The holiday season is a time when people are more vulnerable to identity theft scams. Not only are people making more purchases than any other time of year, but they are often distracted when doing so.
During the holiday season, stores and shopping malls are bustling with people – especially at peak shopping times during evenings and weekends. When shoppers are focused on their gift lists, looking for bargains, or tending to the kids, attention might not be on security.
When shopping online, it might be tempting to shop using mobile devices in public settings. That might open up risk in terms of online security.
With rapidly rising prices and higher cost of interest, many analysts see that people are looking for bargains to help reign in holiday spending. When people are focused on bargains, they might be tempted to log onto less than trustworthy websites.
Below are some tips to protect your identity during the holiday season.
Some of us have a tendency to carry all of our credit cards in our purses or wallets in addition to our social security card. This might seem convenient, but it is the perfect set up for identity theft. Keep the number of items you carry to a bare minimum. Use the rule of three: one credit card, your driver’s license or identity card, and your debit card. Never carry your social security card or any information that may have your social security number on it with you unless you will need it.
A false sense of security at work or at home could make you a prime target for identity thieves. Identity thieves can come in all forms, including co-workers, friends, and even trusted family members. To ensure the safety of cards you are not carrying with you, consider using a fireproof safe, safe deposit box, or lockable filing cabinet to house them.
There is a relatively new form of identity theft on the rise called formjacking. Formjacking involves cybercriminals hijacking credit card information from online forms. Making purchases, paying bills, and filing taxes online is commonplace today. Here are a few steps you can take to boost your privacy and help in preventing fraud:
If you notice that important financial items or documents such as credit/debit cards, drivers licenses, or loan agreements have gone missing, you will need to act fast to contact every organization or creditor that issued them. We recommend you take these important action steps if you feel your identity has been compromised:
Identity theft is a serious crime. It can be a time-consuming and costly process that seriously affects your life, so stay vigilant and take precautions.
Adapted from an article distributed in partnership with GreenPath Financial Wellness.