Yesterday my girlfriend needed some gas for her car. Right now financially it is tight for both of us and I help her out whenever I can. So getting her some gas to go back and forth to work is a no brainer. Well its morning and we're both peckish so I send her into the store to give the clerk there my gas card and tell him we're going to buy some other things. Well she comes out and says I have to show the guy my ID. That struck me as odd because if I just wanted to get gas I'd have run the card at the pump. So off I go into the store.
Well there's this guy from India there. He says he needs to see my ID. So I show him my ID. I don't take it out of my wallet. It is in a sleeve with a clear plastic front so you can see the ID. He tells me that I have to take it out and leave it with him.
That struck me as really odd. I've never had to do that before.
I say no, and tell him to give me my credit card back. He does. Then he gets pissy with me. I tell him to go to hell and call him a name. I turn to leave.
The guy follows me out. I tell my girlfriend we're leaving.
Then the guy starts to take down the car license plate number. I pull the pump out of the car and just toss it on the ground. I then close the gas tank and walk around to get in. We drive off.
Now you might say I'm over reacting. Well, let me tell you a bit more.
A few years ago my former business partner and I were in litigation. Seems that the people we had gotten in bed with business wise were in violation of a Federal Court Injunction. They didn't tell us about it and in the end to protect themselves they put us out of business. It got really nasty.
They bugged our offices, hour homes and actually put tracking devices on our cars. We had viruses put on our computer, credit cards turned off (no lie) and they threatened to kill our lawyer’s children (no lie). They even sent a thug over to lean on her son.
Then to make matters worse, about a year and a half ago my former business partner had her ID stolen. Seems a guy from India stole thousands of people’s ID and sold them. Thousands of people had their ID’s stolen and all of the sudden found themselves with thousands of dollars of credit card debt. As a result of all that my business partner had to go as far as to get a new Social Security number. That’s how bad it was.
Then a couple of months ago I thought I’d buy my dad a cell phone. He’s in his late 80’s and has wanted one for some time. Well, I thought I’d buy one of the pay as you go jobs. They had them on sale at one of the dollar stores.
So I go in there to buy one and before they can sell me one I have to give them my drivers’ license number. I asked them why I had to give them my drivers’ license number. They told me that their corporate office said they had to take it. The reason was that if it was used in a road side bomb in Iraq they could trace it back to who bought it. So I gave them my drivers’ license number. It didn’t set well with me.
Well on the way home I just stewed about it. First of all not all cell phones work overseas. In fact I remember when I was deployed for the Bosnia mission that one of the problems soldiers were having was that their cell phones didn’t work in Bosnia. The reason was that the cell phone system was different then that found in central Europe. That was number one.
Second, some of the road side bombs use garage door openers. I don’t see Sears asking for your driver’s license when you buy one. In fact I don’t see anyone asking for your driver’s license when you are buying a garage door opener unless you’re paying by check. Or if you’re using your credit card and you have the company ask for ID when it is used.
Third, and this is a big big third, YOU CAN BUY CELL PHONE AROUND THE WORLD! EVEN IN IRAQ!
Forth, I’M A VET! And personally I take this as an AFFRONT TO MY PATRIOTISM and LOYALTY TO MY COUNTRY! And I have friends who are vet’s.
And by the way, this had nothing to do with Homeland Security or any of that (in my view and it is just my view) Government BS.
But hey, that’s just me.
By the time I got home I was so mad that I went back and returned the phone. In fact, I returned everything I bought there. And I got my license information back. I was hot.
Now before you think I’m a deranged vet let me explain.
I live in South Texas. A couple of hours away is the border. A couple of years ago I was in El Paso with the National Guard. They warned us about using our cell phones there. Seems those plucky people across the border were using some high tech electronics to zero in on cell phones on the American side of the border. They then got your cell phone info and cloned it. They then sold this cloned info. The buyer then used YOUR cell phone to run up a hell of a bill. And since it was across the border in Mexico, there wasn’t a thing the local, state or federal government could do for you.
And oh, those wonderful cell phones with the camera’s in them? Great ID theft tool. How? Here’s how.
Guy I know of went into a drive in to get some gas. Pays with his Visa. The next thing he hears is the “click” of a cell phone taking a picture. He looks at the clerk and sees he has his cell phone in his hand. And it is pointed at the back of his credit card. WHERE THE SECURITY CODE IS LOCATED.
Here is the short version of what happened.
Before it is all over with, the cops are involved. Seems that the clerk is working with a guy who steals credit card numbers. The clerk takes a picture of the back of the credit card where the security code is located using his cell phone. He then e-mailed the picture of the back of the card and the credit card info to his partner in crime.
Had the guy not known what that “clicking” sound was he would have had his credit card info stolen as well.
Now with all this identity theft going on, I’m really really weary of people asking for my driver’s license number or those wanting a copy of my driver’s license. You see if they have access to say the driver’s license data bank they can also get your Social Security number. When they have that they can run rampant.As they did with my former business partner and thousands of other Americans.

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Comment by Michael S on December 28, 2008 at 3:15pm
I will suggest that you as a cashier have no right or role to play is protecting my information from ID theft. I further suggest that stores recording and keeping databases on theor customers actually empowers ID theft because their systems are generally not as secure as other networks (think TJ MAX). I also know of a case where an injury in a parking lot and the lawsuit the store defense was to pull up the data on their customer and suggested that since they had bought 3 six packs of beer in the week before the accident they were at fault because they may have been drunk.

The fact is I do not have to nor should I ever have to give any credit card or ID and leave to go pump gas. Why because I have know way of knowing that when out of my site the card or ID will not be written down. This place needs to have pumps that allow the customer to swipe their cards at the pump, get their gas and reciept and leave. Holding ID is a real big no no now days. So I do not agree with you Wayne your not a cop not is the store and have to legal standing to keep ID or Cards unless you want a huge libality.

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