Sunday, July 15, 2012

Today's Money Tip

Go into your wallet and pull out your debit card and/or credit card. Get a good look at it? Okay, great. Looks all nice and plastic-y, right? Now, I need you to go find a camera, point it at the card, and never ever ever click the button. Seriously, why would you do that? That's just crazy.

Yes, it's another day when I never thought I'd have to explain something blisteringly obvious, but people apparently need to be told not to post pictures of their credit or debit cards on the Internet. You would rather have me teaching you this than the Twitter account @NeedADebitCard ("Please quit posting pictures of your debit cards, people"), whose sole purpose is to retweet the posts of people who have as punishment for their overwhelming stupidity. Since May 23, the account has recorded 16 such occurrences, one of which came earlier today.

One would think the lesson had been learned from the CEO of LifeLock, Todd Davis, who displayed his own Social Security number in an ad campaign in 2006 and, to the surprise of absolutely nobody (me included; I buried my face in my hands the second I first saw that ad), proceeded to have it stolen over and over and over again until eventually people just kind of stopped counting. It might be 13, it might be 20, it might be something higher and probably is since people stopped following along in 2010. LifeLock actually wound up in court for basically running a scam operation. And lost.

Should you be as monumentally stupid as Davis, here's how to get a new Social Security number. Not that that will actually fix all your problems; in fact, it may create new ones.

But if you're just giving that stuff away on the Internet of your own volition, you've already got plenty of problems.

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