Having an elephant steal your identity: Priceless

Posted: May 10, 2007 in Banking, Blogging, blogroll, Blogs I'm reading!, Consumer Issues, Credit, F4Y Picks, Finance For Youth, Financial Institutions, Friends, Life, Saving

Have you seen the commercial for mastercard where the Pumbaa guy from “Lion King” (I’m pretty sure that’s him) is taking care of all the animals, and catches cold? The elephant then treks over to a store to buy some soup and get some cold medicine for the zookeeper. It’s very touching, because the elephant is caring for the zookeeper like the zookeeper takes care of all the animals.

My wife and I watch that commercial, and I will admit it brings a tear to my eye. It seems that nobody else has a problem with the fact that Mastercard is trying to sell you on the convenience of the product by advertising that it is so easy to steal your identity that an ELEPHANT could do it.

I’m sorry, but it doesn’t make me feel better to know that Mastercard (and Visa, for that matter) do NOT require you to sign a receipt if the transaction is lower than a certain amount ($30.00, or close to it). If you don’t sign, they can’t identify you.

Can you do anything about it? Absolutely. If you are using one of these cards, contact the issuer and let your voice be heard. If enough people complain, the rules will change. Also, either sign your cards, or write “PLEASE ASK FOR ID FOR ALL TRANSACTIONS” in Sharpie on the signature line of your card (make sure you write down the numbers in that box first, you’ll need them later, but that’s another post). Will this require vendors to do it? Not really. But if they don’t, you have the right to bring it to a manager’s attention. There are posts all over the PF blogiverse that will tell you about credit card fraud, debit card fraud, baseball card fraud, playing card fraud, etc. Anything you can do that will hinder the fraud without putting so much effort into it that you can’t enjoy the product as it was designed is a good thing.

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