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GiftHoliday shopping means more opportunities to whip out your plastic—and more opportunities for thieves to try to steal your identity. Here’s what you should do.

Be vigilant. If you haven’t already, sign up for online access to your bank and credit card accounts. You should be reviewing your transactions at least weekly.

Be reachable. Update your contact information so your issuer can reach you quickly in case they spot fraud.

Be alerted. While you’re at it, sign up for alerts. Most issuers allow you to get a text or email alert for large or overseas transactions.

Beware fraudulent deal sites. Their eye-popping bargains may just be a way to get your credit card numbers. Stick with the real deal, like DealNews.

Be diligent. Install and update anti-malware software.

Be smart. Use your credit card rather than your debit card in high-risk situations, as I wrote in “Debit cards can be riskier than credit cards.” If you must use a debit card, sign for it rather than using your PIN since that typically offers you better protection against fraud.

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4 Comments

1

[…] Protect Yourself From Holiday Credit Card Fraud “Holiday shopping means more opportunities to whip out your plastic—and more opportunities for thieves to try to steal your identity. Here’s what you should do.” Ask Liz Weston […]

2

Liz, this is a great post and very timely. There is nothing worse than needing to change all of the billing that goes to your credit card because someone got a hold of your number. It is a huge pain. Building on your tip to be reachable is that you need to answer your phone when you are checking out. I’ve been at a grocery store before and had my card declined because I was out of state. Before I could reach for another card, my credit card company called. It was from a number I did not recognize and I almost did not answer the phone. I did and my credit card company verified my purchase and then approved it.

3

[…] Protect Yourself From Holiday Credit Card Fraud “Holiday shopping means more opportunities to whip out your plastic—and more opportunities for thieves to try to steal your identity. Here’s what you should do.” Ask Liz Weston […]

4

[…] —Protect Yourself From Holiday Credit Card Fraud — Ask Liz Weston […]