Brickbat: Getting Carded


A new ordinance passed by the Shakopee, Minn., City Council requires anyone buying a Visa, MasterCard or American Express gift card with a credit card at local stores to show photo ID. "Criminals favor these cards because they can get cash quickly, the transactions are largely irreversible, and they can remain relatively anonymous throughout," said Police Chief Jeff Tate.

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  1. Half-measures. If this city council wants to be truly honestly tough on crime, make cash a crime.

    1. Photograph and fingerprint required for cash purchases.

      1. DNA Sample and a 14 day waiting period.

    2. There are places that have done that. Not in the US, thankfully. But people still pushing for it here in the name of the War or Druugs.

  2. Mayberry had a guy giving haircuts at Floyd’s barber shop.

    Sure enough sheriff Taylor caught up to him.

    Seems like he was just using it as a front for gamblin’

    S2 e28 The bookie barber. One of the better ones when Don Knotts was there.

    Good thing Chief Tate and Barney caught up with this scheme with the gift cards. Sharp work there.

  3. I’ve had stores ask for photo I’d for other cc purchases. I believe Best Buy would? Staples might as well? I was appreciative of that actually. Doesn’t need to be a law but this ranks pretty low on my outrage meter.

    1. They are not saying what they do with the ID info. A criminal will gladly show their actual ID to buy a gift card if no identifying info is retained by the store. A criminal will show a fake ID if some ID info is retained.

      IDs for Americans are not required in the USA, so the government has zero authority requiring some ID to buy products or services. It results in a de facto ban on products and services for some people. In fact, there is no requirement that people even keep their birth names. You can use whatever name you wish.

      To head off the “but you need ID to do so many things already” folks, I would let you know that I don’t need ID except to vote and to travel out of the USA.

      1. Or to buy beer or tobacco. Or cold medicine or kerosene, apparently (I still can’t figure out why I got carded for kerosene).

        But I’m with you here. Being required to have ID for things like that really bugs me.

        In this case, though, I’d guess the point of the ID is to make sure that the credit card belongs to the person using it. But a law isn’t necessary. If this kind of fraud is a problem, the credit card companies can require that vendors check IDs.

        1. I just tell the cashier to forget the whole transaction and walk away.

          I think some places need age confirmation for compressed air, kerosene, tobacco, alcohol, nicotine patches…
          …because kids can die at 18 for Bush and Obama but not buy alcohol until 21.

          After I do that a few times, the cashiers dont ask for ID anymore if I decide to return to that particular store.

          1. And many over the counter cold and asthma medications. I had to fill out a form and sign it to buy some in California a few years ago, because apparently it could be used by meth labs. Over the counter medicine. Stuff that is legal to sell without a prescription. Not on any schedule. Stuff that the previous year you could pick up on the shelf in a fricking gas station.

            1. Anything with Pseudoephedrine, as I learned yesterday in NJ buying allergy medicine. (We don’t fill out a form, just have to show ID)

    2. I would think that card companies would want retailers to check IDs with cards. But I suppose that takes away from the convenience of using a card.

      1. As you say, the CC companies should encourage retailers to check to make the names match.

        In reality, any “money” is able to be counterfeited or fraudulently used even this new CC chip in cards. Its a game to stay one step ahead of criminals.

        For me, if I dont get excellent reward points on my credit card, I just back to cash.

        1. Same here. I use my card for gas and online purchases for the fraud protection. Otherwise it’s cash.
          Sometimes I think I should pay cash for gas too because card leaves a nice record of where I’ve been. But it’s too convenient and I mostly just go to the same places all the time anyway.

          1. People don’t think about/don’t care how much government has pushed businesses to get rid of anonymity.

            Ever wonder how the authorities know which direction these Father “kidnappers” are going? All gas station transactions via cards can be easily tracked and cash and gift cards require you go inside and captured on video.

            *I use Father “kidnappers” because I still don’t understand how you can “kidnap” your own kid, so its a non-crime but exposes the massive police state we now live in.

            1. I use Father “kidnappers” because I still don’t understand how you can “kidnap” your own kid

              Because being a parent is different from having custody. This isn’t complicated.

              1. I would include fathers with part time custody.

                My point is that when parents split with their kid(s) its not kidnapping. It can be something that is prohibited because the other parent has custody rights too, but its not kidnapping.

          2. Yeah, I’ve pretty much given up on using cash. It was fine when I lived a block down from an ATM, but now getting the cash I need for daily purchases is a pain. It’s credit card everywhere. And I feel like the last person in the world to make that switch.

            Granted, it means that the gub’ment could track me if I ever got in their sights. But the government can track me anyway if they wanted to, so no big deal. I’m no so paranoid that I need to throw away my credit cards, cell phones, remove my license plate, sell my home and live on the street. Sheesh. That said, for certain transactions cash is still available. And the cash is still damned useful even for absolutely legit purchases. I can give cash to a homeless person, or a gift to a kid, or in the church collection plate, or a legal Nevada hooker.

            And it’s great for traveling, because your credit card company doesn’t freak out and block your card for security reasons if you take it out of state. (A problem I once had on a business trip).

    3. I actually support this as a store policy. However, I don’t believe that it should be a law, as LC said above.

      It is a wise policy. However, government prohibitions need to be about safety and punishment, limited to the maximum extent by rights. They should not be in the habit of dispensing mere wisdom.

      1. +10

  4. Here’s a comment.

    1. And a perfectly cromulent comment it is!

    2. That’s not a comment, it’s a statement!

  5. My photo is on my credit card, do I have to show another photo ID?

    1. They would really like your on-the-spot DNA to match what they have for your DNA sample on file.

  6. Where is the outrage from all the people who claim that photo IDs are so hard to get that they are an unconstitutional standard for voting?

    1. I think the issue with Voter ID, one that the opponents never make clear, is that Voter ID laws specify limited and specific forms of ID. Such as driver’s license or passport only. Which a good number of legal voters simply do not possess. Whereas an ID check for nearly everything else can be verified using just about anything.

      The big problem with Voter ID is that it’s a Republican Shibboleth. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud, and people know it, so those demanding it are just demanding that legal voting be restricted.

      I’ve got no problem with the concept of Voter ID. I think it’s sensible. But there are a great many jurisdictions where the end result of Voter ID is to restrict the legal voters. I would be more than happy with a law requiring one to simply bring their Voter Registration card with them. Or one that specified any legal form of ID.

      1. Interesting because I have not seen that in most of the state voter ID laws that I’ve read. Most allowed a range of IDs and were no more restrictive on the allowed list than the forms of ID allowed for buying alcohol, cigarettes, etc. All the state voter ID laws I’ve read also had clauses explicitly funding the provision of ID cards for indigent voters – something this law (and all the other ID-required laws) omit. The claim that “a good number of legal voters do not possess” valid ID has been studied. The number who do not currently have valid ID is quite small and the number who were categorically unable to get such ID was statistically indistinguishable from zero.

  7. “Criminals favor these cards because they can get cash quickly, the transactions are largely irreversible, and they can remain relatively anonymous throughout,” said Police Chief Jeff Tate.

    Perhaps Police Chief Tate would care to explain how requiring ID before purchasing one of these cards would have any effect on that?

    1. I think the idea is to catch people using stolen credit cards. Makes sense that you’d want to get as much as you can from a stolen card before it is shut off and gift cards seems like a pretty effective way to do that.

      1. A fake ID is all that is needed.

      2. Furthermore, presenting a fake ID to a business is not in-and-of-itself illegal.

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