It Is What It Is, Dude
Date registered: Mar 2006
Vehicle: 1978 107.024 RIP
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 83 Post(s)
Cutting Credit Cards In Half May Not Stop ID Thieves
By Daniel Vasquez
Many of us have heard that cutting an expired credit card in half with scissors will thwart would-be criminals. Not so, thanks to a security flaw in some cards.
According to ConsumerWorld.org, the problem cards are those where the entire credit card number appears on both the front and back of the card. When an old card is only cut in half for disposal, anyone who gets their hands on one of those halves could rather easily figure out the entire card number. That's because the first part of the number is on the front - and the rest is on the back.
In the case of some American Express cards - as well as other credit cards - the entire 15-digit card number and the cardholder's name can be determined by combining the information found on the front and back of just one half of the card. The expiration date can be determined with a good guess. With these bits of info, a bad guy could use the card to make purchases online and charge it to you.
To prevent such fraud, shred your old cards and dispose pieces in separate garbage bins or bags.
According to ConsumerWorld.org, American Express is not the only card issuer that displays full card numbers on both the front and back of some of its cards. Washington Mutual and its predecessor Providian, now owed by Chase, did so as well.
In an informal survey, readers of Consumer World reported finding other cards in their possession with full 16-digit card numbers on the back including some Visa cards from Macy's, Bank of America, US Bank, First Equity, First Hawaiian Bank, and Department Store National Banks; as well as some AMEX Delta Skymiles and Blue Cash cards.
The security flaw would be easily fixed if all issuers followed the more common industry practice of only listing the last four digits of the card number on the back.
"While cardholders' liability for fraudulent purchases under federal law is limited to $50, not having to deal with the hassle in the first place is priceless," said Edgar Dworsky, founder of ConsumerWorld.org.
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