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What does it take to get a
Discover Card in America?


Apparently not much.


I get a lot of those "you're pre-approved" junk mails from various credit card companies. Who doesn't? I mostly just toss them. In November 2002, much to my surprise, I got an approved Discover Card in the mail that I never applied for. With all the talk of identify theft lately I was quite worried. I called their 1-800 number and cancelled the card. I asked how they could send me a card I never applied for? A Discover representative stated that since someone has to know your Social Security Number to get a card, maybe someone at my house might have picked up the phone and accepted the card via a voice solicitation. I indicated that I live alone so no one would be home to accept such a call. I'm pretty sure I don't suffer from any sleep disorders that make me unknowingly accept phone offers. Even if that were the case, I couldn't cite you my Social Security Number off by heart while conscious. I doubt I'd be able to recall my number in any kind of trace-like state.

Since no one applied for the card by phone, someone must have filled out one of those application junk mails I tossed. After being transferred around a few times, I found a Discover representative who stated he would check Discover's records and mail me a copy of the credit card application.

And here it is. This is the actual application Discover received and used to process the card (click image to enlarge):


click to enlarge


Here is the actual card I receive based on that application (click image to enlarge):


click to enlarge


You'll notice in the credit card application submitted to Discover not only is nothing in the written application area correct but nothing is even legible except for household income which appears to be $93 a year. The areas footnoted as "this information is required to complete this application" are particularly illegible, yet they still issued a credit card to a human, even without a valid Social Security Number!




Can you make out a Social Security Number? Remember, get this box
correct because, as the form warns, it's required!





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Copyright 2002 Karl Mamer

Free for online distribution as long as

"Copyright 2002 Karl Mamer (kamamer@yahoo.com)"

appears on the article.


Direct comments and questions to mailto:kamamer@yahoo.com