Do you find it slightly frustrating when restaurants want your credit card number to secure a reservation? Most high end golf courses also seem to want those same digits when booking tee times. I never recall giving out a credit card number to secure a car reservation 5 years ago either but now I’ve been asked a few times. It seems like this trend is increasing from just hotels and motels like in the past.
Of course I understand these businesses want to make sure you show up but I really don’t like giving out my credit card number out to all these different employees and businesses. Once I noticed ,when checking in at a restaurant during Valentines Day, all the guest’s names, phone numbers and credit card info all on paper right at the hostess stand when you walk in! Not only did the full staff have access to this but any patron peeking over could attain some important information.
Some of my friends have had identity theft happen to them and I want to minimize this myself since it’s a real pain in the ass if it happens. Sometimes, it can take years to restore everything.
The first number on the credit card identifies the industry of the card. The next five numbers are from the issuing bank. The next set of numbers is your account details. The last number is an algorithm called the Luhn check. This is a formula used to validate the rest of the credit card.
Certain businesses who ask for your credit card will just write it down but some do actually input it into a computer. The system isn’t looking to charge your credit card it just checks to see if it’s a valid number for a credit card. There are sites out on the web that have this algorithm and formula so it’s easy to get a valid cc at http://www.merriampark.com/anatomycc.htm.
You can also use a credit card number of yours from the past which is long expired and since it still complies with the Luhn check it will also work. Of course if you plan to miss your reservation use common courtesy and call the establishment and inform them with as much notice as you can.
Using these tips will further limit your chances of anyone getting your personal information.