5-speed listening (Level 3)

Barack Obama's credit card problem



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Even the President of the United States of America has embarrassing moments with credit cards. Barack Obama had one last month. A restaurant cashier told him she couldn't accept his credit card. He was having dinner at an expensive restaurant in an upmarket area of New York. The President told reporters: "I went to a restaurant during the U.N. General Assembly, and my credit card was rejected….It turned out, I guess, I don't use it enough." He added that the cashier thought his card was being used for illegal purposes. He explained that he did not have enough cash to pay for the restaurant bill. Luckily, his wife paid the bill using her credit card and they could leave the restaurant.

Mr Obama told his credit card story on Friday while he was signing a new law to protect consumers from identity theft. In particular, the new law tightens the controls on credit cards. Obama said: "Even I'm affected by this." Identity theft is a growing problem all over the world. Officials in the USA think that 100 million people have been affected in the past year because someone stole their private information online. The new law is called "BuySecure". It wants the credit card industry to change from cards with magnetic strips to those with microchips and PIN numbers. Magnetic strips are old technology. It is easy for hackers to read them and put the information on other cards.

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