Winter is traditionally the season of giving, as gleeful customers regularly take to the shopping malls en masse in order to get the best deals on gifts for all of their friends and families. But those looking to give presents during the holiday season are not the only individuals scouring the stores, as identity thieves prey on unsuspecting customers in the hope of committing theft of identity.
When you go shopping for your Christmas gifts this year, do all you can to ensure that your identity remains intact and your credit score isn’t damaged leading up to the big day. The last thing you want during this notoriously expensive time of year is to be left with a sub-par credit score, so make credit monitoring a top priority.
Make sure your wallet is as thin as possible when you go into a department store, leaving any unnecessary credit or debit cards at home and sticking with cash as much as possible. If your credit card is compromised, it is generally easier to combat potential fraud than it would be if your checking account was taken over by a thief. Most credit card companies will give an individual 90 days to report fraud and become reimbursed, whereas there is traditionally only a 30-day window for most checking accounts.
Avoid keeping your wallet in a purse or other loose bag, as these items can easily be misplaced or snatched up by an opportunistic pickpocket. It’s best to keep these items on your person at all times either in a pocket or a fanny pack so that you are physically attached to these items as often as possible.
Look into identity protection services before you do any holiday shopping so that you have an extra safeguard in place should your personal information gets compromised.