Tips for Reducing Your Identity Theft Risk While Holiday Shopping

Identity Theft and the Holiday Season

Identity theft has been on the rise in recent years, and a recent news article has indicated that Birmingham, Alabama has now made the top 50 U.S. cities for identity theft. There are always stories that highlight the risk of identity theft for citizens living in certain cities, states, or geographic regions. While this information is informative and helpful to know, make sure you’re not lured into a false sense of security.

Lower Your Risk

In today’s technologically-dependent society where computers and electronic gadgets are plentiful, it’s important to realize that everyone is at risk for identity theft. No matter where you live, it’s important to take precautions aimed at reducing your risk of identity theft.

With the holiday season approaching, we thought we’d provide you with a bit of a refresher course on preventing identity theft. Below you’ll find out some helpful ways for preventing identity theft during this busy time of year.

Be Careful When Shopping in Public

If this means you have to leave your little ones at home while you shop for your aunt’s Christmas gift, then go ahead and do so. The stores get very crowded during the holiday season. Combine that with the cheerful music and eye-catching decorations and most shoppers simply don’t pay attention. This can leave them vulnerable to identity theft.

One common way identity theft criminals take advantage of preoccupied shoppers is to snap a photo of the shopper’s credit card by using their cell phones. Think about it. How often do you stand in line holding your credit card where other shoppers can see? Do yourself a favor – keep your credit card number hidden. You never know who's looking.

Receipts, Receipts, Receipts

When you give someone a gift, make sure you wrap the gift using the gift receipt and not your actual receipt. That’s not saying you shouldn’t trust your friends and family, but you never know how careful they’ll be when they dispose of the wrapping paper and receipts. My guess is your receipt will simply get thrown away intact and never make it to the paper shredder where it belongs.

By taking the above advice in mind, you can help ensure that your stocking is full of holiday cheer this year and that you won't find any unpleasant identity theft surprises lurking around the corner.

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