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The Resource Center Credit Fraud & Credit Monitoring | article

Don’t Let Thieving Scrooges Get in the Way of Your Holiday Shopping

Aggressive holiday shoppers have the tendency to make the mall an at-times-scary place to visit during the Christmas season. Some people have no problem jostling to the front of lines or fighting with fellow shoppers for a coveted product. However, the biggest fear that you should have when hitting up the stores isn't overzealous consumers with long Christmas lists. Instead, thieves who take advantage of shoppers overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the holiday season pose the greatest risk not only to your Christmas spirit, but also your credit score.

Bringing your purse shopping may just make you a target
One common form of theft that occurs any time of year is purse-snatching. When you're in a crowded mall juggling a bevy of shopping bags, it can get confusing keeping track of all of your purchases. This is especially true if you have children in tow, as they tend to demand the majority of your attention. To lessen the load, leave your purse at home altogether and keep your personal belonging in your pants or shirt pockets. You aren't likely to lose your pants when you're walking around the mall, though your jacket is a different story entirely, so don't use coat pockets to store items like your cell phone or wallet.

You don't need to bring your whole wallet to the mall, just a couple necessities
If possible, only bring essentials with you to the mall, like your credit card and license, and leave your wallet and purse safely at home. These two slim cards will be inconspicuous compared to a bulky wallet, which a pickpocket will be eyeing your pockets for if you become a target.

Stubborn about bringing the purse? Keep it as empty as you can
Should you still feel the need to bring a purse with you shopping, don't keep anything valuable inside of it, including things with personal information like your birthday or an account number. A thief could use this information to steal your identity and hurt your good credit when you're relying on it most to get you through the holiday season.

Though the malls may be a nightmare, recovering from identity theft and clearing up your credit report is an even bigger pain that may take years to complete.

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