They're generally the same on every receipt issued by the same store.
Consider them behind-the-scenes details that you can safely ignore. You've eaten a nice restaurant meal, tallied the tip and signed the credit card receipt -- only to realize that you've walked off with the wrong copy.
However, that rarely happens these days, and certainly no one at the bank is scrutinizing electronic signatures.
That doesn't mean you're free to scrawl whatever you want, though.
Plus, if you need to dispute a fraudulent charge, the signature can be a key bit of evidence.
Signing your receipt "Kim Kardashian" will not help your case. When your credit card bill arrives, pull out your receipts and make sure what you signed for is actually what you were charged, paying particular attention to transactions where you wrote in a tip.
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Occasionally you still see them (or hand-written receipts) when small businesses lack the infrastructure to process your credit payment electronically.
It seems like an innocent throwback, but "those are riskiest kinds of transactions," warns May, because you have no idea what happens to your credit card number afterward.
It's easy for a cashier to mis-key the wrong amount or to fraudulently add a few bucks to your tip.
Plus, if you messed up on your math, your cashier will generally go by what the total is -- but not always.
"It could be a case where they take the liberty of saying, ‘I'm pretty sure they meant , so I'm going to charge ,'" says May.