Thursday, November 28, 2013

Protecting Your Identity and Credit During the Holidays




Tis the season for many articles to be published regarding identify theft during the holiday season. It is a fact of life these days that the fraudsters out there are extremely active during November and December. Consumers tend to be more active during the holidays so the people trying to pick our pockets of our hard-earned cash will be more active as well. Whether you use cash or plastic for your purchases, it is important to be extra vigilant during the next few weeks to ensure that you do not become a victim of fraud or identity theft. That would be a sure way to make the holidays significantly less joyful.

When using cash, be careful to only carry the amount you will actually need and not a big wad of bills that will be very attractive to observant thieves. Don’t carry the money in an easily accessible location. Men who carry their wallets in their back pockets are much more susceptible to pickpockets than those who carry them in their front pockets. If you are carrying a large amount of cash, break it up into two or three smaller amounts so that it doesn’t look so juicy for taking when you pull a batch of bills out. Women, be sure to hang on to your purses. Carrying it with the strap looped around your neck is certainly safer than just slung over your shoulder.

For purchases using credit or debit cards, the most important suggestion is to monitor your balances on a daily basis during this season. By doing so, you can identify fraudulent activity immediately and minimize your loses and the use a fraudster can make of your identity. Follow the same precautions as mentioned regarding cash to keep thieves from stealing cards out of your pockets or your purse. While you can call and shut down cards in the event they are stolen, it is a major hassle as well as a disruption to your life and is better avoided if possible. With these precautions in mind, have a safe, happy and fraud-free holiday season from all of us at Flemmer Associates!

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