The holiday season... it’s a busy time of year for everyone, especially for retailers of all sizes. In fact, November and December are the busiest shopping times of the year! As a result, the opportunity for credit/debit card fraud may be heightened. Help protect yourself this holiday season by following these simple tips to help keep your information private.
The most important step is to review your financial and credit card statements carefully for unknown transactions that may have occurred with your credit or debit card. If you see something suspicious, call your card issuer immediately. Remember, some retailers offer their own debit cards tied directly to your checking account, so be sure to monitor your account for unauthorized transactions.
Another way to help protect yourself is to dispose of receipts properly - shred them! Carry as few credit cards as possible and periodically check to make sure you still have them all. Be sure to sign new credit/debit cards as soon as you receive them; then, immediately shred the old card. And, as always, guard your PINs (personal identification numbers) carefully.
It’s also a good idea to periodically order credit reports from the three major credit bureaus. The Federal Trade Commission established a program with the three credit agencies that enables consumers to receive a copy of their credit reports from each of the three credit agencies once a year. You can request and receive reports at the www.AnnualCreditReport.com website or by phone (1-877-322-8228). These reports should show any unauthorized accounts.