Don't Waste Your Money: Stores want driver's license for returns - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Don't Waste Your Money: Stores demand driver's license for returns

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(WTOL) - The magnetic strip or bar code on your driver's license contains just about everything except your social security number. Would you give that information to a store clerk you did not know? Many shoppers are doing just that.

A heads up for anyone planning to return something. The store may not just ask for your name and phone number, they may demand your driver's license. It is a new trend that is not sitting well with shoppers.

Emily Adams recently decided to return a $4 spool of yarn she purchased from a local Michaels store. She had the receipt, and since she had paid cash, she expected an easy return. She was wrong.

"She asked me for my driver's license. I kinda thought: This is weird. Then I thought: She's just gonna look at it to know it's me," said Adams.

But Adams said the clerk did not simply look at the license.

"So I handed it to her and she swiped it through the register," said Adams, stunned. "I said, 'What information did that record from my license?' and she said, 'All of it.'"

Michaels stores is one of a growing number of retailers now swiping driver's licenses for returns to prevent theft. Michaels website clearly states you must provide a valid license or U.S. passport for any return, no matter how small.

But some customers are complaining that they do not want stores to have their license number, birth date, and address.

A class action lawsuit just filed in federal court in West Palm Beach is demanding that Best Buy stop this very same practice. At least one congressman wants the policy outlawed.

Adams said while she loves the crafts sold by Michaels, it is not worth making a return to get back just a couple of bucks.

"I would say no, certainly not, now that my data is out there and I don't know what will happen to it," said Adams.

Michaels and Best Buy both insist driver's license data is safe, not sold, and kept only for internal fraud prevention. But if you would rather not give them that information, do not plan on returning anything you buy there. That way you don't waste your money.

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