PhotoDo you ever wonder why stores ask for your Zip Code? Some consumers think it must be part of the credit card approval process -- and sometimes it is -- but usually, it's something a little more nefarious.

Many large retailers collect as much information as they can about their customers and sell or trade it to database marketers who make a business out of building profiles of American consumers. 

The Zip Code is an important link in this process. The store already has your name, credit card number and information about your purchases. The addition of the Zip Code makes it possible for the database marketers to put together other pieces of the puzzle, including your street address.

ConsumerAffairs editor Jim Hood discussed the process yesterday on Fox Business' Neil Cavuto Show:

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