Talking tech since 2003

Hold on to your seats, this post is about to unload some snark. Normally I’m not a big advocate of publicizing the personal information of others, but sometimes we must pay attention to the mistakes of others so that we do not repeat them ourselves. Twitter is a great place to share information across the web, but apparently it’s also a great place to post personal information, such as credit or debit card numbers, and beg the world to steal your identity. What’s more shocking is how regularly people do this. For the past few months I’ve been following the Twitter account @NeedADebitCard. I’m not sure if it’s a bot or if it’s run by a human, but the idea is simple: whenever someone posts a photo of their credit or debit card on Twitter, this account retweets it.

Like I said, I’m not into the malicious theft of private information. But I follow this for the same reason that people are incapable of looking away from a car crash: the more I look, the more I’m in disbelief of what I’m looking at. Sometimes, if I’ve feeling particularly zealous, I’ll send the original tweeter a reply, letting them know that they’ve done something stupid–but not usually.

If you check out the account, you might notice that it has relatively few tweets–around 40 at the time that this article is being written. But that doesn’t mean that it’s only found 40 instances of Internet idiocracy. Many more have somehow slipped through the cracks of natural selection just in time to post their credit card numbers to the world. However, since this account is simply retweeting what others have posted, it gives them the opportunity to delete their bone-headed tweet. Many of them have probably realized that they were retweeted by an account named NeedADebitCard and quickly realized what they had done.

Moral of the story: don’t be an idiot. Don’t post photos of your credit or debit cards online.

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