It’s always important to take steps to protect yourself from identity theft, but even more so during the holidays. As you begin your Christmas shopping, you may begin to use your credit cards more than usual. Not only that, I’ve noticed that there happens to be something about the holidays which puts people at ease and can make them a little careless with their personal information.
Make no mistake; identity thieves don’t take a holiday vacation. Most of us have heard of restaurant “skimming” where a server takes a credit card and skims it through a device which reads the information to be used later for identity theft. Well, this practice is also being used at the mall by identity thieves pretending to be Santa’s helpers.
In busy shops, you can start to feel overwhelmed to the point where you can’t pay attention to everything that is going on around you. You just want to get in and get out. It also doesn’t help when sales clerks are stressed out and hurried as well. During this holiday season, you may want to keep a close eye on those clerks as they process your credit cards. I’m sure most Christmas help act professionally and honestly, but some professional thieves work in stores as holiday help as it is a perfect opportunity to skim your credit card information when you’re not paying attention. What can you do to avoid this? Keep your credit cards within sight at all times! Here are some other tips.
1. Don’t let a sales clerk offer to take your card to the cash register while you continue to shop and return to have you sign the receipt
2. When a sales clerk returns your credit card – make sure it’s yours
3. Don’t leave your credit card lying on the cashier’s counter while you sign your receipt
4. Make sure to always put your credit card away once it has been returned back to you
Question – are you planning to pay only cash this holiday season to avoid credit card fraud?