It’s more fun dreaming of sugarplums than worrying about identity theft, but the holiday season calls for extra attention to all the fraudsters out there. After all, you don’t want the holiday cheer suddenly slipping away because you found out someone got a hold of your credit card and went on a shopping spree for Christmas. It only takes a few simple steps to better protect yourself and your money.
Tip #1 – Check Your Statements
It may be overstated, but that’s because it’s SUPER important, especially during the holidays! You need to check your credit/debit card statements. The Federal Trade Commission had over 133,000 reports of credit card fraud last year, making it the highest-ranking type of identity theft.¹
Okay, you’d rather drink eggnog by the fire, but checking your statements often will help you catch suspicious transactions before the thief empties your account completely.
What should you look for? A purchase you didn’t make is an obvious one, but you may find other issues requiring attention. Did the cashier accidentally charge you twice? Did you get the proper sale price? As you peruse your statements, keep an eye out for errors too.
Tip #2 – Take Extra Care with Charities
According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, non-profits receive over half of their contributions during the holiday season, and the last couple years have seen total contributions rising into the billions.
It may be the season of giving, but when someone calls you and asks for a donation, be cautious! Fraudsters will often call people during the holiday season and pretend to be from a charity needing monetary support. $328,000,000 were lost because of imposter scams last year, so be extra careful!¹
If there are charities you want to donate to, contact them directly.
Tip #3 – ID Monitoring
Still convinced that taking action isn’t necessary? Just remember the billions of people that had their information compromised in data breaches over the last several years, like the 143 million people affected by the Equifax data breach of 2017. Unfortunately, data breaches are common and continue to affect people each year. That’s why the next layer of protection is one that will cover you all year long.
Consider giving yourself the gift of ID Monitoring. We have identity theft protection services that include credit monitoring, recovery assistance if you become a victim, and alerts for suspicious activity.
For more details about ID Monitoring and other ways to protect yourself against the winter weather and fraudsters’ traps, call 888-724-2326 today.
¹Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2017: Executive Summary. FTC, Mar. 2018. Web. 19 Sep. 2018.
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