How do I know this? Well, I’ve done sort of an experiment over the past three weeks; actually it’s an extension of something I do with my personal debit card to get my wife riled up. I sign the receipt or digital screen they present me with whatever name comes to mind at the time e.g. Big Poppe (nickname I have for my friend Hans Poppe), Micky Mouse, Mighty Mouse, Spider Man, Heckel and Jeckel, you get the idea. Not a single cashier has even batted an eye when I do this, even when I write on the digital tablet and it’s presented on the register monitor right in front of them and then reprinted onto my copy of the receipt.
At first I thought my hand-writing was so illegible they couldn’t see what I was writing and so just ignored it. So I decided to start printing “Bob the Builder” for my name (yes, I came up with this when purchasing something at Home Depot). Now there is no way they can confuse “Bob the Builder” for Finis R. Price, III, which is how I sign my name.
What scares me is that even this most simple way of verifying the identity of a card user, is the purchased signing with the same name as is printed on the card, is not being used. I’m not even complaining that they don’t verify my signature resembles the one on the back of the card, they aren’t even looking at it! This troubles me, especially since every bank I go to, even my own, go to such great lengths to verify my identity as to require me to present three forms of ID. They don’t do that to the caucasian customers in front or behind me, heck, they don’t even do it to my wife, which she has finally started noticing after my own bank had to call and verify I truly was issued a check. She’s not part Puerto Rican, so she doesn’t get this sort of ‘special attention’. But the point is, if the bank is targeting me for possible identity theft, even when they see me every week, why aren’t these cashiers?
I guess you get what you pay for; how can they expect more from these teenagers working at Best Buy when they pay them $5.25 an hour? Now I know why identity theft is so rampant.
We really like his blog as he has a tremondous amount of expertise in computers and he is that rare breed of lawyer who is very tech savvy. Given that I just spent time trying to figure out how to plug in the cables on a video game system to the TV for my kids, perhaps I’m not in this group of tech savvy lawyers….Another resource for you is to join our Facebook Fan Page – Alabama Consumer Protection Attorneys where we share useful information about the same types of issues that we cover in this blog.