Financial Tips | Debt Management

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Credit Card Safety: Is your Number on that Receipt?

Many merchants (including retailers, restaurants, grocery stores, etc) have fixed what used to be a regular practice. Not too long ago when you used your credit or debit card to pay your bill, your entire credit card number or debit card number (as applicable to the situation) would appear on both the merchant’s receipt and the customers copy.

Many people may not see a problem with this. However, if you think about it, many of us just toss our receipts into the trash when we get them. With the rise of internet banking (which automatically keeps track of your debits and credits on your accounts) many people do not know how or just do not balance their checkbook. As such, there is no need to keep your receipt. But what if an identity thief happened to find a receipt in the trash and your entire credit card number was on the receipt? Would you care? You should care because a lot of damage can be done with just a credit card number.

As I mentioned, many merchants have fixed this problem by only putting the last 4 numbers of your credit card number on the receipt. The other numbers are replaced with an “x.” However, if you use your credit card at a place that does not “x out” your credit or debit card numbers, make sure you shred your receipts in a cross cut shredder (after you no longer need them) before disposal. By doing this, you will limit the possibility of somebody stealing your identity.

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