Local News

Paying by Credit Card? Better Bring Along a Photo ID!

Posted December 7, 1999

— Be prepared to show photo identification when you go shopping this holiday season. More and more stores are requiring proof of identity when you charge your purchases.

Stores big and small are now requiring credit and debit card customers to show picture identification. It is an extra step to make sure thieves are not using your card.

"We find it a customer service. That's the main reason we ask for the ID with the card," says Rick Palmer of the Hobbit Hobby Shop.

It is a service to the customer because credit card fraud climbs into the millions of dollars. Users are especially vulnerable around the holidays.

Just ask George Stefanski. Someone ran up $500 on his credit card two Christmas seasons ago.

"Personally, I think its better that most stores should do that, check ID, because you don't know who has whose card," says Stefanski.

These days you may be turned down when trying to use your spouses card. At many stores, the name on the card must match the person making the purchase.

Shoppers say the extra few seconds it takes to pull out their photo ID is fine with them.

"It makes you feel better that someone isn't just throwing the card back at you and saying "OK," says shopper Kathy Anderson.

Even if stores do not require their clerks to check identification, you can make sure they look at yours. Just write "Check ID" or "See ID" in the signature box, or somewhere on the back of your card.

Whether you charge it, or pay in cash, you will probably spend a handful of dough on Christmas gifts this year.

  • Shoppers are expected to spend about $850 each this holiday season. That is up from last year. Women are expected to spend over $900; men are expected to spend about $800.
  • In the Carolinas, 75 percent of shoppers say they will spend more than last year.

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