Can Store Receipts Lead to Identity Theft?

How Store Receipts Relate to Identity Theft

As consumers concerned about identity theft, we'd like to think that the stores we shop at work hard to keep our personal information safe. Unfortunately, it seems as though some stores haven't held to that ideal. In fact, if you're not careful, your store receipts may actually put you at risk of becoming the next identity theft victim.

Just What Information Is Spilling?

As we all know, identity theft criminals will seize any opportunity to steal personal information. It appears that some store receipts are ripe for the picking. Some stores print customers' full names, physical addresses and email addresses and even credit card expiration dates on their receipts.

Just How Do These Receipts Lead to Identity Theft

Let's say you get an email from a store you recently shopped at (but it's not really the store) needing to confirm your payment information. The email tells you to call them right away at an 800 number, which you do. They tell you the date of your purchase, what you purchased, your address, the expiration date of your credit card, but they need you to confirm your entire credit card number and the 3-digit security code on the back of your card.

You called them right? Isn't that supposed to eliminate your risk of identity theft? You give them the info. Big mistake.

It would be too easy for a criminal to get your store receipt, email you and have you call them at a 800 number (they are relatively cheap and easy to set up nowadays) and get your credit card information.

What To Do

First of all, don't panic. There are no actual reports of specific store receipts having been used in identity theft crimes. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't take precautions.

You know that shredder you have for your personal documents? Use it on your store receipts too. Don't just toss them in the trash. Shred your receipts before disposing of them if you want to reduce your risk of identity theft.

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