How to protect yourself while eating out

By: Sarah Goebel Email
By: Sarah Goebel Email

When you eat out you might want to start paying cash for your bill. Authorities in Manhattan recently arrested a group of restaurant workers who were stealing credit card numbers from diners. Forty restaurants in five states were involved and experts say identity theft in restaurants happens more than you think.

“They have the credit card just long enough to swipe it in the computer system and get it back to the table,” restaurant manager, Jodi Fleming said, but not all restaurants run the same way, making consumers an easier target for identity theft. “Some places print the full credit card number so people should be cautious of that.”

Information security specialist from RavenEye, Joseph Kirkpatrick has other ways for consumers to protect themselves while dining.

Kirkpatrick said these are the recommendations to keep your credit card information secure while dining out. Be on the lookout for these suspicious actions:

1. If the server takes your card out of public view.

2. If they take an electronic device out of their pocket.

3. If they’re away with your card for a long time.

4. If the server seems nervous or asks to re-swipe you card.

To read an article by Joseph Kirkpatrick on restaurant identity thefts, click here.

“I’m always making sure my full credit card number does not show on any of the receipts,” Jimmy Briggs said.

Briggs had an identity theft problem on the Internet several years ago and is a little more cautious than some people.

“I’ve gotten a little more lax than I probably should be. I usually try to keep a copy of it until it appears on my account,” Valeria Crumbrough said, but Crumbrough said if a server made her feel uncomfortable about giving her credit card, she’d ask to watch them swipe it.

“I wouldn’t feel offended by that. I would just say come on with me if you really want to do that, I have no problem. If you want my manager to do it that’s fine too,” server, Barry Cox said.

To read more information on how to recover from identity theft, click here and for state statistics on identity theft, click here.


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