Many parents give their children old canceled credit cards to play with when they pretend to go shopping like a grown up. I know I have allowed my little cousins and siblings to do just that. However, is it safe to allow them to play with these old cancelled credit cards?
Well, even though you may think it is safe, the truth is it honestly is not and I can list several reasons why it is not. The reason I can is that I have personally experienced why it is definitely not a great idea to allow children to play with old cards and I will list the reasons why below.
Losing the Cards
When I handed the little children in my life old canceled credit cards to play pretend shopping with so they can be just like the grown ups, they ended up losing the cards out in public. Well, a stranger ended up finding the cards and taking the information off them to find out more information about me, “The Owner of the Cards.”
Once they found out the information, the used it to reapply for another credit card in my name, but under a different address and had it mailed to them. As soon as they got the card and activated it the stranger was able to shop on the internet with them and bought abundances worth of stuff.
However, they were not paying the credit card and months later because my phone number was used to get the stranger a credit card, I get a call saying I have not paid my credit card in months. I was shocked and told them I have not even used a credit card in months. They financial adviser said, “Yes Miss, you have!”
Well, I tell you what! I got on the phone and got fraud assistance to help fix this situation. Long story short, debt was canceled, card was canceled and the person who found the credit cards and used my information got into big trouble. However, this is only one of the reasons why you should destroy old credit cards immediately after you have canceled them.
Children Like to Write Down Numbers and Names
Another reason why children should never be given old credit line cards to use is that they like to write down the numbers and names off the cards. You may all think this is very strange, but let me tell you this. The little one in my life had an old credit card and we were out to eat at a pizza joint. The waiter gave her some crayons and paper to use to color and she thought it would be a good idea to practice writing numbers and letters down by coping exactly what was on the card.
At the time, I thought this was no big deal. I honestly thought it was great that she wanted to practice her writing skills. Well, after dinner I never thought twice about taking the coloring sheet with us. I am sure you all can guess what happened after that.
The bus boy used the information from the card numbers and names written down on the piece of paper to find out more information about me and than tried applying for a bank loan online. Shortly after, I get a call saying that I was not approved for a loan. I was freaking out. I was telling the financial woman I never applied for alone. She just said, “Well Miss, we have your information right here.”
The good news is that got fixed too, but the bad news was my credit was becoming bad because of all these horrible mishaps.
When did I figure out what was happening?
After two incidents, I began realizing what was happening. However, it was not until I read an article online that explained why it was important to shred old credit cards up immediately after canceling them. This is when it dawned on me that I let the little ones play with my old cards. Immediately after realizing this, I went to ask them for the cards.
Well, the little ones said that they only had some of them. I asked what happened to the others ones. Of course, they said they lost some, but they did give me the ones they did have and I put them through the shredder immediately to be destroyed. Although, you would be very happy to know I made them some pretend credit cards using construction paper and sticky laminate materials. This made the children just as happy.
As you can see, destroying credit cards after you have canceled them is extremely important to do to protect yourself against fraudulent activity. You do not want to end up in a mess and have your credit ruined. If your little ones ask if they can play with the old cards say no immediately, but make sure you create them some pretend ones to play with instead. It is much safer this way.