Location: Scotts Valley, CA, United States

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Preventing Holiday Identity Theft

Before you swipe your card, think about this, 11 million Americans had their identities stolen last year.

Narda Reed's husband was one of them.

"We've had people take free trips to Europe, to Disneyland, Disney World, purchase major items," she says.

And police say the holiday season is the prime time for thieves to steal your information.

"We're not ahead of this curve yet. It is definitely still a growing problem. More and more people are figuring out how to do it, how to commit that offense. Yes we catch them from time to time, but it doesn't take away the hassle that the victim has," says Temple Police Sergeant Brad Hunt.

Don't use public Wi-Fi connections like the ones in coffee shops to shop online. More ID theft happens in stores than online, but four in ten shoppers say they have little or no worries about identity fraud happening to them.

"You are at risk and in this day and age to it's very easy for someone to come along and be close to you and write the number down or get your credit card number and snap a picture of it," AAA Spokesman Dan Ronan says.

Ronan says you should cover up the number as you swipe and shield the keypad when you enter your pin.

"You don't want your card to be out of sight for a long period of time where someone could write down the number, write down the personal code on the back," Ronan adds.

Ronan also suggest taking only one card with you when you go shopping. He also says you should check your credit report at least two times a year.


  • When shopping online, make sure you use a reputable site and look for the security icon before putting in your information.
  • Protect from the view of a mobile phone camera - When Shopping, Put your Thumb over part of the Credit Card # and shield any PIN# entry.
  • Take only One Credit Card with you when you shop
  • Check your Credit Report every quarter using - once for each credit repository (bureau) every three months.
  • Enroll with the best Identity Theft Shield with the Pre-Paid Legal Plan, because you need an attorney to help you in case of some forms or ID Theft like Criminal and Medical ID Theft.


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