Credit Card Sigs – Who the Heck Cares?

Mental Floss had a very amusing link in my Morning Cup O’Links today. It made me think of my dear, sweet M.

M. and I have credit cards, we use credit cards. In fact, cash and checks have become unknown entities to us. Green paper that acts like a credit card – really? Pieces of paper where I have to fill in a bunch of junk, including the amount of purchase – what the hell?

Now we all know you’re supposed to be a good credit card user and sign the back of that thing just as soon as it arrives in the mail. And why are we supposed to do this, why to prevent credit card fraud, of course!

I dutifully sign my cards, maybe not upon moment of receiving them, but at least prior to first use. Even though I sign my name to the back of the cards, I am skeptical of the actual accuracy this has in preventing Joe Blow to steal my card, swipe it to make his $1 billion purchase, and then sign my name, or even his own name, and have the transaction go through. Heck, lots of places he wouldn’t even have to sign anything, just swipe that baby until he’s put me into the dredges of credit card debit oblivion.

Now, M., he is even more skeptical of the whole ‘sign this card or other people will use it until the credit card gods smite you down.’ M. writes ‘CHECK ID ‘ on the back of his cards. He writes it big, all caps, and very dark. How many times has M. used his cards and had someone check his ID? Probably less than 2% of the uses.

Because you know what, people are in too much of a hurry now and those check out clerks, waiters, and others who see our credit cards just don’t care. In fact, my card is usually back in my wallet before I even sign the receipt. Yes, I am such a rebel – I totally ignore those ‘Leave card out for signature verification’ signs.

So anyway, back to the original intent of this post: the Mental Floss links. Some guy did a couple neat experiments. He wanted to find out just how crazy he could make his signature on credit card receipts before someone noticed and called him on it. The answer: pretty much anything goes and no one is going to bat an eyelash. This made me think of M. because he likes it when people take the time to check his ID, as his credit card signature line requests. He also likes it when the credit card company calls us to check to see if any ‘suspicious activity’ on our account is valid. I don’t mind those things either, M. is just much more adamant about such things (plus, of course I think of M. every waking moment of every day – he’s my husband, duh!).

So, without further ado and more typing from me, here are the links to the experiments:
Credit Card Prank I
Credit Card Prank II




  1. Anonymous said,

    May 9, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    Those are the most hysterical things I have ever read! I was crying at the office while RR, AB, MH, and EM were reading over my shoulder. FUNNY STUFF!


  2. Storm said,

    May 9, 2008 at 12:36 am

    Those links were hilarious!!

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