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    The Pantry Sells Prepaid Cards That Prevent Identify Theft

    WebSecret requires no personal information for purchase or use.

    LOS ANGELES -- Sanford, N.C.-based The Pantry is now carrying WebSecret, Next Estate Communications Inc.'s (NEC) online buying product designed to protect consumers from identity theft and improper use of their personal information.

    NEC's WebSecret, issued by Columbus Bank & Trust Co. of Columbus, Ga., as a MasterCard product or a Visa product, provides consumers with the ability to shop online without fear of identity theft or compromising their personal and financial information.

    Identity theft has become a significant issue for consumers, as 7 million people became victims of identity theft from 2002 to 2003 according to NEC, citing research firm The Gartner Group. Also, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that during the same period, consumer victims had to pay more than $5 billion from their pockets as a result of identity theft.

    WebSecret is a non-reloadable prepaid product that requires no personal information for its purchase or use. The product can be loaded with up to $500. WebSecret can be purchased at participating local and national retailers for $14.95. Consumers must be 18 or over to purchase the product.

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