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Holiday Crime Season

Updated on November 16, 2013

Credit Card Tips

Protection against crime provides some great tips: www.protectionagainstcrime.com

While Shopping

  • Crime Prevention tips while you're shopping.

  • Carry your cell or mobile phone with you at all times - they are great to have for any kind of emergency. Be certain that your phone battery is always charged or mostly charged. If you do not own a cell or mobile phone, we strongly recommend that you purchase one.

  • Park in a well-lighted area if there is a chance that you'll be returning after dark.

  • Be sure your car doors and windows are left locked after you've parked.

  • Have your keys ready when heading toward your car. Keys can be a handy weapon if needed, or put a non-lethal weapon on your key ring.

  • Before crossing a parking lot, visually check it out to see who is there. If someone looks suspicious, walk to the other side of the street or parking lot, or better yet, get a security guard to watch until you are safely in your car.

  • When using an ATM machine, stay alert. Don't count your money where anyone can see you.

  • When using public restrooms, again, you need to be aware of those around you. Don't go in if you feel uncomfortable or someone appears suspicious. Keep your purse and packages as close as possible.

  • If you are confronted with a dangerous situation, cry out for assistance. Yelling "FIRE! FIRE!" instead of "HELP!" will generally bring faster attention.

  • Stay alert, use good common sense, and follow your instincts.

Tis the season for family, holiday, hugs, travel and thievery.


Identity Theft / Fraud Statistics

Data

Average number of U.S. identity fraud victims annually

11,571,900

Percent of U.S. households that reported some type of identity fraud

7 %

Average financial loss per identity theft incident

$4,930

Total financial loss attributed to identity theft in 2013

$21 billion

Total financial loss attributed to identity theft in 2010

$13.2 billion

Percent of Reported Identity Thefts by Type of Fraud

Percent Reported

Misuse of Existing Credit Card

64.1 %

Misuse of Other Existing Bank Account

35 %

Misuse of Personal Information

14.2 %

Unfortunately while everyone is planning to go home for the holidays, enjoy family, and shop there are people attempting to disrupt your life and steal.


While there is no need to be suspicious of everyone, it is extremely important to beware of placing yourself in a bad situation. To prevent crime; keep your debit card in sight. Prevent the opportunity for theft by using cash rather than providing your debit card to the waiter/waitress at a restaurant. Remember, one swipe is all it takes to make purchases from your account and the most frustrating theft is theft connected to your account. Your banking account/debit card is how you put gas in your car, buy groceries and pay your bills so it it important that you protect yourself. *If you practice discipline it is better to charge dinner and make a payment from your debit card that same night paying off your meal via phone or internet payment. When entering information make sure the website you use is security protected, meaning your internet site should read https.


Charity Donations:

Writing checks sounds great but there is no need for random strangers to have your routing code and bank account number. You can donate to charities online such as The Red Cross or Salvation Army or Toys for Tots; so use these safe and secure sites which should read https:.. During the holiday season anyone can ring a bell or stop you to put money in the box for those in need but who's to say your donations are reaching the people in need.


Retail Shopping and Restaurants:

Use caution where you chose to use your card. Yes, your local hole in the wall pizza joint now has a swiping card but should you use it? Make sure when you hand over your credit card at the department store make sure the employee does not pre-swipe your card. Card reading devices can easily be hidden and can capture your information and cause so much damage to your credit card. There is no harm in watching the associate swipe your card directly into the machine's attached credit card swipe area. If you pay for goods, services, or food and notice your entire credit card number-scratch out the middle eight number. There is no need for all the numbers on your credit card to be visible. There is nothing wrong with using cash at the restaurant.

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