National

Apr 1, 2013 4:42 AM by Lacey Steele

Why do stores ask for your zip code?

Many of us have been asked for our zip code at the check out counter of a store.

Did you ever wonder what the company does with that information?

Your zip code is often used by the store to plan future advertising, expansion, or to send you direct mail.

It is not needed for your transaction to be complete.

"They think it's probably pretty harmless, but at the same time when they get a basketful of marketing data in their mail, they actually probably don't realize that that's where it came from," said Kim Gough, of Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

The only place your zip code is used to verify your transaction is at the gas pump, so that's the only time it's considered okay for them to ask.

Otherwise, experts tell you to say "no" if asked for your zip code.

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