Fine print, Living with credit, Protecting yourself

Britney Spears swipes bodyguard’s credit card

Connie Prater

Pop icon Britney Spears is in the headlines again. This time, for credit card misdeeds. It shows that, once again, celebrity trumps all.

According to TMZ, Spears used her bodyguard’s credit card to buy two pairs of boots on a recent shopping spree. The problem: Spears signed her own name to the receipt.

Britney1.JPGSignatures don’t match
According to the report, the sales clerk gave her a hard time because the signature didn’t match the name on the card. Spears apparently talked the clerk into accepting the transaction anyway, saying that since the bodyguard was an employee of her company it was OK.

Huh? OK, in the real world, if you or I try to use someone else’s credit card to make a purchase and signed our own name to the receipt, it probably would be a different scenario entirely:

Clerk: Is this your card?

Me: Well, it’s a company card. It’s OK if I use it.

Clerk: May I see some identification please?

Me: I don’t have any ID. You know who I am. Everybody knows me. I’m famous.

Clerk: (Dialing a manager) I can’t authorize this transaction. Security!

Or something like that.

ID theft is no joke
Now, we also know that not all store clerks are diligent about checking those signatures. has written about how some clerks ignore it when cardholders have written “SEE ID” on the signature line on the back of their cards. And, some people have “signed” those electronic signature pads with crude drawings and other things.

How is what Spears did different from when a boss gives an assistant his or her personal credit card to do personal shopping? I’m guessing the assistant doesn’t sign his or her own name on the receipt.

Perhaps we should all hope that neither Britney Spears nor any other celebrity gets a hold of our credit cards. Apparently, all the normal safeguards against ID theft are trumped by celebrity. That’s troubling because experts are predicting an increase in ID theft over the next two years.

Here’s the kicker: According to TMZ, Spears has her own credit card. But because her finances are controlled by a conservatorship (she can’t handle her own money responsibly), she is limited to spending a mere $1,500 a week on that card. I’m not sure how her financial handlers would limit her weekly spending on her own card. But I guess she had already reached her weekly limit.

See related: Britney Spears does something modestly — charge on credit


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  • brittany smith

    this is bull***, you need to leave this girl alone, and live her life. cant you people find something better to do than mess with other people?

  • credit score

    Wow! Another interesting news here!

  • Lebron McDaniels

    Why are you guessing about the proper procedure for lending a card to another person? You write a professional blog on a website all about credit cards and you can’t be bothered to actually research it? Are you kidding?
    FYI – signing your own name is the only legal option – signature on the back of the card is to indicate contract acceptance for credit, signature at point-of-sale is to indicate contract acceptance for the transaction.

  • David

    I sometimes give my card to others to purchase things for them. What’s the big deal?

  • David,
    We have written a lot about people who encounter problems when they share their credit cards and credit accounts.
    What’s the big deal? Every time you give your credit card to someone else to use, you are opening yourself up for a host of potential problems. They can spend more than they say they will and you could get stuck with the bill. If they don’t pay it, you (as the accountholder) are liable for the debt. It can go on your credit report and ding your credit score. Is it worth it? Unless you completely trust the people you are giving your card to, I would avoid doing this.
    Here are some links that might be helpful:

  • T.Y.

    dont put judgment on noone lest u be judged. we are not perfect only god is and we fall short in our lives. so instead of judging lets all pray. god bless u

  • Jennifer

    I’m with you Connie. Unless there is written authorization or the cardholder is there in person, the clerk has no way of knowing whether permission has been given to use the card, or, whether it’s been stolen. As for checking card signature, I did have on the back of my card “check photo ID”. Never did I get asked for ID. Once I actually called a clerk on it, and her response was that the purchase had been authorized by the machine, therefore it was ok. My retort? “And you can tell me with 100% certainty that the card was not stolen 5 minutes ago?” She still didn’t ask for id.