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When Using Your Credit Card

Real Estate Agent with Direct Real Estate Group

On 5/27/08, Channel 5 of San Francisco carried a consumer report that specifically stated that when using your credit card for a purchase and, if you are asked for your photo ID, you can refuse to show it.  The business has the right to refuse your business, but  they would be doing so in error as the major credit card companies specifically state that a signed credit card is all that is required when using the card. 

Because of the rise in credit card fraud and identity theft, consumers are thanking the merchants who request to see their photo ID at the time of purchase.  Rather than signing the back of their credit card, the consumer simply puts "see ID" on the back of the card.  If you choose to do this, make sure you cover vital information when showing your photo ID (that includes birthdate and address).   Let's not make it so easy for those individuals who continue to devise ways to ruin our hard earned credit!

Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Blythe, some people think it's safer not signing their credit cards, so that a forger wouldn't know what their real signature looks like.  This is a mistake, because a thief can sign in any handwriting, and the retailer wouldn't know the difference.

It's safer to sign the card.

May 28, 2008 01:04 AM
Marsha Whipple

Using my passport as ID makes it easy to mark my credit cards with see ID. I have had my passport for about 7 years and find it very handy.   Since it doesn't have an address on it I find it much "safer" to use for ID. You never know "what evil lurks in the hearts of men," to borrow a quote from the Green Lanter.

If you are concerned about identity theft don't carry your social security card on you, if you loose it that is a big problem for you and easy for someone to become you.. Especially easy if you have other ID that is lost with it.

May 28, 2008 01:10 AM
Marsha Whipple

You are right, you shouldn't leave the back of your card blank, anyone can fill in the spot and it used to be the merchant doesn't have to accept an unsigned card - I am not sure about that anymore.

I would love to think that signing my credit card with my signature makes me safer. Next time you use your card watch and see what the person accepting the card does. more than 9 out of 10 times they don't see what they are looking at. My cards have  said ask 4 id for over 4 years now. Rarely if ever am I asked for id. When they ask it means they actually saw what was on the card. When I am asked I thank the person that is asking.

May 28, 2008 01:20 AM
Marsha G. Whipple
Keller Williams Realty NY - Amherst, NY

my bad, not the Green Lantern it whas only The Shadow knows....


Marsha Whipple

May 28, 2008 01:26 AM
Blythe Kern
Direct Real Estate Group - Campbell, CA

Thank you all for your comments.  The Bay Area has experienced recent thefts using ATM machines at both grocery stores and gas stations.  They use a device attached to the card swiper and obtain your pin number and bank information.  Before you realize, your bank account has been empited of several hundred dollars!  I know the economy is bad and stealing is now becoming "creative".  I have gone back to writing checks and have put the ATM card away.

Jun 04, 2008 03:40 AM