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Barack Obama's Credit Card Declined On Date With First Lady, US President Insists He Pays His Bills

18/10/2014 12:11 BST | Updated 18/10/2014 12:59 BST
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI via Getty Images
US President Barack Obama eats a french fry while meeting with supporters about voter registration at OMG Burgers on September 20, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Obama is traveling to Florida for the day to participate in a taping for Univision in Miami before attending a campaign event in Tampa. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)

The Secret Service is charged with watching the president's back, but who's watching his wallet?

When his credit card was declined last month while dining in New York, President Barack Obama wondered if he had become a victim of identity theft.

"It turned out, I guess I don't use it enough," Obama said Friday at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

"They thought there was some fraud going on," he said, chatting while announcing a government plan to tighten security for debit cards that transfer federal benefits like Social Security to millions of Americans.

"I was trying to explain to the waitress 'No, I really think that I've been paying my bills.'"

Fortunately first lady Michelle Obama was able to whip out a credit card they could use.

The Huffington Post US couldn't confirm where the president's credit card was declined, but it was previously reported that the Obamas and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett dined at Estela last month. A woman who answered the phone at the posh restaurant in downtown Manhattan Friday told HuffPost that no one was available to talk about the president's visit.

Identity theft is a growing problem and an estimated 100 million people have been affected by security breaches in the past year at retailers like Target and Home Depot.

"Even I'm affected by this," he said.