The holiday season is upon us, and unfortunately so are thieves just waiting to steal your identity. Recently in the news, you may have heard about major corporate stores such as Target and Home Depot falling victim to credit card hacking. Identity theft and credit card hacking are serious violations of your privacy, as well as your financial affairs. When it comes to preventing identity theft, you have to stay one step ahead of the bad guys. This may seem to be challenging, but with some vigilance and attention to our holiday shopping safety tips, you will be less likely to find yourself the victim of credit card hacking and fraud. Below we’ve shared with you some of our useful holiday shopping safety tips and ideas for preventing identity theft.
Only carry documents and credit cards with you that are essential: Passports, your social security card and birth certificate are not needed when shopping, so do not bring them with you. If you accidentally drop any of these important documents, they are more than likely to fall into the wrong hands.
Exercise caution when using your credit card over the phone: The easiest way for thieves to apply their credit card hacking techniques is by asking you directly for your information. Especially around the holiday season, scammers will call and falsely claim to be part of a non-profit organization looking to solicit a donation. A quick way to verify that they are who they say they are is to ask for a phone number, in case you get disconnected. If they seem apprehensive, it is most likely a scam. If they do provide you with a phone number, be sure to enter it into a search engine such as Google or Bing, and see if the number is registered to a legitimate organization.
Safeguard your social security number: This is key to preventing identity theft. Never verify or give your social security number to a customer service representative, instead ask to verify some other account information.
Watch your back at all times: When it comes to holiday shopping safety, it is hard enough to tell who may be peering over your shoulder behind you in line, but consider the employee monitoring the security camera in the store, as well. In order to avoid credit card hacking, it is a good idea to use your thumb to cover the engraved card numbers on your card when swiping your card and cover the key pad entirely when entering your pin number or zip code. There were recent reports in multiple states where employees were engaging in identity theft by watching customers as they used their credit cards at gas station pumps. Some security cameras feature a zooming and angling capability that makes credit card hacking incredibly easy.
Identity theft can be a very scary and frustrating event if you experience it. These holiday shopping safety tips are designed not only for use during the holiday season, but all year round. Credit cards and other forms of valuable financial information and personal documentation make all of us very vulnerable to identity theft. This is why it is imperative to take active measures in preventing identity theft and credit card hacking before they happen. To learn more about identity theft, contact us today.