Carrie Mick is a kindergarten teacher, and her husband Thomas works in credit card applications for Capital One. I asked if it was a good idea to shred those mail applications that roll in all the time. “Absolutely,” he said, “because all they need from there is your Social Security number to get the card mailed to them instead of your home address.” He added, “California is the only state that requires the credit card company to send you a letter first to verify that you actually sent in the application.” Thomas said Cap One has other methods and algorithms to spot phony applications. Did you wonder what those hackers did with 40 million stolen credit and debit cards numbers breached from Target last Christmas? News accounts this week played down the damage, but Thomas is skeptical. “They could charge micro amounts of $3 or less, and you’d hardly notice it on your monthly bill.” Do the math.