When it comes to protecting our personal identity and keeping our credit card information private, it is so reassuring to see that on the sales receipt from the store, there is only a line of xxxxxxx’s and then 4-5 numbers. Calmly you walk away keeping the receipt safe but if you did lose it, you are not worried are you, there were not any details shown?
Everyone should be worried, with the ever increasing numbers of credit card theft and identity theft it soon became time that a law should be passed offering some protection to credit card users. A federal law came into effect requiring that the number of a credit or debit card must be truncated or shortened, to no more than the last five account number’s and the card’s expiration date must be deleted on the customer’s receipt. However, as incredible as it sounds this does not apply to the copy retained by the merchant.
If you should discover any sales receipt’s still displaying all of your number’s, these merchants need to be reported, for it is against the law. Although every business is required to update their systems, the older style is still found to be operating in some of the more remote areas, so you must be vigilant and always take a second look at your receipt.
But the worrying fact still remains that your personal numbers are recorded on the merchants receipt and therefore your financial future now rests on the security measures in operation at the store, where you used your credit card. Dishonestly at the workplace is growing at an alarming rate and there is always the danger of credit card thieves who are aware of this system and would find it easy to choose an opportune moment to remove a stack or roll of receipts.
The surprising reality is that the store has no need for your number to be retained on their records; the transaction was handled and completed electronically. Although they are not required by law to remove these numbers from their receipts, many of the larger stores have started to do so in response to public requests. There needs to be a change in the law making it compulsory to remove the numbers from both receipts.
Combating identity theft is obviously going to take some time, but one of the best ways to start is for the general public to become more aware of their surroundings and vulnerabilities. It’s time to start realizing that the little plastic card that none of us can live without, actually stands for more than just a means to pay.