While you shop for your family, thieves shop for them with YOUR money

While you shop for your family, thieves shop for them with YOUR money

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COLUMBIA SC (WOLO)–As American’s woke up early on the Friday after Thanksgiving, kicking off another holiday shopping season, would-be identity thieves also started their shopping season…shopping for your money.  According to IdentityTheft.info, nearly 15 million Americans become victims each year, to the tune of $50 billion dollars.

John Drengenberg from Underwriter Laboratories says that there are several steps that people can take to protect their privacy and wallet.  His tips include:

  • Using one wallet.  This will ensure that you can track anything that is unusual that you might miss if you have to check several for all your Holiday shopping
  • Use a credit card rather than a debit card.  Since a credit card doesn’t require a PIN, there is less of a chance of a thief seeing your personal number
  • Use an EMV chip-enabled card.  Counterfeit fraud has decreased 27% from January 2015 – January 2015, with the use of chipped cards

If you are letting your fingers do the shopping this Holiday season, Drengenberg reminds consumers about some simple things that will help keep your wall up:

  • Ensure that anit-virus is not only installed on your computer, but working properly and updated, which will help stay a step ahead of cyber thieves
  • Don’t click on spam emails, even if they look real – especially if a link asks for “identification information”
  • If using a smartphone, make you haven’t connected to a public WiFi network

Drengenberg says that although there is no way to prevent the threat of becoming a cyber victim, “a few smart moves can help significantly cut down the chances.”

You can also check out more tips and information on Holiday shopping security HERE.

Categories: Local News