Black Friday is the most ideal time for an identity thief to target unsuspecting victims. Consumers facing an already tough economy, they need to be particularly wary this holiday season of scams and fraud both at stores and in the online world of shopping. Considered to be one of the biggest online shopping days of the year, Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving.
“While the holiday season is surely a time for cheer and celebration, it is also a time when identity thieves are waiting for the perfect opportunity to pounce on unsuspecting consumers,” said one of the LifeLock official. “Whether it takes place at shopping malls or online, identity theft can increase over the holidays. However, we are confident that if consumers are armed with the necessary tools to protect their personal information, thieves will not continue to profit nearly as much off innocent victims.”
There are many steps consumers can take to protect their credit and to ensure that when the holidays are over and they are done spending, their credit won’t need any mending. Below are some tips that LifeLock.com offers for shoppers to keep in mind to safeguard their identities this holiday season:
— Shut out Scrooge – Make it difficult for criminals to apply for and receive new credit in your name. Place a fraud alert with the three major credit bureaus and deny those thieves looking to thwart your credit and your holiday spirit.
— Memorize it – If you don’t know it by heart yet, think of a catchy way to memorize your Social Security number and then you can keep it stored in the safest place of all (your brain!) and not in your wallet.
— Are you really you? – Write “See ID” in ink on the back of your credit card next to your signature. This is an effective way of reminding cashiers to check the credit card against your photo identification.
— Keep your distance – Beware of anyone looking over your shoulder when you are making a purchase. Especially when using a debit card, make sure to cover the pin keypad while entering your personal pin — “shoulder surfers” could be watching or even recording on a cell phone camera!
— Gone “phishing” – Watch out for “phishing” scams, when crooks send you e-mails that look to be from legitimate companies, requesting that you provide them with personal information.
Life Lock works to close many of the doors identity thieves go through to misuse personal information.