Word of the Week: Scam

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Fake Check Scam - Fake Check in the Mail

1 Easy Tip to Avoid Receiving a Bad Check The era of the fake check scam is not past and gone, as it still claims victims. My own recent e...

Credit & Debit Card Misconception

If a person was a thief looking for a credit or debit card to use, whose card do you think they would be the most thrilled to find? Probably not one with your photo on it as that is an added measure of security for your card. Have you looked at the back of your card lately? How does your signature read? Hopefully your answer to that question is that it reads loud and clear, but a thief would just love to find a card with no signature on the reverse side.

There is a misconception that has become a growing trend. The misconception is that it is better security to NOT have your card signed with your signature at all! Now if you are like me you are shocked by that revelation, yet many believe it is better security. Some individuals who have bought into that misconception have "Use other ID" or something similar written where their signature should be. Although merchants are not supposed to accept a card without a signature, many of them do! A card is considered to be invalid if it is not signed by the card holder.

For those of you who believe writing "Use other ID." or whatever your version is, it does not provide a higher level of security. It actually allows a thief to sign your name in any form they desire. This practice also opens the door for the thief to take out fake ID bearing your name the same as it reads on your credit card, which allows them to write their signature for your name on both their fake ID, and on your credit card. Most likely it was thieves who came up with this concept to begin with.

If you are a merchant and are presented with a card that does not bear a signature on the back, you should inform that customer that the card must be signed before you are able to accept it. Instruct the customer to sign the card in your presence and require them to provide a current valid photo ID such as a valid drivers license, or passport. Do not accept a temporary form of indentification from anyone who presented you with an unsigned card. If the customer refuses to sign the card, do not complete the transaction. A merchant is liable for any transaction that is processed with a fraudulent credit or debit card, so act responsibly as a merchant.

If you do have your credit and debit cards signed as they should be, inspect the signature periodically to ensure your signature has not rubbed off. If so, sign your card with a permanent ink pen.

Lets all make life miserable for the thieves who would like to commit fraud. In the long run it saves us all money, so keep a valid signature on your cards.


the Prince of Thrift said...

wow! could it be? are you my cousin Tammy, that I last seen, what about 5 years ago. Take a look at my profile and blog, my pic is there, if we are related, you will recognize me. If not, then you are just another Tammera Nekson.

btw, great blog, found it through "blogging Away Debt," who I love to read. I will have to add yours to my link list.

Tammara Nelson said...

Thank you Kevin, for your comment, but I'm not your cousin. One never knows though with the seemingly small world we live in!