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Old 01-15-2004, 11:39 AM   #1
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Went to the mall early this morning, wrote a check for my purchases, and the saleclerk informed me that he needed my thumbprint Asked him what for, was told it was a store policy if you wrote a check to give your thumbprint. How common is this? Most of the time I use my check card, so don't write checks too much, this is the first time I have experinced this. Asked the salesclerk if they kept fingerprints on file, or just utilized the information as needed, and he just gave me a blank stare. Not that I am worried about being connected to any crimes, use gloves most of the time Am I the only one who feels uneasy about this?
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Old 01-15-2004, 11:45 AM   #2
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I have seen the thumbprint thing at a bank, but never at a store. What is this world coming to!!!
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Old 01-15-2004, 12:24 PM   #3
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This world is getting pretty nasty.....nasty folks out there, making nice folks like us, have to go through inconvenience.

Sorta like walking barefooted at the airport while they xray your shoes.....I dont like it.....but, Im grateful they do it.

I have never been thumbprinted at a bank or store, ..... and, not since they invented the camera, and my picture, instead of my thumbprint is on my drivers license.

Last edited by Cheesecake; 01-15-2004 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 01-15-2004, 12:34 PM   #4
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It is a new tool to help stop identity theft and check fraud.

If your check came back (account closed or you said you didn't write it), they have a fingerprint to go to the police with to try to track down the person who was writing bad or stolen checks.

We have been doing that in the bank for years if anyone comes in with a check drawn on us, and they don't have an account with us, we ask for 2 pieces of identification and then thumbprint them. This is a national act. Here is information that we furnish all our retail staff on the program:

Thumbprint Signature Program


General Information
Effective August 3, 1998, the bank began using a new security device referred to as the Thumbprint Signature touch pad. The touch pad is intended to deter counterfeit and stolen check fraud by obtaining a thumbprint signature (a single thumbprint) from non-customers (customers who do not have a depository relationship with UMB Bank, n.a.) when cashing on-us and not-on-us checks. The thumbprint signature can be used by law enforcement agencies in the investigation of fraud claims made by account holders, and public awareness of the program by banks is a natural deterrent. Participating banks will not retain any thumbprint signatures in their files, and the signature will be shared with law enforcement officials only in cases of suspected fraud.

The Texas Bankers Association developed the Thumbprint Signature Program after pilot programs in Arizona and Nevada were found to be helpful in decreasing check-cashing fraud. Since the implementation of the pilot program, reports indicate up to a 75% decrease in check fraud. In addition, less than 1% of presenters refused to provide the requested fingerprint. To date, thirty states currently participate, including Missouri and Kansas as of 1997. Public criticism is almost nonexistent.

Touch Pad Description
The touch pad is a 2" round inkless fingerprinting device that leaves no residue on the hand. Users simply rub their fingers together and any remaining chemical residue disappears. The touch pad is not the same as an inkpad and will not leave ink on a user's hand and/or clothing.

How the Touch Pad Works
The presenter of the check presses the thumb of his or her right hand on the pad and places the impression of the finger on the face of the check between the memo and signature lines. If the presenter is disabled and cannot use his or her right thumb, an impression of the left thumb is placed on the check and "left hand" is noted on the check next to the thumbprint. Should both thumbs be disabled, an impression of the right index finger is taken and "right index finger" is noted next to the print.

The thumbprint signature is not intended to be used in place of standard forms of identification, but is recorded in addition to customary I.D. requested by the Bank.

When to Obtain a Thumbprint Signature
A thumbprint signature should be obtained when:

a non-customer presents an on-us or not-on-us check for encashment. This includes employees of commercial or business account customers who present payroll checks drawn on our institution;
a non-customer presents an on-us check for exchange to a cashier's check;
a non-customer presents a government check for encashment.
Note: To comply with all applicable federal laws and regulations, a thumbprint signature should be obtained from every non-customer every time a check is presented for payment. Distinctions should not be made based on appearance or suspicious versus non-suspicious circumstances. Consistency is the key!

I don't mind at all doing this. Let's me know they are looking out for me as well as for them. One of my co-workers' son had his checkbook stolen (when they stole his car - got the car back and credit cards, but checkbook and SS card are missing in action). It is nice to know that some locations are asking for this. So far no one has tried to write a check on his account, but he has everything in place in case something comes in to try to protect his credit rating.

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Old 01-15-2004, 12:57 PM   #5
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WingMan I totally agree with you. The misuse of information is what frightens me. Actually walked out of the store without buying the items...and it was a golf store..pink and gray shoes, gray pants, pink and gray shirt, and matching socks,80% off....I am okay, honest
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Old 01-15-2004, 01:04 PM   #6
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If they are thumbprinting you -- ask for a copy of their store policy on this.

If they cannot provide you any legal document from their store management -- refuse. If they won't take your check then -- go to another store.

I understand everyone's concerns about this and I see the pro's and con's on this. I don't think it will go away either. But if you can get the information from their management (especially if they are a corporation) and they should have signs posted warning people of this. It might just help wart off anyone trying to pass a bad check.

Unfortunately this is where we are going with so much of this. I feel a little better about this than the places that run my check through like an ACH (automatic clearing house transaction like your credit card). And they keep the check for their files. Now that really gets me upset. No only have they hit my account electronically, but they have the check if they don't show it clearing and can run the paper item (a second time). Sometimes this is harder to reverse than a bad check.
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