In general, winter can be an extremely expensive time of year for everybody. The costs can range from increased utility bills to combat the falling temperatures to services like snow plowing or transportation costs that provide extra burdens when winter weather rears its head. However, of all of the expenses that you encounter during this time of year, shopping for holiday gifts can be the most costly but not necessarily for the reasons you may think.
While you are surely going to run up quite the credit card bill or bank statement as you scour the malls for those perfect gifts for your loved ones, it’s what you didn’t mean to give that could come back to haunt you.
ID theft is extremely common during the holiday season as there seem to be thieves lurking around every corner looking to cash in on the holiday cheer that could lead to many individuals letting their guards down.
For instance, you may get so caught up at the cash register juggling all of your purchases while you check out, you could potentially forget to take back your credit card and leave it in the hands of a sneaky cashier. However, to use your credit card, these thieves don’t have to actually get a physical hold of your credit card, so much as jot down or scan the necessary account information to make purchases in your name.
You also don’t have to show up in person to become a victim of id theft, as poor etiquette when shopping online – such as not using a secure browser or purchasing from an trustworthy website – can also result in you losing your personal financial information.
Look into credit monitoring services this holiday season so that you have a second set of eyes keeping watch over your activity, alerting you to certain activity that may indicate fraud.