Plan now to Avoid Identity Theft this Christmas Season
Check scanners carefully before running your card through, as thieves sometimes attach skimmers to them in an effort to steal your information. Some signs a skimmer might be present include residue from glue, loose parts, or what seem to be additional parts to the machine. There may also be small cameras that are about ¾ inch in diameter on or near the keypad.
Always cover your hand when typing in your PIN. Even if no cameras are nearby, you never know who might be watching you and subsequently take note of your PIN. After learning your PIN, another individual could lift your credit or debit card and make unauthorized purchases before you were aware.
Never let your card out of your sight. If a store clerk must take your card to swipe it, insist on paying with cash or a personal check instead. After making a purchase, check your receipt carefully for cash back authorizations you didn’t request. Dishonest store clerks sometimes ring up these charges, hoping you won’t notice so they can pocket the money instead.
With due diligence, the Christmas shopping season doesn’t have to result in identity theft. As an added precaution, you should know what fraud protection your credit cards offer so you can take advantage of it if an incident does occur.