Have you ever wondered what goes on when the waiter or waitress in a restaurant disappears with the credit card you gave to pay your bill? If so, you are not alone. Since you can not observe what exactly happens to your credit or debit card, you can't be sure of the answer. However, circumstances for identity theft are ideal in a restaurant for that very reason.
Chances are you know someone who has had his or her identity stolen, it may even have happened to you. What you do not know in these cases is exactly how it happened. While banks and other financial institutions affected investigate fraud and identity theft, they do not tell you where it originated.
Since many of us use credit or debit cards daily, identity theft could originate anywhere the card gets scanned away from our visibility. Unfortunately, it takes time to realize when identity theft occurs as the damages won't be immediately apparent.
Restaurants fall into the high-risk category of getting your identity stolen. While some eateries in the United States still allow you to pay at a designated station at the front of the restaurant, it is far more common for the waiter to collect payment at the table but scan the credit or debit card in an area not visible to the customer.
Table credit card readers could solve this problem easily. With table credit card readers, the customer is in charge, because the debit or credit card would never leave your sight and hands when paying your bill. It would be just as convenient to the customer as handing the card over to the waiter. Actually, using a table card reader would also be faster than passing the card to the waiter.
What are table credit card readers? These are the devices you see at the counters in fast food restaurants. In Europe, even sit-down restaurants use these readers already. In the United States, they are only used in very few dining establishments on a trial basis.
You can take a few simple precautions that can help you guard your online privacy. Because few laws reach into this area, you'll have to take the initiative.
Avoid internet identity theft with these ten tips.