How the Heck did Square Get My Email Address?

“How did this store get my email address to send me a Square receipt?” asks a reader. “I paid for something at a new store that had the Square iPad checkout thing. I never gave the store my email address, but within seconds I had an emailed receipt. How the heck did Square get my email address?” laments another. Here’s how.

It makes sense to think of your receipt from a store as being from that store. But if they are using the Square system, as many stores do these days, your receipt is actually from Square.

What compounds this perception is that the emailed receipt appears to come from the store, and not Square, at least at first glance.

square receipt in inbox

And, when you open it, of course, it appears to be from the store.

square receipt from boxcar

 

So you are to be forgiven if you are wondering just how the hell the store got your email address.

If you look a little more closely at the email, either at the “from” header, or else waaaaay down at the very bottom of the email, you may recognize that it came from Square.

via square header

Read Internet Patrol Articles Right in Your Inbox as Soon as They are Published! Only $1 a Month!
Imagine being able to read full articles right in your email, or on your phone, without ever having to click through to the website unless you want to! Just $1 a month and you can cancel at any time!

square email footer

But these are the only two mentions of Square anywhere in the receipt so unless you are in the habit of reading your email headers more closely, or of scrolling all the way to the bottom of an email, you would miss these clues.

Even if you did realize that the email actually came from Square, you may still legitimately wonder how your email address came to be associated with an receipt from this particular store.

Here’s the secret: The first time you checked with a store that uses Square, and agreed to an emailed receipt, Square associated your email address with your credit card.

Explains Square, “After your first purchase at a Square seller, you’ll have the option to provide your email address or phone number if you would like to receive digital receipts. If you provide an email address, you’ll start receiving automatic receipts delivered by Square at that email address for all purchases you make from Square sellers using the same card. Any card with that card number, regardless of the name on the card, will receive automatic receipts for purchases made at Square merchants to the initial email provided.”

If you don’t like that, you can log into the Square dashboard, go to the digital receipts section, and select ‘Don’t automatically send me any digital receipts’.

square digital receipts

However, that said, that does not mean that Square will no longer have your email address (in fact, they almost certainly will).

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Summary
How the Heck did Square Get My Email Address?
Article Name
How the Heck did Square Get My Email Address?
Description
"How did this store get my email address to send me a Square receipt?" asks a reader. "I paid for something at a new store that had the Square iPad checkout thing. I never gave the store my email address, but within seconds I had an emailed receipt. How the heck did Square get my email address?" laments another. Here's how.
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35 Replies to “How the Heck did Square Get My Email Address?”

  1. Should be illegal. One shop had my email without giving it them but other places at for an email. Very shady since I never made an agreement to allow Square to have my email.

  2. There should be an easier way to opt out of automatic receipts from Square. A bigger problem, I believe, is that I frequently receive receipts from other peoples’ purchases! This seems like a real problem for Square as they don’t seem to be in control of the peoples private information.

  3. Square is an evil company, plain and simple. This thread is full of examples that people do not want the “convenience” of having their email addresses (and in many cases someone else’s email address) associated with their credit card numbers and purchases. F Square in the A!

  4. Not only did I receive a receipt sent to my work e-mail address (that I did not give out) from a restaurant, I received an e-mail/coupon from Squareup from the store next door that i just parked in front of that i never would have gone into in a million years (a kiddie train place).

    Wouldn’t that be something if a spouse were to see an e-mail from an inappropriate place that was not even visited or spoil a gift/surprise.

    I could think of a few positive applications for folks who were purchasing dangerous items.

  5. I made a purchase, can’t ever remember providing an email address to anyone and suddenly my mother receives my emailed receipt. This is an email address that she uses for a very specific purpose. An email address that I was not even aware of! How do s this happen?!!! Next time I see a vendor with that device attached to their phone, I will not purchase anything!!

  6. For anyone thinking this is no big deal…Square RUINED Christmas for me because of this automatic receipt emailing crap.

    Wife and I both have credit cards with the same account number on them. At some point, she told Square to email her – but this now happens for EITHER of our two cards, as the number is the same.

    I planned a major present for my wife for months – a new motorcycle. I paid for it in a manner she wouldn’t notice, but then I had to arrange for a shipper – it was coming from across the country. Once the shipping deal was struck, I gave the guy my credit card number over the phone. Unbeknownst to me – he used Square and input the card manually.

    My wife never sees the credit card statement as I do the bills, but since she receives an automated email from Square EVEN WHEN I USE MY CARD, she gets a nice “MOTORCYCLE SHIPPERS” receipt for the shipping charge. You know what happened next. “Hey Honey – what’s this?”

    Square sucks. They’ve no business sending automated receipts for all charges on an account when all cardholders haven’t opted in.

  7. I’m confused because the purchase I asked for an emailed receipt was years ago and I used a different bank then. So It was not the same credit card.

  8. I will not do business with a company if they do business with Square. Certainly a company can use a payment processor, but don’t bother me with email unless I ask you to. Too tricky – too sneaky – don’t trust.

  9. This is the brave new world where no one has any privacy. It will require a violent revolution to change it.

  10. I was wondering how Square got my email address too! But I am grateful they did have it because I had an incident with a seller who took more money then they were supposed to. And the email receipt lead me to be able to get a refund for the incorrect amount that I’d been charged! Now, I remember the previous seller who I gave my email address to because I knew I’d not given this seller my email address! Had I not gotten that receipt I may have never realized the overcharge!

  11. Don’t trust. They are not mining information out of the goodness of their heart. You don’t have to be a genius to figure that out. They are mining and selling. Selling you and your digital life for fractions of a penny for them. They will have absolutely no concern what havoc they cause you or how much it will ultimately cost you.
    Digital scum.
    Time for new email, I guess.

  12. How do you get rid of your email that is associated with Square? I don’t want ANYMORE receipts from any square merchant – do I unsubscribe in the email or have to call Square?

  13. Regarding your comment: we’re not overreacting — The day I started my new job, I visited a retailer that used Square. I received an receipt in my work email. There’s literally no way I would have either time or the inclination to link my credit card with my work email address. It’s still not clear how they even got the address or linked it to my credit card.

    Do you understand now why people are concerned?

  14. Geez people! The gravity of receiving a receipt via email sounds like you have been arrested and not given due process. It is true Square generates an sends the receipts by email. You initially were asked at the very first credit card transaction if you would like it emailed. The merchant, as do many, fail to say that you will always receive your receipt via email whenever you shop at store who uses Square. No need to cry justice is being taken. Just simply use the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the email. It surely will be the first thing the FBI Fraud Dept will ask (CAN-SPAM Act). Be grateful a company had gumption to say, “I would like to make it easier for people to purchase items at locations like swaps, festivals, and other small merchants. Merchants who traditionally would have been turned away by big credit card processors.” It’s just receipt in n email. Click “UNSUBSCRIBE” and move on in your life.

    https://squareup.com/legal/privacy-no-account

  15. Sorry to burst ypur bubbles BUT Square does too share your email address with merchants! Like you, I was furious that this company had access to my personal, not junk email address. I use the junk email for any commercial purpose and never give out the personal one. My bank does not have it, I checked. So I went to a merchant I had never released ANY email to that was sending me receipts from Square and guess what —- he showed me the screen and there it was: my personal email address. So heads up y’all, every merchant that uses square gets your email adddress. And I’m signing on to this comment site with my junk email, like it even matters anymore with scum companies like square.

  16. My problem is that I went to one store and bought something and never gave my email, but low and behold I got a receipt by email from the merchant. I later went to a store 35 miles away, made a purchase and received a receipt by email but it said from the first merchant, but the email body showed the name of the second merchant where I made the purchase. Yesterday, I took my taxes to a tax preparer and paid my fees, and again received a receipt by email but it showed from the first merchant but the body of the email showed the tax preparer’s name. I really don’t like this. This needs to be fixed.

  17. I had no idea! I have no account with square. I have never provided them my email address. My wife however is an authorized user on my credit card account and provided her email address for a receipt once. My wife has been sent receipts for everything I charged for the last several years at any merchant that used Square. This includes receipts for a therapist I was seeing to discuss my wife being abusive and how to deal with it! It’s my purchases on my credit card account! Square had no business reporting my transactions to an authorized user on my account!

  18. I received an emailed receipt yesterday that was not from my account. The name on the account is a police officer I talked to a few weeks ago. This is highly suspicious. How did my email become associated with a law enforcement officer.

  19. Made a purchase at a cafeteria today, using my Amex at a Square POS. Minutes later, I get an email from a friend in Ireland, who received an email with the receipt from my purchase. What? How did this happen? I have no clue how someone’s email in my address book is now randomly associated with my credit card on Square. Whatever sketchy thing happened here, Square for sure has a very serious problem on how they handle data and privacy. I will stay away from Square point-of-sale systems.

  20. Sketchy af. I have not used my card in months. I have not signed up for any new services either in these past months. All of a sudden I received 2 marketing emails within a day!! My Gmail was notoriously clean of spam until now. To make matters worse it tracked my ‘location’. I have since moved, but it believes that I would love Oregon Wine.

    My name, old location (not sure where they pulled the info from), and my age were all data mined. As suggested by Joe I plan on reporting them to the FBI Internet Fraud Department. My condolences to those affected by this scam of a company.

    I absolutely HATE it when con-artists try to manipulate and trick consumers with flashy websites. They can afford a high-end web dev, stock photos, and a ‘pitch’ video thanks to stolen data from others and received kickbacks from companies on the mailing list.

  21. Square is now sending my advertisements for retailers I have visited.

    DEATH TO SQUARE!

  22. I am a new business owner and this keeps happening to me as well. until I just realized I’m to Blame! Not a tech person so when they ask to put in a email address i thought this was an email from square to me. duh its not my card so its a question to the card holder not the merchant who owns the square!. there is no education for this device so who knew. so when my client goes off and purchases goods with her card if she doesn’t know and tries to get a receipt it will populate my email address if she or he doesn’t pay attention she is sending my pre-populated info or she didnt even realize I find if your in an area with bad reception sometimes you dont even get the chance to sign the transaction. so if your a merchant and you look at the name on the receipt and recognize the name its your customer sending you a receipt for their purchases. if you mistakenly did what i did. at least this is what is happening to me. your issue may be a different one.

  23. Getting receipts from Square under different names to my phone… I’m not in and reported the last to the initial credit card company, also to FBI internet fraud dept. as it was two receipts in a short time frame to a party in Atlanta and I’m not even in Atlanta. American Express was contacted who verified the party and followed up from their end. Wouldn’t use them if I had to now. Seems anyone can use any phone number…why mine I don’t know.

  24. how do i print an emailed receipt from square or save it to my to my desktop?

  25. I dislike the company. I did not sign up with them. They have no business having my phone number.

  26. But I never gave this address to Square! This is an email address that I only use for personal stuff! How did they get it? If I gave it by accident, they should tell me which merchant it was.

  27. Just to add another brick to this pile:

    I recently purchased something with square, as I have done multiple times, and always used my primary “public facing” email address. Instead, this time, inexplicably, it went to a work email address that I never use for commercial purposes of any sort, in fact, it’s a government address that only gets used for official business, and I’ve only had it for 6 months — no freaking clue how it came to be associated with square or my credit card!

  28. Those rascals. I never gave any “merchant” my email address. What I did do was pay some monthly Verizon and AT&T bills at the kiosk in those stores. They askedif I would like to receive the receipt via email and I said yes. AT&T and Verizon already have my email address linked to my accounts, but their sending me a receipt to my email address kicked in this whole corrupt process. Without my knowledge. I am going to contact my bank and request new credit cards for those accounts. That way they won’t still have my bank account linked to my email address. I hope. In the meantime I know that they can sell that information to anybody they want. #^}}%?!}#

  29. I occasionally shop at a bakery that uses Square, but I’ve never given them my email address. I was at a bookstore this week that also uses Square, and again did not give them my email address. Ten minutes after the purchase, however, I had an emailed receipt. It went to my personal email that I never give out to vendors.

    Per this article, I went to their site to remove all the info I can. Turns out they don’t have an account assigned to my email address. No idea how they have my info in that case. I clicked the ‘not your receipt?’ link in the email, so hopefully that will remove my info from their system…

  30. This company has a really bad way of handling a buyer’s information. I made the mistake of filling out the profile with a merchant when I purchased an item. Much later when I made a purchase with another merchant who used a Square device, it had my basic information and my email address for an electronic receipt. That’s all fine. BUT recently I paid for a service which the merchant used a Square reader and my electronic receipt went to someone else! This happened on the same day, twice, with two different merchants! I don’t want my purchases flying out to anyone. Square has a responsibility and duty to protect a buyer’s privacy when it comes to purchases. What if they had been purchases that were of an very sensitive nature (they weren’t).

    All I can tell you is that I will NEVER use my credit card with a Square merchant again. Sorry, but Square blew it for you guys.

  31. Nice recap on how receipts work with Square! The only thing I would add is that Square does not give merchants access to that email address since they consider it part of the transaction and private under PCI rules (since they share it). Good for the consumer but something that might hamper a store owner’s marketing endeavors. Many of the alternative mobile processing solutions store the email address in history and make it available to the store owner.

  32. Nice recap on how receipts work with Square! The only thing I would add is that Square does not give merchants access to that email address since they consider it part of the transaction and private under PCI rules (since they share it). Good for the consumer but something that might hamper a store owner’s marketing endeavors. Many of the alternative mobile processing solutions store the email address in history and make it available to the store owner.

  33. Nice recap on how receipts work with Square! The only thing I would add is that Square does not give merchants access to that email address since they consider it part of the transaction and private under PCI rules (since they share it). Good for the consumer but something that might hamper a store owner’s marketing endeavors. Many of the alternative mobile processing solutions store the email address in history and make it available to the store owner.

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