AAA Hawaii’s Annual Holiday Season Travel and Shopping Poll of 250 local residents reveals that 76% plan to primarily shop this holiday with credit or debit cards. However, almost four in ten of surveyed shoppers have little or no concern about identity fraud happening to them this holiday shopping season! Identity theft is rampant throughout the holiday season. Over the past 3 years stolen data being used in less than one week jumped from 33% to 71%, meaning that they steal today and shop today. Identity thieves count on our lackadaisical attitude toward monitoring our wealth.
Not only does legitimate business pick up during the holiday season, but Identity theft and fraudulent Business seems to be on the rise as well. Especially during these hard economic times Identity thieves are on the prowl more than ever looking for a quick fix to their financial problems. It is just not possible to observe and ward off every threat to our identity. There will be documents that you forget to destroy or lock up, accounts that you won’t cancel, checks that you will mail, and waiters that will disappear with your credit card. It is not practical to think that we can cover every situation that threatens the safety of our identity. But we are not helpless in these situations.
Like an experienced spy, we have a solid backup plan. It is extremely important to monitor the key components of our identity especially during the Holidays. Over 50% of all Identity theft is self detected. Here are a few tips to stay safe and keep an eye out for Identity Fraud this Holiday Season:
Monitor Your Credit Report Look for any suspicious activity or unknown accounts. If you find anything new that you haven’t applied for contact the responsible financial institution immediately.
Credit Monitoring Services Services that companies offer make it easy to ensure that fraudsters aren’t accessing your personal information, accounts, or credit. Allowing them to do it for you will put you more at ease this Holiday Season.
Sign up for Account Alerts This way you will know immediately if anyone is making fraudulent charges on your account.
Switch to Online Statements This way you can more easily access your accounts throughout the month rather than waiting until the end of the month for a statement.
John Sileo became America’s Top Identity Theft Speaker & Expert after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more about bringing John to your next meeting or event, contact him directly on 800.258.8076.