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Should you write "See ID" on your credit card?

There are many real ways to combat ID theft. But this is not one of them. As Asa Aarons reports, this dubious anti-theft practice involves leaving your signature off of the back of your card and instead writing the words, “See ID,” telling the cashier to check the card name against some form of identification like your drivers license.

There are many real ways to combat ID theft. But this is not one of them.
This dubious anti-theft practice involves leaving your signature off of the back of your card and instead writing the words, “See ID” … telling the cashier to check the card name against some form of identification like your drivers license.

It's a security myth that has many consumers fooled.

Actually signing your card with see ID might be a case of the cure being more deadly than the disease.

While signing “see ID” might seem logical, MasterCard says it's really a way to derail your consumer rights by making sure they are never activated in the first place.

"From a MasterCard perspective you should absolutely sign your card because it's not active until you really sign it," says Sarah Ely, vice president of communications for MasterCard. "Putting 'See ID' means the card is not valid. Also from a consumer perspective your signature on that card is your first line of defense against theft."

Visa's policies are nearly identical.
So if "See ID" doesn’t make sense, what does?

As a fraud investigator for New York State law enforcement agencies, Phil Rosenthal worked on more than a thousand high-tech crime cases. He says there’s one simple and effective way to reduce your chances of credit card fraud.

"Do not let that card your of your sight," says Rosenthal. "Even if they drop it for a minute they can scan it. Watch every move that is being made with that card."

Even in restaurants portable card readers have become more popular. Ask to have your bill processed tableside or take it to the register yourself.

And finally do, DO sign your card.

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