show "Down To Earth" provides viewers with an inside look into his travels around the world and quest to find healthy, sustainable ways to live. But many fans also thought they were getting a glimpse into his credit card account information.

Fans took to Twitter to state how Efron's credit card was in multiple shots with many showing his credit card number.

However, a closer look at the card details shows that the credit card number displays 12 out of 16 digits, with many in numeric sequence — 4000 1234 5678 XXX — indicating that the card is a prop.

Netflix edited his actual card information to protect Efron from viewers' unauthorized credit card transactions. And likewise, many card issuers also safeguard you from being held liable for unauthorized purchases.

Below, CNBC Select reviews how your issuer protects you from fraudulent purchases and some best practices for preventing credit card fraud.

Credit cards with $0 liability on unauthorized charges

If you're a victim of credit card fraud, your maximum liability is $50, according to the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA). However, some card issuers take that law a step further by offering $0 fraud liability on unauthorized charges. That means if someone steals your credit card and makes purchases, you won't be held liable.

While Efron used a prop card in "Down to Earth," therefore eliminating viewers access to his actual card info, the prop used was a Visa card. One of the basic Visa cardholder benefits is zero liability protection, but you should confirm coverage with your card issuer.

Here are some cards that provide $0 liability on unauthorized charges:

Credit cards with virtual account numbers

Some credit card issuers offer you the ability to generate a virtual card number during online checkout. This protects your actual credit card account number from phishing and hacking attempts that can result in unauthorized transactions.

Virtual card numbers provide merchants with a randomly-generated card number that is unique to the online site and links to your account. The virtual number creates a safety net between fraudsters and your actual information, minimizing the chance your account is compromised.

Here are some cards that provide virtual account numbers:

Best practices to protect from credit card fraud

In order to safeguard your credit card from unauthorized transactions, you should stay proactive and follow these best practices:

  • Monitor your credit card accounts: Verify that the transactions listed on your accounts were made by you or any authorized users on your account. Also verify that the amount of the purchase is correct. If you notice anything suspicious, contact your card issuer right away.
  • Sign up for transaction alerts: Many card issuers allow you to create alerts for transactions that exceed a certain limit, purchases made internationally or balance transfers requests, as well as other actions. It's a good idea to set these alerts so you can be alerted of possible fraud.
  • Secure your information: Whenever you make a purchase, make sure your information is secure. For online transactions, ensure the website says "https" and that you're not using public wifi. Phone call payments should only be done on calls that you initiate. And when you pay in-store, make sure you don't leave your card on the counter where anyone can see it.
  • Consider credit monitoring services: Spotting fraud early can save you time and money in the long run, but it's not easy to do on your own. Signing up for a credit monitoring service, such as IdentityForce® and Experian Free Credit Monitoring, can provide you with an early notice of potential fraud, so you can take steps to protect your personal information. There are a lot of services to choose from, so CNBC Select ranked the best free and paid credit monitoring services, so you can make an informed decision before you sign up for a service.

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Information about the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, Citi Rewards+℠ Card, and Citi Simplicity® Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

To learn more about IdentityForce®, visit their website or call 855-979-1118.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.