Hotel Room Cards and Identity Theft

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We get lots of advice on how to avoid identity theft :

1. Do not carry your social security in your wallet.

2. Shred all your bank statements or bills if you decide to junk them.

3. Have strong passwords

4. Know what are phishing emails and do not reply or divulge any information over the email.

But, today while I was at the driving center renewing my driving license, the person over the counter told me that he just attended a course about identity theft. And he said that one of the easiest ways to get your identity stolen was through the hotel room swipe cards that the hotels give you.

It turns out that many hotels store information such as your name and even your credit card numbers. It makes it very easy for even an amateur to get someone’s credit card number! So I did some googling and true enough, there have been lots of articles written about this as early as three years back. Here are interesting posts :

Swipe here to steal ID at computer world

Hotel Key Cards : Identity Theft Risk or Not

Hotel/Motel Key Cards embedded with personal information.

Guess the lesson is to make sure you actually shred those cards after you have checked out.

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