Protect Your Credit Card Number from Service Staff

How to Protect Your Finances

Did you know that hundreds of thousands of dollars are stolen annually by service staff? These staff members are using credit card numbers like yours and mine to walk off with a fortune. By service staff, I am referring to people such as waiters, waitresses, car wash staff, gas service cashiers, grocery store clerks and more. Each time you pay with your credit card, you are running a risk of having your information stolen. It's simple. It's quick. Most frightening of all, it's easy.

Review the Receipt

Review your receipt that you are signing. Some places are still using older credit card processing machines that print out the entire credit card number. This means that anyone that has access to those receipts can write down your credit card information to go shopping on the Internet, add additional tip amount or do as they please. If the entire number is printed on the receipt, scratch out all but the last four or five digits.

I was told by a gas station clerk that she needed that number should there be an error with their credit received statements from the credit card companies. They have to have the receipts in order to know how to charge again and to track the purchases. This is true. However, the last four or five digits of the credit card number is all that they need to do this. Remember, as soon as your credit card goes through their machine the transaction is live. It is already credited to the company and deducted from your account. They do not need the entire number. They are not supposed to print the entire number on the receipt.

Write Down Your Expenditures

There are many of us that know approximately how much we spent on gas, soda, a meal and so forth. We know roughly how much the expenditure is and how close we are to our credit limit. With things being so hectic, many people just glance over their credit card statements. You would never notice that someone added a few extra dollars here and there on your credit card. Write down the amounts. Keep receipts in an envelope to compare to the statement amounts.

I started keeping track of my expenditures at that gas station. I'm glad that I did because that following month's statement had anywhere from $1 to $3 additional amounts added to my credit card. Evidently the employee was correcting the charge and not putting the money in the cash register? I'm not sure how it operates but I know she is no longer working there and I am no longer shopping there. I took my receipts and my statement to the store owner and was refunded my money.

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