Author Topic: Credit Cards...is what happens on TV real  (Read 4895 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Brisvegasgal

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 167
Credit Cards...is what happens on TV real
« on: June 13, 2012, 05:55:47 PM »
I've been curious about this for ages.

Often on American TV/movies someone uses another's credit card (often without permission). In Australia you can only use a credit card if you know the personal identification number (PIN) or you sign a slip of paper that is then checked by the cashier.

Are the rules different in the US? How can someone use another persons credit card without permission?  Or even with it?

rashea

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9642
Re: Credit Cards...is what happens on TV real
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2012, 06:02:38 PM »
In theory to use a credit card they are supposed to look at the signature on the card. In reality they rarely seem to do so.
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

Vermont

jedikaiti

  • Swiss Army Nerd
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2433
  • A pie in the hand is worth two in the mail.
Re: Credit Cards...is what happens on TV real
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2012, 06:03:45 PM »
In the US, PINs are typically only required for debit card purchases.

In the US, you typically have to sign a receipt, but cashiers don't normally check to make sure signatures match. I don't blame them, that little strip of white on the back of the card is WAY too small to actually sign. Also, even if you are able to sign successfully, it just gives a thief a signature sample to copy from. Personally, I write "SEE ID" on the back of mine, so if/when they do look, they know to ask me for proper ID before accepting the card, and I always thank them for it.

There are exceptions to the signed receipt rule, however...
1) If you're buying online, there's nothing to sign. However, you typically have to enter in the name on the card & billing address, which I believe is (or may be) at least partially verified by the card processor - if something doesn't match, your purchase may not go through.
2) If you're paying at an automated system, like a gas pump, or self-scan at the grocery store. I've noticed many of these will now ask for the billing zip code, however.
3) Purchases under a specific dollar limit - I've seen a few grocery stores where, if your purchase is under $25, you don't have to sign for it. I am guessing this is also why I've never been asked to sign a receipt on one of the few occasions when I have used a CC at a fast-food restaurant.
"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6077
Re: Credit Cards...is what happens on TV real
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2012, 06:31:55 PM »
POD to the above.  I was suprised in the UK that a PIN was needed for credit cards.  It actually created some confusion for some clerks when using my US issued credt card that didn't require a PIN.

I've ran across a few stores that always ask for an ID.  However, that is less than 20% of the places I shop. 

Gwywnnydd

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1626
Re: Credit Cards...is what happens on TV real
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2012, 07:08:31 PM »
The chip+PIN technology for credit cards hasn't been implemented in the US. At least, not consistently. It is not unusual for credit cards to be used by someone else, either with permission or without. That's why it's so important to report your card lost or stolen as soon as you are aware of it.

kareng57

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12184
Re: Credit Cards...is what happens on TV real
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2012, 08:13:34 PM »
Chip/PIN cards are becoming more common in Canada - new or renewal cards seem to generally have the technology, but there are still plenty of signature-only cards in circulation.

They used to occasionally check the signature - a couple of times I got asked for ID when the signature on the card had almost rubbed off - but not that often.

ClaireC79

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3290
Re: Credit Cards...is what happens on TV real
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2012, 04:19:39 AM »
On some shows they don't actually present the card, just reel off the number - surely that can't really happen

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6077
Re: Credit Cards...is what happens on TV real
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2012, 10:14:33 AM »
On some shows they don't actually present the card, just reel off the number - surely that can't really happen

If ordering by phone, I do that all the time.  I've even done it in situations where the card wouldn't scan correctly so just called out the numbers to the cashier.

Sophia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11550
  • xi
Re: Credit Cards...is what happens on TV real
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2012, 10:49:54 AM »
On some shows they don't actually present the card, just reel off the number - surely that can't really happen

On the phone, all the time.  I have actually done that in person when I have forgotten it where they know me.
I've had my go-to credit card expire without my remembering to sign the card.  For someone to actually compare the signatures is rare.

magicdomino

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4274
Re: Credit Cards...is what happens on TV real
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2012, 10:55:27 AM »
On some shows they don't actually present the card, just reel off the number - surely that can't really happen

Not only can it happen, I've heard of people doing it, complete with expiration date, on a cell phone in a public place.   ::)  Really, really bad idea. 

This is why only the last four digits of a credit card number are displayed on receipts and even the credit card bills.  Most online sites also require that you enter a little 3 digit security code that is on the back of the card.

Ereine

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1094
Re: Credit Cards...is what happens on TV real
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2012, 11:19:15 AM »
I'm in Finland. Here the cards need to be signed and can be taken away by a cashier if they aren't, then you have to pay your bank to get it back and it isn't cheap. Fortunately, when that happened to me the cashier was nice and didn't take it and lost the reward she would have received. Many people have combination credit/debit cards and all news cards of any type have chips. I can't remember when was the last time I signed anything. When paying online many places use something like Verified by Visa which requires me to identify myself with my online banking id, which seems quite secure. Apart from having to enter the credit card number I also have to know the password for my account and have to have access to a small card with codes that my bank sent to me, the codes change every time.   

CakeBeret

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4216
Re: Credit Cards...is what happens on TV real
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2012, 11:33:46 AM »
In general, you can use anyone's credit card to make a purchase. You don't need a PIN number, and cashiers rarely check IDs. Before DH and I were married (and thus I had a different last name) I used his parents' credit cards on occasion without any issues. I have a company credit card that has my boss's name on it, and I've used it hundreds of times without a problem. I had a transaction denied once, for less than $15 of purchases, because it was not my name on the card.

In general, physical stores (Walmart, grocery store, gas station, etc) will not accept just the number; you have to present the physical card. They may make an exception if they know you personally, but in my experience it's rare. But you can buy things over the phone and read off your credit card number; in fact, I accept thousands of credit card numbers verbally at work.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

Harriet

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 233
Re: Credit Cards...is what happens on TV real
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2012, 11:39:13 AM »
I'm in Finland. Here the cards need to be signed and can be taken away by a cashier if they aren't, then you have to pay your bank to get it back and it isn't cheap. Fortunately, when that happened to me the cashier was nice and didn't take it and lost the reward she would have received. Many people have combination credit/debit cards and all news cards of any type have chips. I can't remember when was the last time I signed anything. When paying online many places use something like Verified by Visa which requires me to identify myself with my online banking id, which seems quite secure. Apart from having to enter the credit card number I also have to know the password for my account and have to have access to a small card with codes that my bank sent to me, the codes change every time.   

I have to jump in because the Verified by Visa / Mastercard SecureCode program is a huge pet peeve of mine. It is actually designed very badly and is not more secure. The main effect (when you sign the TOS) is to push liability for transactions onto the consumer rather than the merchant or the bank.

Here is a short and very readable white paper on the subject by Stephen Murdoch and Ross Anderson:
http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/Papers/fc10vbvsecurecode.pdf

Now back to your regularly scheduled thread.

Yvaine

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8360
Re: Credit Cards...is what happens on TV real
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2012, 11:52:31 AM »
In theory to use a credit card they are supposed to look at the signature on the card. In reality they rarely seem to do so.

There's also a growing trend toward having systems where the customer scans their own card and the cashier never touches it--it keeps the store from being responsible if the card turns out to be stolen, but also results in transactions taking forever because of amateurs trying to figure out the keypads, which are all different!  ;D

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: Credit Cards...is what happens on TV real
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2012, 11:58:50 AM »
I manage a small store (in NYC, USA).

I almost never check signatures on credit cards, but if they have a photo on them (some cards do) I will do a quick glance to see if its the same person.  I never require signature at all (and truthfully some customers seem to get annoyed when I ask for one, even though its fully for their own protection).

I routinely take credit cards that are clearly not from the person handing it to me - spouses using one anothers cards, adult-children using their parents card, assistants using their bosses card, etc.

I have had plenty of people either rattle off their number from memory or hand it to me hand written on a piece of paper.  I also take credit cards over the phone.  And I'm happy to store a customer's credit card number in my computer so the next time they come, they don't need to have it at all.

And finally - I think many of my customers are totally crazy to allow this to go on.