Identity Theft

With all the hoopla about identity theft, you’d think that those who have the credit card companies would put on their proverbial thinking caps. It seems to me that it is the credit card companies who are at fault. They really don’t have their customer’s best interests in mind. I submit that there are no companies less customer-centric to use a marketing buzz word than the credit card companies — and the competition is keen!

It seems like every day I get blank checks in the mail from my credit card companies. I haven’t asked for them, and I don’t want them. I don’t want them to send them. But I get them. I suspect that a lot of people do with them what I do with them — throw them out. It seems fairly harmless. It doesn’t take much effort on my part to throw them out if I don’t want them. But wouldn’t it be even less effort for the credit card companies not to send them?

Here’s the problem — those checks have my credit card number and my address printed on them. The credit card number is on the check and the address is on the envelope. Should they fall in the wrong hands they provide valuable information for the identity thief. In fact, it is much like putting a drink in front of an alcoholic. It unnecessarily invites widespread criminal behavior.

I’m careful to tear them up in a way that destroys the account number, but i suspect that many people aren’t so paranoid. The envelopes are very easy to identify, and if they are taken before they arrive in my mailbox, they will never be missed.

I submit that the practice of sending such checks is both dangerous and foolish on the part of the credit card companies. Someone should tell them. But then again, they probably won’t listen.

Phil

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