President Obama has many impersonators. So you can’t blame his credit card company for being a bit skittish about identity theft.
While signing an executive order on Friday mandating chip-and-pin technology on all federal government credit and debit cards, the president revealed that his card was declined at a restaurant in New York City last month.
“It turned out I guess I don’t use it enough, so they thought there was some fraud going on,” Obama said, adding that, thankfully, First Lady Michelle Obama picked up the check. “I was trying to explain to the waitress, ‘No really, I think that I’ve, uh, been paying my bills.’ So even I’m affected by this.”
The Huffington Post couldn’t confirm where the president’s credit card was declined, but it was previously reported that the Obamas and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett dined at Estela last month. A woman who answered the phone at the posh restaurant in downtown Manhattan Friday told HuffPost that no one was available to talk about the president’s visit.
On Friday, President Obama signed an executive order outlining several steps the government will take to better protect Americans from financial fraud and identity theft, which is the country’s fastest-growing crime.
The order requires, among other things, that federal law enforcement send compromised credentials they find to a nationwide “Internet Fraud Alert System” and requires that government agencies that make personal data available online use two-factor authentication, or log-in by typing in both a password and a PIN code sent to a user’s phone.
The order also mandates that government agencies begin introducing machines that read a new type of credit card that uses an embedded microchip and a PIN code to authorize transactions. Such cards — known as “chip and pin” cards — are supposed to make it much more difficult for hackers to make counterfeit credit cards from stolen card information, and are supposed be widely introduced by credit card companies by October of next year.