Holiday credit card protection should be up most in your mind… when you find yourself amid the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping. However, because you are generally in a hurry, planning a party, purchasing a gift or just juggling kids through a store, it’s probably the last thing in your noggin. In other words, your mind is scattered all over the place. Unfortunately, it’s an ideal time for dishonest folks to take advantage of you.
Here’s a few tips that might be helpful during the holiday season:
1. Keep your card in your purse rather than in a pocket. Your card can easily slip out of a pocket and be picked up by someone who may take advantage of you and not turn the card into the lost and found of a store. Also, store employees often suspect cards that are removed from pockets rather than purses to be fraudulent. They are trained to watch.
2 . Take note whether your card has been return to you after you have made a purchase. Employees sometimes are so busy with so many transactions that they are not aware when they don’t return your card. Your card should be returned to you along with your receipt.
3. Make sure your card is signed on the back. Often times, your original signature has been rubbed off because of the frequent use of the transaction machine. Sign it again with a permanent marker. Retailers do not have to be responsible for fraudulent purchases if your card is not signed.
4. Give yourself plenty of space at the ATM. Thieves will try and stand close enough to see which pin number you enter into the machine. I use to be frustrated by the busy photography that is printed on my debt card. You know the kind…the ones with mountains and trees… which you have tip and tilt to see the numbers. Well, I discovered that it’s for my protection. It keeps on lookers with sharp eyes and keen minds from seeing my numbers and quickly memorizing them
5. Don’t carry with you all of the credit cards you own. Take the less frequently used cards out of your purse and store them in a safe place.
7. Make a list of the cards and their numbers and keep them in a safe place at home. If you lose your card, or it is stolen, you will have a quick reference. The fraudulent use of cards often takes place within hours or at least days, so the sooner you can report it the better.
Protecting your credit card may mean the difference between a happy Christmas and a stressed one.
P.S. When you get home from shopping, check your purse and make sure your cash and cards are intact.
P.P.S. Thanks to the honest person who pick up my card off the ground at Costco Gas and turned it into the lost and found. Thank goodness there are plenty of honest people out there too. And don’t worry about the picture of the credit card…It’s long expire and the numbers have been removed.