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Have noticed when booking tickets myself that a couple of travel agents scan the back and front of the credit card that I would use to make a payment. And I have heard the same when friends have made bookings with a travel agent that is not in their country.

Giving out details like CVV is not allowed, still, the travel agents ask and people give this info out. Is this common practice?

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    Which country are you talking about? This might make a difference in terms of regulations, and likelihood of travel agent scams. – JoErNanO May 7 '15 at 11:08
  • @JoErNanO Noticed this in Canada where an imprint of my credit cards was taken when I was supposed to pay, and have heard from a friend who is dealing with a Zimbabwean travel agent ask for the scans. – Prasoon May 7 '15 at 11:13
  • @Prasoon I've never seen that in Canada- was this with a non-chip credit card? – Spehro Pefhany May 7 '15 at 13:34
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    @Prasoon the Zimbadwean is more likely asking for scams than scans... – jwenting May 7 '15 at 16:27
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    @prasoon taking an imprint is a legitimate (if archaic) way to accept credit cards. That is why credit cards have embossed numbers in the first place. Scanning both sides on the other hand will record the CVV2 which AIUI merchants are not supposed to keep copies of. – Peter Green Feb 7 '16 at 5:21
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It happens in quite a few countries, even in the USA. It depends on the card processing bank that the merchant is using. Some request that the merchant document validity of the card in "card not present" transactions.

You find it most when a charge is done manually, such as sending your card details to a Travel Company or hotel and then they process the charge manually, usually at a later date. It provides some assurance that when they try to run the card, it is actually yours and not something that will show up stolen after they have already made bookings and arrangements on your behalf.

If you are paying immediately through an online system, they usually don't need this, as you provide some form of verification such as the CVV and billing address right then and there. And the charge is authorized before proceeding with finalization of your booking.

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