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Places that insist you sign a credit card -- a problem?

Places that insist you sign a credit card -- a problem?

Old Jan 10th, 2003, 12:42 PM
My Eye Dee
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Places that insist you sign a credit card -- a problem?

Having known a number of people who had their identity "stolen," I have stopped signing the backs of my credit cards and simply put "see picture ID" on the back. I'm always grateful to the people who actually ask to see a picture ID and compare it to the info on the credit card.

But I was recently in some stores in Florida that say they will not honor any credit cards that are not signed, and they make a point of saying "see ID" is unacceptable.

Why would this be? It seems to me that having 2 IDs protects the stores as well as me. Has anyone else who declines to put their signature on a credit card run into the same thing?
Old Jan 10th, 2003, 12:44 PM
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I'm not sure what the reason is, but I imagine it has something to do with keeping them from being sued.
Old Jan 10th, 2003, 12:55 PM
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My Eye, did you call your credit card company regarding this? What did they say?
Old Jan 10th, 2003, 01:50 PM
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isn't your signature on picture ID? Match the two signatures that way. I'd complain to the store manager since the credit card co. can't really do anything about it. It sounds like just a stupid rule that can be solved by confirming the signature some other way...like picture ID!
Old Jan 10th, 2003, 03:30 PM
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It is always so amusing when people just don't know what they're talking about, and when others request advice where people just guess.

Call the issuers of your cards. For one thing, the back of your card, near the signature space, says "NOT VALID UNLESS SIGNED".

What is the value of "See Picture ID" if not ALL vendors request same each and every time you use your card?

And, if someone steals your "identity", they will have cards in your name they've acquired without your knowledge. So, how is "See Picture ID" on the cards in your pocket going to help for the cards that aren't?

The issuer of your credit card will tell you that you may write "See Picture ID" in the signature space, but that you must also SIGN it. Then, a vendor will know that you'd like them to check a photo ID, but they are NOT required to request one. In fact, Master Card/VISA agreements strictly preclude vendors from requesting any form of identification from the customer. Vendors are required to compare the signature on the approved transaction slip with the signature on the back of the card.

And, what is the point of "See Picture ID" if a vendor will not accept the card without your signature? And, vendors, per their agreement, are ordered not to accept cards ALREADY signed, so if you're in a pinch and sign it on the spot, that may not be accepted either.

You know, when you hear what you believe to be a really good idea, you should investigate the matter throroughly before deciding to go ahead with it - and you should check with the proper resources, not folks on an anonymous travel board.

Old Jan 10th, 2003, 06:07 PM
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Isn't it funny when you purchase something for $10 at the drugstore and the clerk ask for ID (as per the request on the CC) but when you buy something for $500 at Circuit City or Best Buy the clerk doesn't even bother to check the back of your card for a signature.
Old Jan 10th, 2003, 06:19 PM
Who you
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Why complain about the store clerk, they are only doing what they have been told. I mean, they are probably making slightly more than minimum wage and aren't paid to solve these complex problems.

Keep in mind, it is the CREDIT CARD company that requires that you sign the card. Shouldn't you complain to/about them? A merchant potentially runs the risk of having a charge invalidated if they accept a card without a signature.

BTW, if someone has stolen your identity, chances are they can also, and easily, get a fake photo ID.
Old Jan 10th, 2003, 07:25 PM
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The reason is to protect against fraud, obviously. This seems simple. If someone stole a credit card before it was signed, they could then sign it with any handwriting and match it up to whatever false ID they could cook up which they could also sign with a matching signature. A separate ID from the credit card doesn't mean anything if the signature doesn't match. I admit that someone serious about fraud could easily practice a signature enough to match it close enough anyway, at least to pass clerks, but it is one attempt to prevent fraud. I've been on a grand jury that reviewed hundreds of theft cases, including fraud and forgery, and you might be surprised how dumb some common criminals are and they wouldn't be able to forge a signature on a receipt from a credit card they had stolen, some of them probably wouldn't even be able to spell the name correctly or remember it. Not signing a credit card to protect against having your identity stolen doesn't make any sense to me.
Old Jan 10th, 2003, 08:27 PM
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Every single one of my credit cards sya "must be signed" "Not valid w/o signature" or similar wording. You are VERY foolish indeed if you carry un-signed cards.
Old Jan 11th, 2003, 05:17 AM
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I work in a large retail store. Our instructions are to hold the card until the slip is printed and signed and compare that signature to the one on the card. We are not allowed to accept cards that are not signed, are signed in front of us, or have "See Photo ID", etc. in the signature section.

When the "See Photo ID" people throw a fit, we call a manager who tells them that we do not accept credit cards that are not signed.

I've seen people get really mad about this, but there are no exceptions granted.
Old Jan 11th, 2003, 07:22 AM
My Eye Dee
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Sure, I really love the idea of having my signed credit card picked up and used by anyone who wants to, my signature copied for use in other places, my records potentially accessed via the credit card information, etc. etc. ESPECIALLY my bank debit card. Miss Snippy Nancy has obviously never had a card stolen, let alone an entire wallet-ful.

Those same stores who get all bent out of shape about whether I've signed my cards are the ones who never bother to check whether the signature on the card matches anything else or whether I'm the actual card holder.

I think this is a stand-off between stores who are worried about their security and customers who are trying to protect their own. For my part, every time I'm denied credit because I have something other than my signature written on the card (it's NEVER blank), I either write a check and they can whistle if they don't like how much time that takes, or I skip the sale.

I'm also down to just 2 major credit cards, because I had to weigh the vulnerability of losing one or both of them versus the broader vulnerability of having so many gas, retail store, and other credit cards that I wouldn't know one was gone and misused until my bill showed up.

Until the credit card issuers put my picture on the credit card, they and these stores are asking me to take on a clear personal risk by insisting on a "blind" signature instead of a link with more reliable ID.
Old Jan 11th, 2003, 07:51 AM
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I'm reminded of one of those 60 minutes or Dateline segments a couple years ago. They hired some big brute of a black man to go around charging on a picture ID credit card with the name Chow Fung Lee or something like that, with a picture of an Asian guy. Virtually nobody ever questioned his identity. They did several similar variations. The entire ID issue with credit cards is a a joke, but I sure don't know what the answer is. My Citibank card I use has my picture and a permanent signature under it, but I can't remember the last time anybody even glanced at either.
Old Jan 11th, 2003, 09:39 AM
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I lost my wallet with all of my cash, bank and credit cards. Each card had "Check photo ID" on the signature line. About a month later some nice gentleman found my wallet on the side of the road with my cards, license and business cards still inside and mailed it back to me. Only the cash was missing but I noticed that someone tried to erase the "check ID" but it smudged the whole white signature area (tamper evident). I believe that the check ID thing could be a deterrent to some thieves but of course is not a guarantee.
Old Jan 11th, 2003, 10:31 AM
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hmmmmmmmmmm, odd, I have "see ID" on all my credit cards and have never once in 30 years had a problem, and I use them ALOT..all over the country.
Old Jan 11th, 2003, 01:24 PM
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Maybe the credit card companys could print/emboss the "pictured ID required" stipulation if the cardholder/customer requested it??

Old Jan 11th, 2003, 01:31 PM
The Credit Man
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No, No, No. The credit card is not valid unless signed.

If the vendor is accepting your unsigned card then they are, in effect, honoring an unauthorized card. Period.

Frankly I'm appaled at people who don't take the time to read the fine print on the back side of their credit cards.
Old Jan 11th, 2003, 01:57 PM
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It is highly unlikely that My Eye Dee has known "a number of people" who had their identity stolen. I, personally, don't know anyone and no one I know has mentioned that they've known of anyone either. Sure, it's been on those TV news magazine shows, and it's apparently happened to some people. But, what is the likelihood?

Too bad you can't keep track of your credit cards.

So, why DON'T you get one with a photo and permanent signature if you're so worried.

And, with good credit, you can get a card where you are not responsible for ANY unauthorized purchases.
Old Jan 11th, 2003, 02:17 PM
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I meant putting the stipulation on IN ADDITION to the signature. I've had people check in & present unsigned cards too, but I make them sign & verify other i.d. too. I do feel that those who want merchants to take the extra step should be able to. Myself - I don't care. No one signs like me, so I'm confident fraud on my card would be easily proven not to be my sig.
Old Jan 11th, 2003, 02:25 PM
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Identity theft is a huge problem. I had mine stolen about ten years ago before the internet and advanced technology made it even easier. It is certainly something people need to be wary of.

You can have your identity stolen through no fault of your own. You can be robbed or otherwise the victim of another crime which leaves you vulnberable. Don't forget that nearly every utility worker has access to your vitals, including your SSN, just for setting up service. REstaurant workers, catalog operators, retail clerks -- lot of people have entree to the beginnings of your personal information. A ring was broken on the east coast about a month ago which was fairly "white collar" in nature.

Talk of identity theft is not hyperbole, Deena. There are actions in Congress and all the way down to the municipal level to try to combat this growing problem.

But you're very convincing in your particular brand of debate...
Old Jan 11th, 2003, 02:30 PM
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I've had a number of retail stores ask for picture ID in addition to the credit card -- which is signed. I find this odd. I thought that Visa, MC, AMEX, etc. used to have a stipulation that said a retailer couldn't ask for this. Admittedly, this was years ago...

One retailer wrote my drivers license on the carbon receipt. Anyone know anything about this?
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