Whenever I receive a new credit card, I go through an elaborate cutting process of the previous card, typically over a bin. I usually do a few snips and cuts of the magnetic strip, and then very methodically cut up the numbers of the credit card so they can’t be determined… or so I thought!
I wanted to set out to test my theory, to see how successful I was. So I started digging through my draw for an old card the resembles a credit card, but doesn’t actually (hopefully) contain any compromising information. I found the perfect thing : an expired NRMA card that was provided to under 21 years olds for free. Being a little over 21, I no longer have a need of this card, and no longer have a policy with the NRMA. So I decided to destroy the card, treating it as if it were a credit card.
First, I took a photo of the card, so I could compare results afterward, and then proceeded to cut the card up (into 32 pieces no less) in my typical style (which is over a bin). After fully cutting the card up, I then went through the bin to recapture all the pieces (I did miss a piece) and then to try and reconstruct the card. Here’s how I went :
As you can see I was able to successfully determine the Card number (similar to a credit card number – I only mistook a 7 for a 1) as well as my name, expiry date and membership number. My signature (which I shall not show on the internet) was also fully visible. It took probably 45 minutes.
I think a fun follow on project is to investigate how far this data can get me, by calling up NRMA and trying to engineer some of my own personal information back out of the NRMA based off only this information on the membership card.