It's probably got something to do with our "pioneer spirit" of helping one another when supplies are far and few between.

Or maybe we're just cheap.

Let's put that another way that's more diplomatic. We're "thrifty".

Whatever the reason, Montanans have a legacy of loopholes. Heck, we were doing "hacks" before there were even computers, or phones and electricity for that matter. Which is why we gravitate to ways to help our friends and family save a buck.

And that's where Costco comes in.

In recent months we've heard a lot about how companies like Starbucks and Chipotle have been wrestling with "hacks" people have been sharing on social media, especially TikTok, over ways to get perks. Netflix is cracking down on password sharing.

And now, reports are emerging this week that Costco may be starting to do more checks to keep people from sharing their membership cards.

Just like the Netflix "hack", some people have been lending their membership cards to other shoppers, who then use them to check out and buy those gigantic muffins, fancy/cheap wines, organic maple syrup, and tools. Or just smuggling out that rotisserie chicken, which is already a loss leader for the company.

Is that really you on that card?

Some Costco shoppers in the Midwest report they've seen signs reminding shoppers they need to have paid for their own membership card, or have cards checked to see if those grainy black and white photos are actually you. The Street reports that's especially happening at the self-check lines, which would make sense because you don't actually have a clerk double-checking ID. In fact, in that scenario, the only check is the quick glance at your card coming in the door.

We don't need the "Costco Police"

What's worrisome for long-time Costco shoppers like myself (member since the mid-80s) is that all this could lead to higher membership fees, which have been rumored for months. Or just a tightening of security checks to slow everything up when you want to make a quick stop for your jug of milk chocolate almonds and simply escape.

So come on Montana. Let's do our part and be honest.

We already lost our Polish dogs. Don't make it worse. 

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