Prevent Identity Theft This Holiday Season

With the holidays approaching and credit cards maxing out, it's more important than ever to prevent identity theft

It's always important to prevent identity theft, but never so much as during the holiday season. As you begin your Christmas shopping, of course you use your credit cards a lot more than usual. Not only that, but something about the holidays seems to make people just a little more careless with their personal information. But make no mistake: identity thieves don't take vacation.

At least, not at Christmas. This is the hot time for identity thieves just like retail outlets. And that means that preventing identity theft is more pertinent now than ever. The following 3 tips will help you.

1. Don't leave bills or credit card offers sitting in the mailbox

For some reason, when we don't want to see a credit card bill we seem to think that leaving it in the mailbox for a few days prevents us from dealing with it. Actually, all that does is offer identity thieves the chance to get their hands on your credit info. If you really can't bring yourself to open it, leave it on the refrigerator or something -- not where a stranger gets his hands on it.

2. Take care with sales clerks

In busy shops, you start to feel stressed and just need to get out of there. It doesn't help when the sales clerks are stressed and hurried as well. But keep an eye on these people. Most behave professionally and honestly, but copying down your credit card number or pretending a transaction didn't go through and charge your twice is simple. If a clerk cancels a transaction, always ask for the receipt.

3. Exercise your usual care and caution

Best of all, simply consider your normal steps to prevent identity theft. Remember that crooks aren't on vacation; so don't take a break from your hard work either.

If you follow these tips, prevent identity theft during the holiday season -- and into the New Year.

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