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Americans posting their debit card information on Twitter


It seems as though some Americans are not listening to the numerous warnings about keeping personal information private, especially while using social media sites. According to the Los Angeles Times, a Twitter account is displaying the pictures of various debit cards in which users are posting, allowing identity thieves to snatch up a person’s card number with no problem at all.

The tweets, which are complete with “twitpics,” are being retweeted on the account, @NeedADebitCard. These individuals are posting various messages including, “My debit card came in the mail today!” to “Just found my credit card 🙂 haha.” The account only has about 2,704 followers and doesn’t post any original content, just the tweets referring to people’s card numbers, the news outlet reports.

According to PC Magazine, these photos show everything from the name of the card user, the number, the expiration date and even the security code in some cases, making it all too simple for this information to get in the wrong hands. Some argued they were not in danger because their security code was displayed on the photo, but not every place asks for this code and it is still possible for people to take advantage of the card.

“Something so blatantly obvious as posting your credit or debit card number just speaks to the lack of awareness of what consumers think criminals can do with a set of numbers,” Brian McGinley, senior vice-president of data risk management at Identity Theft 911, told the news source.

The Twitter account responsible for spreading the word is attempting to raise awareness at the same time, as its description is “Please quit posting pictures of your debit cards, people.” Instagram has attempted to stop this effort by deleting pictures through their photo application, the publication reports. However, there are numerous other photo applications people can use.

A computer monitoring software may be appropriate for those who feel they are not completely educated in the internet security.

“Social media and online services are making it easier for thieves to obtain identifying information about us – like our birthdates, addresses, mother’s maiden name, and more,” McGinley told the media outlet. “In today’s environment of quick and easy data aggregation, identity theft can start with something as simple as a debit card number.”