Look, Don’t Post Instagram Photos Of Your Credit Card

If you’ve found your way to this site, you’re probably savvy enough to know that it’s a very, very poor idea to snap cell phone pics of your debit card and post them to the public photo-sharing service Instagram. We would have thought that would be common sense for anyone intelligent enough to own both money and a functioning smartphone. We were wrong. You see, the NeedADebitCard Twitter bot retweets photos that people post publicly online of their credit and debit cards, often with the numbers in full view. It always seems to have fresh material, but those featured do often take their photos down. The rest remain, with names and numbers in full view.

“Please quit posting pictures of your debit cards, people,” is the feed’s Twitter profile and its simple plea. Offenders come from all over the world, but skew young. Young enough to just be obtaining their first debit cards, clearly.

There’s not a lot that criminals can do without the CVV card on the back, or the computer chip embedded in many foreign cards. But that doesn’t make posting images of your cards online is at all safe, or even close to being a good idea. Those who have breached themselves should probably get new cards. And not snap pictures of them, this time.

@Needadebitcard [Twitter] (via The Verge – thanks, Chris!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. baltimoron says:

    Why are you giving this twitter account more attention? We all know people who post pictures of their credit cards are stupid but by reporting on this it only increases the chances that these people will be targeted.

    • CalicoGal says:

      Sure, let’s protect the dullards by not propagating their dimwittedness. But then how will they EVER learn??

    • raydeebug says:

      I think it’s a good idea to draw attention to it.

      First: There are some people who can only learn life’s tough lessons in the hardest way possible.

      Second: Drawing attention to this being a bad idea will hopefully curb further additions to the feed.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        No, no, don’t you understand? Criminals NEVER find this stuff on their own, it’s always the fault of the person who points out the problem. They would be perfectly safe posting these pictures if it wasn’t for these darn tweets….

    • Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

      Raising awareness? It’s obvious how many people out there do not realize that in this age, card numbers are important personal information.

      The more people know about it, we hope the less stupid people become.

  2. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    OK, I need help – why would you take a picture of your credit card and post it online?

    I made a photo copy of everything in my wallet, front and back, in case my purse is stolen, but it’s locked up at home in my fireproof safe.

    And I liked this most of all “We would have thought that would be common sense for anyone intelligent enough to own both money and a functioning smartphone.” Having money does not necessarily mean one has common sense.

    • Lethe says:

      I can think of two reasons:

      1- It’s your first credit card and you’re proud/happy to believe that you’re seen as an adult.
      2- You got a custom picture on it and want to show it off.

      Mind you, I don’t think that these are good reasons, just that I can see young/inexperienced/stupid people posting pictures because of them.

      • suezahn says:

        I think the fact that they are doing this just proves they are indeed NOT adults yet.

  3. edman007 says:

    You can quite easily charge credit cards without a CVV, I’ve delt with the credit card processors and it will go through with nothing but the number, but without the CVV, name, and address the banks will be able to do a charge back (and take the stolen money back, the person taking the money won’t be able to stop it).

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    Thank you Consumerist.com, I just figured out
    how to finance the new lifestyle that I desire.

  5. CrazyEyed says:


    …that is all

    • Blueskylaw says:

      What are the 2 most common elements in the universe?

      1). Hydrogen

      2). Stupidity

      • Smiling says:

        I thought it was dumb and ass.

      • Murph1908 says:

        Actually, Helium is the most abundant element in the universe. A regular Consumerist reader would know that. =)

        • Scoobatz says:

          Where are you getting your facts?

          Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe (about 13 times more than helium, which comes in second.) If you don’t believe me, feel free to check out the 2 million Google results that confirm the same thing.

        • shufflemoomin says:

          Actually, it’s not. You’d think someone going around correcting people would know that.

        • Murph1908 says:

          Yeah, I meant second most abundant, dammit.

          Comment fail.

          The joke (as it were) is dumb if I am correcting the actual element, and not the joke one.

    • nugatory says:

      Common Sense belongs on the oxymoron wall with Military Intelligence. Common Sense is just not common.

    • I look at both sides of the story says:


      Common sense is not an inherited characteristic. “Common sense” is something you learn.

  6. alseen says:

    You can make a donation to Obama’s campaign.

    That’s right, his CC donation website doesn’t check address or CVV

  7. RandomHookup says:

    Next, you’ll be telling us it’s a bad idea to walk around the house naked with the curtains open.

    What’s this world coming to?

  8. axhandler1 says:

    Instagram photos of my W-2 are perfectly safe to post though, right?

  9. Dave B. says:

    “We would have thought that would be common sense for anyone intelligent enough to own both money and a functioning smartphone”

    The people referred to in this article have neither common sense nor intelligence, but it’s not a requirement to posses the mentioned objects.

    • RandomHookup says:

      Remember, those are some of the same folks who walk out into traffic while playing “Words With Friends”.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      Especially when the government gives money away to anyone who isn’t intelligent enough to care for themselves.

  10. eturowski says:

    I guess it’s good for these idiots that they are about as good at focusing their camera phones as they are about protecting their identities.

  11. HogwartsProfessor says:


  12. ThinkingBrian says:

    Simply put, “You just can’t fix stupid!!!”

  13. selianth says:

    What I think is sad is the number of people who cover up the first 4 or 8 digits of their number and leave the last 8 in clear text, thinking they’re safe from criminals. When usually knowing the bank and the type of card will tell you what the first 6 digits are and then there’s only two left to figure out from there. Idiots.