Today I heard a story from a friend that made my hair stand on end.
She said the company she was working for was sending out solicitation letters and a form that included a place to write in your credit card information, and then suggesting that people mail (which is probably safest, if you really trust the company you are dealing with and it’s not a scam), email or fax their credit card information.
I have heard that you should NEVER, EVER submit credit card information by email, because it is not secure, and I was totally aghast to hear that people are ACTUALLY faxing the forms with their credit card information to this company!!
Would you ever do something like that? I mean think about it. Hopefully the fax machine is in a secure location, behind a locked door, and I’m not saying anything about janitors being dishonest, but you know, hard times, there’s a credit card number, with the person’s name, address, phone number, credit card number, expiration date, security number from the back of the card, and don’t janitors and security guards often have a master key to every single door in the building.
Let’s say the fax machine is totally secure. Behind locked doors at all times.
What if YOU happen to dial the wrong number? Sure, the chances are pretty good the number you dial won’t be a fax number, but what if you do happen to dial a wrong number which is a fax, and the person getting the fax is unscrupulous?
My suggestion in a situation like this would be to call the company, and ask if they have a donation portal online, or if you absolutely don’t trust the Internet, see if you can get them to take your donation over the phone. And hopefully the person who is taking your information is trustworthy enough to obliterate your credit card number once they process your donation. This doesn’t mean scratching through with a black marker, people. Those can still be seen through. I’ve found the best way to conceal any information is to scribble through the numbers on the back and front, with a black ink pen, then line through with a black marker. And then I still put the paper through a shredder. See the thing is, if someone wants your information bad enough, they’ll paste together those shreds of paper. I would hope not the ones that cut tiny diamond pieces of paper.
Now maybe I’m super sensitive since my child’s identity was stolen – funny, we didn’t know Big A was moonlighting as a maid! And my youngest sister had her identity stolen as well. But I would think common sense would tell you that faxing your credit card information is a dumb, dumb thing to do.
So what you do think? Would you feel less inclined to respond to this company’s solicitation with a numb skull suggestion to fax your credit card information?