Many of us have seen those brilliant commercials where a man lifting weights suddenly talks with the voice of a teenage girl. This commercial and the others from the same ad campaign are dealing with the ubiquitous problem of identity theft. We as consumers and as the people responsible for our affairs must take action each day to insure that our identity and financial information do not fall into the wrong hands. One area that we need to take care in is the handling of our receipts. Why should we do this? Because most of the time at least part of our account number is on that receipt.
The first guideline for taking proper care of receipts is that you should never, ever, throw away a credit card receipt. Not in the store garbage and not in your home garbage. Dumpster divers will be foiled by your vigilance.
So now that you have kept your receipts, take them home and keep them in a safe place. When you get your statement, compare it to your receipts.
Finally, how do you dispose of your receipts safely? If you have a fireplace, burn them in there. I kid you not. You can pretend you are Ethan Hunt and the receipts are your mission, which you have chosen to accept. I don’t have a fireplace, so I burn my receipts on my grill. I can’t eat them, but at least I know I am not feeding an identity thief.
So watch what you are doing with those receipts. Proficient thieves can use even the partial number on that receipt for mischief. So this is your mission, if you choose to accept it: Burn your receipts.