Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

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kayanco
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Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by kayanco » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:17 pm

Recently I've been exposed to and thinking about privacy/security related stuff. And today when I received a new credit card, seeing the signature panel in the back made me think of this question:

Let's say you get your signed credit card and checkbook stolen, can't the thief copy your signature from the card to write a check as you?

If so, wouldn't it be safer to leave credit cards unsigned? At least in the US, no merchant checks the signature on the card (nor compares it to what you sign on the receipt).

Or is this not a likely possibility, and unnecessary to consider?

Thanks.
Last edited by kayanco on Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Nate79
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Re: Isn't it safer to not sign Credit card?

Post by Nate79 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:22 pm

I think this is really unnecessary. Have you considered your signature is all over signed receipts?

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Isn't it safer to not sign Credit card?

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:27 pm

If you don't sign it, and someone steals your card they can sign it as they see fit and you know what? Then THEIR signature on the receipt will match THEIR signature on the back of YOUR card. That's why you never want to leave it blank. Why let someone else decide what YOUR signature should look like?
Last edited by arcticpineapplecorp. on Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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kayanco
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Re: Isn't it safer to not sign Credit card?

Post by kayanco » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:30 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:22 pm
I think this is really unnecessary. Have you considered your signature is all over signed receipts?
I'm one of those people who don't put their real signature on everyday receipts. Only on checks, and official applications/documents.

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GerryL
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Re: Isn't it safer to not sign Credit card?

Post by GerryL » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:32 pm

I remember someone telling this story about his son:
Son attempts to make a purchase using a new, unsigned credit card.
Salesperson says, "I can't accept an unsigned card," and directs him to sign it in front of her.
She rings up the purchase and has the young man sign the credit card receipt.
She then carefully compares the signature on the card with the signature on the receipt.
:oops:

AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: Isn't it safer to not sign Credit card?

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:35 pm

I looked this up some time ago when a friend advised me not to sign my credit card. Here’s an example of what I found.
https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card ... D-1282.php

I see no merit to this argument.

kayanco
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Re: Isn't it safer to not sign Credit card?

Post by kayanco » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:41 pm

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:27 pm
If you don't sign it, and someone steals your card they can sign it as they see fit and you know what? Then THEIR signature on the receipt will match THEIR signature on the back of YOUR card. That's why you never want to leave it blank. Why let someone else decide what the signature should look like?
Valid point, and I did consider this.

However if you are from the US ... then here no one ever verified my own signature from the card and the receipt - not ONCE.
So I think regardless of whether the card is signed or not, a thief might be able to use it (signing it wouldn't give any special protection, I don't think)

So you'd end up facing two risks:

1. Thief uses your credit card: That's the bank's money he just spent. You can dispute the charge, and have good protection against this.
vs.
2. Thief drains your bank account: That's your own money. Won't that be a MUCH bigger heartache and hassle for you? Trying to get your money back vs. the bank trying to get it's money back?
Last edited by kayanco on Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Isn't it safer to not sign Credit card?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:42 pm

What we typically do is write the words “ASK FOR ID” in that space.
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Re: Isn't it safer to not sign Credit card?

Post by WildBill » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:42 pm

Howdy

I always sign them with “Request ID”

Then 1 time out of 10 or so an alert salesperson or cashier who is on their toes catches it and asks for ID. I tell them how happy I am to meet a smart and alert person.

I actually hired one of them because in the conversation that ensued it was clear this was someone way underemployed who could do better things.

Happy charging

W B
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David Scubadiver
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Re: Isn't it safer to not sign Credit card?

Post by David Scubadiver » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:44 pm

My cards all say “photo ID required” instead of a signature. Every 5 years or so a cashier asks for ID and I get indignant because I forgot I wrote that on the back of the card.

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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by TravelGeek » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:58 pm

My check book never leaves my home. It is typically in my safe. If a thief got ahold of that, I would have bigger problems than them having a sample of my signature.

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TD2626
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Re: Isn't it safer to not sign Credit card?

Post by TD2626 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:32 am

kayanco wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:41 pm
arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:27 pm
If you don't sign it, and someone steals your card they can sign it as they see fit and you know what? Then THEIR signature on the receipt will match THEIR signature on the back of YOUR card. That's why you never want to leave it blank. Why let someone else decide what the signature should look like?
Valid point, and I did consider this.

However if you are from the US ... then here no one ever verified my own signature from the card and the receipt - not ONCE.
So I think regardless of whether the card is signed or not, a thief might be able to use it (signing it wouldn't give any special protection, I don't think)

So you'd end up facing two risks:

1. Thief uses your credit card: That's the bank's money he just spent. You can dispute the charge, and have good protection against this.
vs.
2. Thief drains your bank account: That's your own money. Won't that be a MUCH bigger heartache and hassle for you? Trying to get your money back vs. the bank trying to get it's money back?
I don't really get the argument that credit cards are safer than debit cards. Ultimately, wouldn't the long-run effect on net worth in the event of fraud be similar. There are similar fraud protections with debit vs credit cards, and either:

a) debit card fraud occurs, and net worth is negatively impacted by the lower savings account balance while fraud is dealt with by the bank
b) credit card fraud occurs, and net worth is negatively impacted by the higher debt level while the fraud is dealt with by the bank

Everyone needs to monitor their cards and statements for potential fraud to protect themselves, of course.

acanthurus
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by acanthurus » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:53 am

I had large four figure fraud on my CC and it turned into a fight between my CC company and the brick and mortar store that actually gave the perp the product, with me caught in the middle. It turned into a ridiculous hassle with the CC company almost being accusatory towards me at one point :annoyed

No one cared that the signed receipt was grossly, horrifically, dramatically different than any signature on file, on the card, or on my license, even though the B&M store claimed to have checked my physical card (which was never out of my possession) against my state issued license (also never out of my possession). Based on that I don't think the signatures really mean anything.

I don't care about CC fraud anymore. Federal law limits my liability to $50, and I'm perfectly happy to tell any CC issuer that any unauthorized charge was in fact unauthorized. I also converted all my credit cards over to chip cards and I do not use debit cards under any circumstance.

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Re: Isn't it safer to not sign Credit card?

Post by TropikThunder » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:54 am

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:27 pm
If you don't sign it, and someone steals your card they can sign it as they see fit and you know what? Then THEIR signature on the receipt will match THEIR signature on the back of YOUR card. That's why you never want to leave it blank. Why let someone else decide what YOUR signature should look like?
What's more likely, that the clerk asks for your ID, or compares the signatures? I would be shocked if even 1% of merchants look at the signature.
oldcomputerguy wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:42 pm
What we typically do is write the words “ASK FOR ID” in that space.
My daughter does that, and even when the clerk turns the card over and looks, they still don't ask for her ID.

jumppilot
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by jumppilot » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:25 am

I used to use debit cards a lot when I was on the Dave Ramsey all-cash plan. One day I woke up and my checking account was drained to the tune of $2,000. Took about a week to get the money back, even though it was no fault of my own.

That was 8 years ago. Haven't used a debit card since.

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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by jumppilot » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:25 am

I used to only use debit cards when I was on the Dave Ramsey all-cash plan. One day I woke up and my checking account was drained to the tune of $2,000. Took about a week to get the money back, even though it was no fault of my own.

That was 8 years ago. Haven't used a debit card since.

To the OP question about signing cards - no one cares. I signed a receipt "Mickey Mouse" once and no one batted an eye.

That carelessness is something I tolerate with the bank's money, but not mine - see above.

Seasonal
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by Seasonal » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:37 am

TravelGeek wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:58 pm
My check book never leaves my home. It is typically in my safe. If a thief got ahold of that, I would have bigger problems than them having a sample of my signature.
If someone knows your name, account number and bank routing number, they can print checks. Whenever you write someone a check, they get that information.

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samsoes
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Re: Isn't it safer to not sign Credit card?

Post by samsoes » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:50 am

TD2626 wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:32 am

I don't really get the argument that credit cards are safer than debit cards. Ultimately, wouldn't the long-run effect on net worth in the event of fraud be similar. There are similar fraud protections with debit vs credit cards, and either:
Then consider this: debit card fraud occurs. Your checking account is drained. Before you discover this, your mortgage payment bounces. Your car payment bounces. Your car insurance payment bounces. You incur fees as a result, and your credit score possibly suffers. In addition, your COBRA insurance payment bounces. Once that happens and you've passed the deadline, too late. No more health insurance for you or your family.

With credit card fraud, someone else's money is stolen. With debit card fraud, your money is stolen. I will never, ever carry one of those wretched things in my wallet. Fortunately, my bank still offers good old fashioned plain ATM cards.
"Happiness Is Not My Companion" - Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren. (Avatar is the statue of Gen. Warren at Little Round Top @ Gettysburg National Military Park.)

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Re: Isn't it safer to not sign Credit card?

Post by Halicar » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:01 am

WildBill wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:42 pm
Howdy

I always sign them with “Request ID”

Then 1 time out of 10 or so an alert salesperson or cashier who is on their toes catches it and asks for ID. I tell them how happy I am to meet a smart and alert person.

I actually hired one of them because in the conversation that ensued it was clear this was someone way underemployed who could do better things.

Happy charging

W B
What if they are smart and alert enough to notice that the card says "Not valid unless signed"?

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samsoes
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Re: Isn't it safer to not sign Credit card?

Post by samsoes » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:03 am

Halicar wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:01 am
WildBill wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:42 pm
Howdy

I always sign them with “Request ID”

Then 1 time out of 10 or so an alert salesperson or cashier who is on their toes catches it and asks for ID. I tell them how happy I am to meet a smart and alert person.

I actually hired one of them because in the conversation that ensued it was clear this was someone way underemployed who could do better things.

Happy charging

W B
What if they are smart and alert enough to notice that the card says "Not valid unless signed"?
Then a conundrum has formed.
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Halicar
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Re: Isn't it safer to not sign Credit card?

Post by Halicar » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:22 am

TropikThunder wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:54 am
oldcomputerguy wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:42 pm
What we typically do is write the words “ASK FOR ID” in that space.
My daughter does that, and even when the clerk turns the card over and looks, they still don't ask for her ID.
She can write whatever she wants on her card, whether its "See ID" or "Hop up and down on one foot." The vendor has no obligation to follow those instructions. Strictly speaking, she is not abiding by the cardholder agreement if she doesn't sign it, but the vendor and issuer don't care enough to bother with that.

hudson
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by hudson » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:58 am

Safer to not sign a credit card? It's already been said; it usually doesn't matter. Once out of a thousand transactions does anyone look...once every few years? (Apple Pay's worth a look if you have an iPhone.)

It's already been said...I only use debit cards with exceptions. I use a debit card to get cash from an ATM. A reputable store owner said he'd take 2% off if I used a debit card; I bit.

As you know there's a third kind of card, a prepaid cash card. I use it when I worry about the vendor. I'll go online and make the balance $5 higher than the cost of the purchase. The vendor gets their money, but can't re-charge me later. So, If I order a subscription to say Ancestry.com for $20 a month and forget to cancel, I will get my one month service, but won't pay any more. There's a problem; my prepaid cash card has no charge-back protections; the cash card issuer will not help.

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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by jfn111 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:21 am

acanthurus wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:53 am
I had large four figure fraud on my CC and it turned into a fight between my CC company and the brick and mortar store that actually gave the perp the product, with me caught in the middle. It turned into a ridiculous hassle with the CC company almost being accusatory towards me at one point :annoyed

No one cared that the signed receipt was grossly, horrifically, dramatically different than any signature on file, on the card, or on my license, even though the B&M store claimed to have checked my physical card (which was never out of my possession) against my state issued license (also never out of my possession). Based on that I don't think the signatures really mean anything.

I don't care about CC fraud anymore. Federal law limits my liability to $50, and I'm perfectly happy to tell any CC issuer that any unauthorized charge was in fact unauthorized. I also converted all my credit cards over to chip cards and I do not use debit cards under any circumstance.
I'm trying to think of the last time I actually handed a credit card to a clerk?
The Supermarket, Gas Station, Walgreens and Menard's all have these little machines you slide the chip card into and follow the prompts. No clerk ever looks at the card. :confused

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midareff
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by midareff » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:24 am

I sign the back of my credit cards.. "ASK FOR ID". You would be surprised how rarely that happens with a swipe purchase and it has never happened with an insert purchase.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by jabberwockOG » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:19 am

midareff wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:24 am
I sign the back of my credit cards.. "ASK FOR ID". You would be surprised how rarely that happens with a swipe purchase and it has never happened with an insert purchase.
Best policy is to use a Sharpie to write "ASK for PHOTO ID" on the signature line. But because of the useless way our chip cards and chip readers have been implemented in the US, merchants have stopped looking at the cards entirely. Properly implemented chip cards should be asking for a pass code when they are used.
Last edited by jabberwockOG on Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

student
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by student » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:23 am

Mastercard just announced that they are phasing out signatures.

https://consumerist.com/2017/10/19/mast ... uirements/
Last edited by student on Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jags4186
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by Jags4186 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:44 am

The only time I get asked for ID is if I didn’t sign the back of the card. If any of you have an AMEX Blue or AMEX Everyday card you know how tiny the signature panel is. If you have a long name like I do, your signature doesn’t really fit.

That said, as others have pointed out, credit card fraud is so much easier to deal with than debit card fraud. Sure you may get your money back with the debit card but with CC fraud you just don’t even really have to think about it until he company does their investigation. Even in the extremely unlikely event something happened and the banks didn’t side with you, your recourse with a credit card is not paying the bill. Sure it would destroy your credit, but that is the nuclear option as I see it.

emoore
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by emoore » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:51 am

I don’t think it matters these days. I probably swipe my card myself 90% of the time now. Most stores have the credit card machine right in front of you and the cashier never asks to see the card.

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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:30 am

I can't imagine wanting the hassle of showing my ID every time I use my credit card. I also can't imagine any significant difference in my life at all that it would make whether I signed them or not. I just sign them and use them. Easy game.

motorcyclesarecool
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:56 am

My local post office refused to accept a card where I had written “see ID” in the signature field.
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by neilpilot » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:00 am

motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:56 am
My local post office refused to accept a card where I had written “see ID” in the signature field.
All of my cards have been signed "Photo ID" for a decade. As other's have mentioned, I end up being asked to show my ID maybe 5% of the time. Have used a card at my local post office counter many times, and usually am asked to show my ID. Never have been refused.

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Alexa9
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by Alexa9 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:03 am

I like my Costco Visa it has my picture on the back.

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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by Nate79 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:13 am

Card issuers do not want you to have to show ID. Cards that are not signed properly also should not be accepted.

kayanco
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Re: Isn't it safer to not sign Credit card?

Post by kayanco » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:18 am

TD2626 wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:32 am
kayanco wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:41 pm
arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:27 pm
If you don't sign it, and someone steals your card they can sign it as they see fit and you know what? Then THEIR signature on the receipt will match THEIR signature on the back of YOUR card. That's why you never want to leave it blank. Why let someone else decide what the signature should look like?
Valid point, and I did consider this.

However if you are from the US ... then here no one ever verified my own signature from the card and the receipt - not ONCE.
So I think regardless of whether the card is signed or not, a thief might be able to use it (signing it wouldn't give any special protection, I don't think)

So you'd end up facing two risks:

1. Thief uses your credit card: That's the bank's money he just spent. You can dispute the charge, and have good protection against this.
vs.
2. Thief drains your bank account: That's your own money. Won't that be a MUCH bigger heartache and hassle for you? Trying to get your money back vs. the bank trying to get it's money back?
I don't really get the argument that credit cards are safer than debit cards. Ultimately, wouldn't the long-run effect on net worth in the event of fraud be similar. There are similar fraud protections with debit vs credit cards, and either:

a) debit card fraud occurs, and net worth is negatively impacted by the lower savings account balance while fraud is dealt with by the bank
b) credit card fraud occurs, and net worth is negatively impacted by the higher debt level while the fraud is dealt with by the bank

Everyone needs to monitor their cards and statements for potential fraud to protect themselves, of course.
They absolutely are. If you only take away one thing from this thread, this would be it.
The long-term effects may or may not be the same, but the short-terms effects are definitely not the same. Because if a thief uses the bank's money vs. my own money, that'll impact you differently. Let's it's $3000 we are talking about.

If it's gone from one's checking account, I think most people would worry a lot. The bank says they are working on it. You call back a week later, they are still working it. Now you are thinking, I wonder when I'll get my money back. Maybe it was money for a trip, or earmarked for emergencies, or a down payment. Sure, 10 years later you might not even remember, but in the near-term it would impact you.

Now compare:
$3000 charge on your card. You dispute it and now you don't need to pay it. It's now the bank's headache to get it's money back. You life isn't impacted.

Edit:
One good reason to prefer debit card over credit card would be the following:
If you tend to get carried away with the credit cards and think it's for buying stuff you can't afford. There are many people like that and that's the idea behind the cards, and that's how the bank makes money. So if you are trying to discipline yourself and build good spending/buying habits, then yes, debit card is better.

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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by TravelGeek » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:37 pm

Seasonal wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:37 am
TravelGeek wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:58 pm
My check book never leaves my home. It is typically in my safe. If a thief got ahold of that, I would have bigger problems than them having a sample of my signature.
If someone knows your name, account number and bank routing number, they can print checks. Whenever you write someone a check, they get that information.
I do know that. But there is a difference in likelihood of fraud: if I lose my checkbook, anyone who finds it can misuse it. The number of people who legitimately get a check from me and could abuse it is much smaller (plus there is the effort of printing the checks).

I write very few checks these days. 2-3 a year maybe? And certainly not “on the go” (always frustrates me when someone pulls out their checkbook at the grocery store). So no good reason to take it with me or even have it sit on my desk taking up space.

I just ordered a new checkbook from Ally. The package contained a pleather cover, a cardboard fold-your-own box (why!?) and a single book of checks (25, I think). Wouldn’t surprise me if that was the last one I ever needed.

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Re: Isn't it safer to not sign Credit card?

Post by fposte » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:55 pm

TropikThunder wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:54 am
oldcomputerguy wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:42 pm
What we typically do is write the words “ASK FOR ID” in that space.
My daughter does that, and even when the clerk turns the card over and looks, they still don't ask for her ID.
Post offices don't (or aren't supposed to) accept those cards, either.

mhalley
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by mhalley » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:05 pm

Another thing to consider is how inaccurate the digital signature pads are. They are in a different position than normal for writing, which alters your signature. Half the time the plastic pen is defective or missing, leading to signing with your finger, multiple skipped areas of the signature, etc. The end result looks nothing like a normal signature.

TravelGeek
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Re: Isn't it safer to not sign Credit card?

Post by TravelGeek » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:10 pm

fposte wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:55 pm
TropikThunder wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:54 am
oldcomputerguy wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:42 pm
What we typically do is write the words “ASK FOR ID” in that space.
My daughter does that, and even when the clerk turns the card over and looks, they still don't ask for her ID.
Post offices don't (or aren't supposed to) accept those cards, either.
Apparently no merchant is supposed to accept them (or was, in 2007... obviously MC is changing their rules regarding signatures)


http://www.denverpost.com/2007/09/02/see-id-dont-do-it/

obgraham
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by obgraham » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:22 pm

Another thing to consider is how inaccurate the digital signature pads are.
Interesting to see that MC will get rid of signatures. Since the digital signature pads came about, I've habitually just drawn a wiggly line on them, with no attempt at a signature. Never once has it been challenged or rejected!

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:48 pm

motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:56 am
My local post office refused to accept a card where I had written “see ID” in the signature field.
Same here. But then they let me use a debit card with a PIN.

kayanco
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by kayanco » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:49 pm

obgraham wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:22 pm
Another thing to consider is how inaccurate the digital signature pads are.
Interesting to see that MC will get rid of signatures. Since the digital signature pads came about, I've habitually just drawn a wiggly line on them, with no attempt at a signature. Never once has it been challenged or rejected!
So there is pretty good consensus here that signatures don't really do anything.

I see two things stated:

- Some folks have shared the practice of signing "Check ID", "Ask for ID". These are really myths from years ago. The card is still an unsigned card. The merchant is not required to follow those instructions, because they don't take such instructions from the customer but rather from Visa/MC. In fact, as far as I know, according to Visa/Mastercard guidelines the merchant is not supposed to ask for ID.

- Some folks fear that a thief can sign an unsigned card :)
Sure the thief can do that. But what additional advantage would it give him? Meaning, what can he do with signing it, that he can't leaving it unsigned? He really won't need to. It won't enable him to do anything extra vs. leaving it unsigned.

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FraggleRock
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Why use a "card"?

Post by FraggleRock » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:21 pm

I love Apple Pay.
It avoids all this silliness.

AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: Why use a "card"?

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:56 pm

FraggleRock wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:21 pm
I love Apple Pay.
It avoids all this silliness.
+1
First thing I check for when I get up to the checkout/reader is if it’s enabled. Many cashiers seem amazed that you can pay by phone even though it’s been available for years.

jebmke
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by jebmke » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:33 pm

Checkbook? :shock: I know we have one around here somewhere.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

quantAndHold
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:05 pm

I can't remember the last time someone looked at the back of my card. I usually swipe or insert, then draw a cute picture of a cat in the signature box. None of my cards are signed. I seriously doubt it matters either way.

I listened to a Planet Money episode where they asked what happened to all the signatures in the POS terminal signature boxes. Apparently if you dispute the charge, they'll dig up the signature and show it to you. I figure if that's the case, a cat picture is as good as anything.

But yeah, if the POS terminal takes Apple Pay, I use that.

DanMahowny
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by DanMahowny » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:31 pm

I sign my credit cards. And we're all protected against bogus charges, so there is no concern. Also, I can't recall the last time anyone actually handled my card, or asked to see it. I complete the transaction myself, usually online.

My debit cards go in the shredder immediately upon receipt.

kayanco
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by kayanco » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:45 pm

I posed the original question based on two premises:

1. A signature on the back doesn't offer any real protection:
- No one checks if it's there, nor compares it against a receipt.
- Increasingly the card never even leaves the user's hand (owner or thief)

BUT

2. If a thief stole both your signed card and checkbook, she could copy the signature and write a check to drain your account.

So based on this, I conclude that it's better (even if slightly) to leave a card unsigned. To put another way, not signing won't hurt you (nor would signing protect you in any special way), while it can prevent someone from copying your signature.

Since a signature can compromise your check, I now believe that it should not be left visible/vulnerable on the back of a card. Especially these days when people have multiple cards. It should be reserved for government/official documents, and not everyday receipts.

Doom&Gloom
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:49 pm

So it wasn't actually a question but a statement of your belief?

kayanco
Posts: 508
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Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by kayanco » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:59 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:49 pm
So it wasn't actually a question but a statement of your belief?
kayanco wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:45 pm
... I now believe that ...

Doom&Gloom
Posts: 1467
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:01 pm

kayanco wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:59 pm
Doom&Gloom wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:49 pm
So it wasn't actually a question but a statement of your belief?
kayanco wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:45 pm
... I now believe that ...
Ah! Thanks.

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