Holiday Shopping and Identity Theft
Posted on Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 at 4:13 pm
One of the downsides of holiday shopping is the fact that it is can also be a free for all for thieves looking to steal your money and your identity. Stolen wallets happen most often in the months of November and December, and your identity can even be easily stolen without your wallet. Here are some tips to help keep you and your wallet safe this holiday shopping season.
With modern security systems in place, the risk of having your money and identity stolen while shopping online is low. You are more likely to be a victim of a thief when you shop in a retail store. Shopping online is one way to avoid getting taken, while still getting the deals. That said, there are still a few things to keep in mind.
- Shop only at legitimate online stores that you are familiar with
- Before entering any credit card or personal information, look first for the security lock on the page. The URl should start with https (s means secure)
- Be wary of spam from outside sources that requests you to email your password or personal information. Call customer service if you are unsure.
Shield Your Information
The other day I caught myself. As I was waiting for the cashier to total my purchases, I had my wallet open and my credit card in hand. My name and numbers could be easily read and memorized or copied by a trained thief. it could also have been captured with a cell phone camera. This is called shoulder surfing and is one way that thieves get your information.
Make sure your shield the keypad when entering your pin number, and shield your check information as well.
Clean Out Your Wallet
To minimize the damage if your wallet or purse is stolen, first do a clean sweep of it before you shop. Remove anything that you will not be using, such as extra credit cards or identification. Consider pulling out only a few checks instead of bringing the whole checkbook, and don’t ever have anything with your social security number printed on it.