Stephen Kenny remembers being in high spirits one evening after imbibing “one martini or maybe three ” on his way home from work. He was in such a good mood, in fact, that he decided to get his girlfriend a present.

“I logged on to this luxury jewelry Web site and I bought her a pair of $1,500 earrings — or what I thought were $1,500 earrings,” said Mr. Kenny, who works at an intellectual property law firm in Burlington, Vt. “Maybe my vision was blurred or I just missed a decimal point, but they turned out to be $15,000.”

When he discovered what he’d done the next morning, Mr. Kenny was able to cancel the charge on his credit card, so no real harm was done. “Frankly, I was amazed that I had that much credit available,” he said.

Welcome to one of the latest and strangest financial hazards of our high-tech age: clicking under the influence, or as a friend of mine called it, “sip and click.” In Mr. Kenny’s case, he realized what he had done, and was able to remedy the situation quickly, but not everyone gets off the hook so easily.

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