ATHENS, GA – Your credit card might not be safe, even if it’s tucked away in your wallet. Harrison Hart, a student at the University of Georgia, had his credit card information stolen just one week ago and he believes it happened after a night downtown.

“About a week ago my dad called me and said I had a bunch of charges on my card…one of my charges was like $237,” said Hart.

Many people often go out, either to restaurants or bars, and open a tab with their credit card. While their tab is open, it’s usually kept behind the bar. While the majority of bars can be trusted, it’s not always safe.

Hart said about twenty of his fraternity brothers had their credit card information stolen, around the same time, which made them suspicious of bars they had frequented.

One bartender says that it’s protocol to take someone’s credit card when they open a tab, and its the customer’s responsibility to close their tab and get their card back. However, she said it’s common for people to leave their cards at the bar overnight – or longer.

“We have a box of just cards that have been left forever,” said bartender Hayley Basnett.

But Basnett said that she could never imagine her fellow employees or herself stealing information from a credit card left at the bar.

Most bartenders can be trusted, but if you want to be safe – use cash.

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