Hey, social media addicts! You’re being dumb again.
Thanks to a new Twitter account called@NeedADebitCard, the whole world can see just how many people are posting photos of their debit, credit and cash cards online.
“Just got my debit card in the mail,” wrote one young American who posted her entire card number, its expiration date and her name online — a very bad idea.
“MY CREDIT CARD!” boasted a proud Kuwaiti man, who exposed the same details of his card.
“Of course I find my debit card the day after I cancel it and order a new one,” tweeted another American who slightly blurred her card’s photo, but not enough so its details couldn’t be read.
Stupid is as stupid does
@NeedADebitCard, which appears to have been up since May, “scrapes” Twitter for people posting links to photos of their money cards. So far, it’s reposted 34 tweets.
About half the photos display only partial numbers, with some users blocking parts of their cards with their thumbs. Many photos had already been taken down.
For the rest, who reveal the full Monty, they’re putting themselves at serious risk of credit-card fraud and identity theft. Many retailers will demand only what’s displayed on the front of the card to complete a transaction.
Luckily for the cardholders, none of the viewable cards displayed the card security code, which on most credit and debit cards is printed on the back. (American Express cards put the security code on the front.)
Credit-card users in the United States are generally not liable for unauthorized charges based on stolen card numbers. Debit-card users, however, could lose their entire bank balances if they don’t report weird charges to their banks as soon as they become aware of unauthorized use.
Name and shame
@NeedADebitCard is the latest in a series of websites that point out other people’s social-media privacy flubs, both for laughs and (sometimes) to create awareness of the issue.
Last month saw the debut of “We Know What You’re Doing,” a British site that similarly scrapes Facebook for people’s embarrassing status updates, such as how hung over they are, how high on drugs they are and how much they hate their bosses.
Others include “Please Rob Me,” which scrapes Facebook and Foursquare to determine when users are away from home, and the controversial “Is Anyone Up?,” which looked for sexual images on Facebook before it shut itself down.