Identity Theft and In-Store Credit Card Applications

In-Store Credit Card Applications May Lead to Identity Theft

You’re done with your shopping and you head over to the nearest checkout. That’s when you’re enticed with an attractive offer -- you’ll get a certain percentage off of your purchase price if you fill out an in-store credit card application. Before you go ahead and accept that offer, you might want to stop and think that filling out that application may just lead to your identity theft.

Easy Identity Theft

Stop and think for a moment about all of the information that goes on a credit application. Your name, your address, your social security number, how much money you make, your place of employment… The list goes on. When you stop and think about it, a credit card application is an identity theft criminal’s dream come true.

When you’re filling out an in-store credit card application, you really don’t know the person you’re giving all of that information to. What if that person is an identity theft criminal? What if they’ve been bribed by an identity theft criminal to give them copies of the credit card applications they take for a substantial amount of money in return?

Avoid Identity Theft

If you want to avoid identity theft, don’t go for the in-store credit card applications. If you want a credit card application from a certain store, mail your application in or apply online.

Comments

I am one of those people that take credit card applications in a store. I take my job very seriously and would never treat someones information with anything but care and precaution against such a thing happening. If you ever tried doing what I do you would come up with some advice about how to protect the information instead of just not getting the deal that is offered. Our apps only ask name address birthday SS# and phone. I realize how important even that amount of informations is and guard it carefully.

OMG, who would have thought? I have filled out many of in-store credit cards before. Perhaps a suggestion could be made to stores that a number is put on the application so that it can be used to get that percentage off the last purchase if application is filled out and sent in by a certain date. Everyone wants a deal, but not at the expense of idenity theft.

I work in a store & am required to get a certain number of credit card applications per week. I always give the S.S.# back to the customer. However, I thought it was illegal to use the S.S. # for any identification. If this is true, can anyone tell me why this practice is so common & why we have to do it?

Re: first comment
"Our apps only ask name, address, birthday, SS#, and phone. I realize how important even that amount of informations is and guard it carefully."

You have GOT to be kidding! I don't care how "careful" you are, I don't know you from Adam and this is ALL the information an I.D. thief needs to rip someone off.

Unless you are the IRS or the Social Security administration, you will NEVER get this kind of info from ME just so I can save 10% on some cheesy outfit.

Another word to the wise. When someone says they need to see your drivers license in order to confirm your identity, DON'T let them take it out of your hand and scan it. This is just another ploy to be able to get all the info that is imbedded in the magnetic strip on the back. (as well as the bar code). They want to scan this to increase their marketing efforts. What a load of you know what.

I circumvent this by refusing to release the card and asking why they need to hold it. I also have demagnetized the strip on the back as well as covered the bar code over with a new one from a snickers candy bar! Let them see how "sweet" that information is!!

Jean, your company requires an S.S. # because they are issuing credit. Same as a bank. I am sorry they make you ask strangers for this kind of sensitive information. Especially in this day and age.

I've noticed that both in-store credit card apps. as well as the store discout card apps. are frequently turned in at a service desk or sign-up table, where you get either a gift for joining or a discount coupon. There the pile frequently sits unsupervised when the attendant leaves the post! The identity theft need not be an employee at all, just someone with an arm and an eyeball. Often, you can get your free gift by taking 2 apps., turning in one with bogus info. to get your gift, and mailing the other with real info (assuming you want the card).

Awesome blog. Peace out until next time TabathaOster

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