How many times have you been at a store and been asked for your zip code?  This happens to me all the time and I thought it was just because they wanted to monitor where people were coming from to shop at their store.  Apparently not.

According to privacy experts, asking for your zip code is an easy way for stores to collect valuable marketing data about you.  Once they have it, they can use the personal info they already have from your credit card to get your phone number, mailing address and demographic details.  Then they can send you catalogs and flyers, call your house and even sell the data for profit.

Massachusetts and California recently banned the practice, saying it violates privacy laws, but here in New York, it’s totally legal.

So, if you don’t want people knowing your business and don’t want a bunch of junk mail landing in your mailbox, decline giving your zip code the next time you’re asked for it.