Protecting yourself

Please don’t let me buy a big screen TV with your credit card

Daniel Ray

In my five years at, I’ve written maybe a dozen letters such as the one below, which I just sent to one of our readers. I’m sharing this one in the hope I don’t have to write another.

Dear Mr. [name withheld];
I’ve been shopping for a big-screen TV. Thanks for offering to buy me one.

What? You say you don’t know me? You say you didn’t want to buy me a big-screen TV?

Then don’t ever do again what you just did: Send a stranger your name, address, and, most importantly, your credit card number. links to a variety of offers from credit card issuers.  We’re a comparison shopping site for credit cards, and an information source about them.

We are not — I repeat, not — your credit card issuer. When you wrote down all your identifying information, and your credit card number, in the form of a blog comment, you were playing with fire. We moderate our blog comments, so someone reads them before they are posted, but some blogs post comments automatically. Had our blog been set up to publish comments automatically, you would not only have been making it easy for me to steal your identity and buy a big-screen TV. You would have given that same opportunity to everyone on the planet with an Internet connection.

Please guard your credit card information more carefully. Don’t give it out to anyone except those who you know for certain have a need for it.  If you have a question or dispute about a transaction, contact the card issuer. There’s a phone number on the back of the card.

Yours truly,
Daniel P. Ray
Editor in Chief

P.S. I’ve deleted your comment.

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  • Scott Johnson

    Hi Mister Ray!
    I would like to add in addition to sending your private information (credit card) via email to sellers on eBay and Craigslist.
    Also, if you get email that promises you winnings from a contest and then you have to send them some money back, it’s a scam.