Can people steal credit card numbers from receipts? People often pay for items with credit cards, and then simply trash the receipt (or don’t get one at all). Sometimes people then stop and think, “Oh no, can someone steal my credit card number from my receipt?” This is a great question, so let’s consider all of the sides to this equation.
Can People Steal Credit Card Numbers from Receipts (Restaurants, Banks, Retail Stores, etc.)?
In general, most companies will not print your FULL credit card number on your sales slip receipt. In most cases, a company will only print the last 4 digits of the card number. The number may look something like: XXXX XXXX XXXX 1234. Or, it may contain only the last 2 digits. In most cases, most merchant accounts will only allow the merchant to know the last 4 digits of the card.
However, in older shops that use the older machines, there is a potential they could keep a copy of your credit card on file. If they use the old machines that slide over the card and make a carbon imprint, then yes, they generally have a copy. But newer machines that simply print a receipt usually only contain the last 4 digits.
Keeping Your Card Safe: Prevent People from Stealing Your Card Numbers
In a world with increasing problems of identity theft and credit card fraud, it is important to safeguard your account as much as possible. Here are a few things you can do:
- Only use your card with well-known established/professional companies. If you are unsure about a small store or restaurant, use cash only.
- Always keep your receipts, and dispose of them properly. Always make sure they don’t have your full card number printed.
- Always check your monthly statements and keep track of your charges. If you see a charge you don’t know about, contact the company immediately. If fraud was involved, contact your credit card company immediately to file a fraud report (or chargeback).
- If you ever feel your card number has been compromised, don’t fear. Just call the credit card company and request a new card and new number. In most cases, this is quick and the company doesn’t usually charge for this (although you can always ask).
Also, keep in mind that there are plenty of other ways people can commit fraud other than stealing your credit card receipts. For example, when you pay for a meal at a restaurant, the waiter will often take the credit card to the back of the store to run it through the credit card processing machine. They could easily jot down your numbers and information on a piece of paper while they are back there. Some people have fallen victim to fraud in this way.
So it is important to always be on guard, and take extra steps to prevent fraud in any way you can–and not just by keeping a close eye on your receipts.