Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Quick credit from Amazon dot com

Yesterday I had a sword drill in the issues confronting private information protection. I went to buy Lou Dobbs's new book "War on the Middle Class" from amazon on New Years Day, and I was, upon checkout, greeted with an invitation to get $30 credit if I would get an Amazon Visa card from Chase. Now I already have such a card (from AOL), but in my situation I cannot afford to pass up $30 free books and DVDs, so I filled out the application. It seemed OK, although I could have added others to the account without their knowledge, it seemed. On employment, it seemed to accept being retired as long as you named the company you had retired from. It took about 45 seconds to approve, and did issue a card with a $1000 limit. I hope that the low limit is just a precaution (until I establish bill payment history on the card), and not an indication of a problem that I don't know about. (The free credit reports in September were OK, was were the FICO and Vantage scores.)

Could such convenient credit and freebie offers work in an environment that requires a grantor to perform due diligence and check with a beefed-up NCOA (National Change of Address)? For very small amounts of credit, this would be OK, as long as confirmed by a mailing to the NCOA address within 72 hours to let the person know a new card was taken out in his/her name.

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