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Are You Doing Enough to Protect Your Identity? - AARP

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[Don] Okay, I've got something that just blows my mind. [chuckling] I do everything possible to make sure that my identity isn't stolen. I even cut out my mailing address to where nobody can even get that, but Chase AARP credit card, they sent me my bill— they did this a long time. It just blows my mind. I can't believe it. It's like a bad dream. They put on the outside card member statement enclosed. It comes from another state, and anybody can see that you've got your statement in there, but they put all sixteen numbers of your credit card on there. That's your member number. They don't put just the last four. They put all sixteen. [male host 1] Of what? [Mark] Of the member number? Or the credit card number? [male host 1] The credit card number or your member number? [Don] It's the same thing. [Greg Marchildon] No. [Don] They put just my credit card— just what's on my credit card. All sixteen numbers. Comes in the mail. On the outside of the mail it says card member statement service. [Mark] Yeah. >>It's from AARP credit card from Chase. [female host] We can look in to it. [Greg Marchildon] Yeah, Don, we would certainly want— we'd certainly want to look into that for sure. I don't think that there's any indication at all. Your member number is certainly not the same as your credit card number and I think you point out a very important thing. While a lot of credit card companies will send statements that will say on the outside of the envelope statement enclosed, it could also be an insurance statement or any other kind of bill that you're paying, because there is so much junk mail that is coming in the mailboxes these days, places that you owe money to want to differentiate. You are making a good point that that can raise— somebody can be able to go through your mail and quickly determine where the good information is. In fact, we were talking about this in the meeting earlier today, Mark, where if they get into that mailbox without a lock on it, they'll leave the junk mail behind but they'll take the valuable stuff that will help steal somebody's identity. [Mark] They don't even know it's been stolen. >>That's right. >>The other thing, remember that, Alice, in a clip you showed earlier, that even though you think that your credit card number is X'd out—mine comes and I'm like, "Oh my whole card number isn't there, it's X'd out." Actually it is still there because they have to know that number to pay the bill, right? It's just buried down below in a coding system that she knows. [Greg Marchildon] Right. [Mark] It's all about shredding. It's all about locking mailboxes. I a lot of people are going paperless where they just don't have the—not everybody wants to, I realize that, but if that statement at the end of the month doesn't come because it's online and you're online and you've got password encoded access to it, that's a lot safer. [Greg Marchildon] And we're seeing a big generational gap here too, Mark. We're seeing people over fifty significantly now signing up for things like online banking and being able to get access to their credit cards online. >>Uh-hunh (affirmative). >>And you're seeing younger people far more comfortable with technology, people over fifty a little less so. [People 50+: 42% Have Not Set Up Online Access] And being able to do this can make a huge difference to be able to protect your own identities, so we're starting to see some striking differences between the generations here. We have to figure out a way to close that gap and make technology not seem so off-putting to people in mid-life and retirement.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 8 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 30
Posted by: aarp on Nov 3, 2014

Don from Oklahoma joined our conversation on AARP Live and shared concerns about credit card numbers being displayed on paper statements. Our experts told us why even it looks like your card number is blocked out, a scammer can still get what they need to commit financial fraud.

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