5 On Your Side

State Lawmakers Want To Protect Consumers Against Credit Card Fraud

Posted March 6, 2003

— Officials say about one in 20 consumers is the victim of credit card fraud every year. Some stores are blocking out the credit card number on receipts so a thief cannot will not be able to steal it. Though some stores are not doing this, some lawmakers are trying to change that.

State Attorney General Roy Cooper supports a House bill that would make it illegal for businesses to print entire credit card numbers on receipts.

"Identity theft is the fastest growing crime not only in North Carolina but in the United States," he said. "Businesses can play a large role from protecting people from identity theft by being more careful with our personal financial information."

Janet Doughty is a cautious shopper. Several years ago, someone stole her credit card and charged $4,000 worth of items. She said it bothers her when stores print the full credit card number on receipts.

"When I look at the receipts and see the credit card number, I always tear them up and throw them in the trash," she said. "I always worry about it that someone may piece them together again."

The Learning Express Toy Store in Cary is one of many stores that realize customers are worried about theft.

"We X-out the first nine digits, leaving the remaining four, so they can identify which card they used," assistant store manager Ginny Turnau said.

Most newer businesses have the ability already built into their cash register software to block out the credit card numbers. Officials say the proposal will most likely affect older businesses who will have to update their technology.


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