March 10

Hand-shredded application can still get a credit card?

First off, I want to apologize that I’ve been a bit lax about posts here. I blame it on the stupor imposed by a hearty return of winter weather to my home state of Colorado.

This article, however, was enough to snap me out if it, and call some attention to it:

The Torn Up Credit Card Application

I’ll go so far as to admit that I’m guilty of occasionally just hand-shredding a credit card application or two that arrives at my home in the past. Some part of my brain has always assumed that “Hey, there’s no way a credit organization would actually issue a credit card to someone who taped this back together and sent it in.”

As it turns out, my assumption was badly incorrect. The industrious and diligent author of the article went so far as to use a different address and phone number on the handtorn and taped credit application. As you have probably realized by now, he did, indeed, receive a credit card, with a $5000 credit limit, at the address he used on the application.

I have to reiterate his basic point:

  • Buy a good shredder, which does crosscutting into very small bits, and, ideally can handle CD’s as well as paper.
  • Put anything that has any information whatsoever that is personally identifiable as you into said shredder.

I’m already considering repeating his experiment, possibly with a “strip-style” shredder. It’s not a task I’m looking forward to from a purely practical viewpoint, but my curiosity is aroused, and I’m willing to take that hit to appease it.


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