The following is supposedly a true story. To be included, besides
being true, the story is most likely strange, weird, surprising, or
Many folks have written with perfectly plausible explanations about
why merchants take my phone number on a credit card charge. What
these fail to address, however, is that if I'm perpetrating a fraud
in the use of this credit card, I'm not about to give out a correct
phone number. They make no effort to validate the phone number before
I leave, so what they're doing is collecting the phone numbers of a
bunch of honest people.
Now then... Why are they collecting the phone numbers of a bunch of
I once asked why you are asked for your phone number when using your
charge cards. The clerk explained that theives have been caught
because they stupidly put down THEIR home phone number, not the phone
number of the person who "owned" the card.