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One thing you should do in this day and age is invest in a decent paper shredder. Spot or Fido won't do in this case, what you need is a machine with the specific purpose of slicing up paper into tiny pieces.

Oh, you say you are just fine with tearing up all of those credit card applications that deluge your mailbox?

You better think twice about that.

The following is an account of someone who tore up a credit card application, taped it and then waited to see if the credit card company would actually approve an application that was pieced together like a puzzle and held together by tape.

Found on:
The Torn-Up Credit Card Application

You should probably buy a shredder today.

I get a heck of a lot of credit card applications in the mail. A bunch for Visa, quite a few from Mastercard and tons of them from American Express.

I almost always tear them in half and throw them away.

Sometimes, if I am feeling particularly paranoid, I'll tear them into little bitty pieces.

Is that good enough? Could a determined and dexterous criminal gather all the bits, tape them together and apply for a card in my name? Would a credit card company balk when confronted with an obviously resurrected application?

A test was in order, and when the latest application arrived from Chase Mastercard, I was equal to the task.

The application itself turned out to be quite small, so instead of just ripping it in half, I tore it into small bits.

Next, I arranged the bits on the countertop. It actually took a surprising amount of effort to get them all flipped and aligned properly. It was the kind of methodical effort a methamphetamine addict might enjoy.

Then I grabbed some Scotch.

And some tape.


On the Chase Website about protecting your identity, I learned that I should tear up financial solicitations that I am not interested in.

This was bad news. Maybe my card would never come.

So what happened? Did this person get a rejection letter, did they send the credit card fraud police after him?

See for yourself:

Then, on March 4th, I got the phone call.

It was my dad. Some mail had arrived for me at the house!

I loaded the family in the car and we stopped in for our usual biweekly monthly occasional visit.

I tore open the envelope and found my new card!

YES! The Chase Mastercard had arrived! It was really shiny, and new, with its very own account number!


Read the entry on that features this incident, read the comments section for some insight into the best shredder to purchase.