Safe Holiday Shopping and Giving

November 21st, 2013

money

Safe holiday shopping in stores

The holidays are here which means searching store sales for the perfect gifts. To ensure safe holiday shopping at the mall, remember these common sense tips:

  • Keep your purse or wallet close at hand at all times. Surprisingly, online identity theft only slightly edges out offline theft.
  • If a holiday receipt or order confirmation has your credit card info on it, don’t throw it in the trash where thieves can find it. If you do throw these items away, shred them first.
  • Safe holiday shopping also means being careful at the ATM. When getting cash, make sure no one can see your pin number. Also, beware of ATMs where the card swiping slot seems to have been tampered with. Someone may have rigged the machine to swipe your info.

Using credit cards online

  • Shop only at sites you know and trust. Rogue sites appear and disappear almost overnight during the holidays.  Don’t let them vanish with your money.
  • Instead of using credit cards to shop online, opt for gift cards issued by trusted online sellers. Most big box stores, electronics stores and online retailers issue gift cards that can be used on their sites just like credit cards.
  • Steer clear of online sellers who claim to have this season’s hottest (and hardest to find) new toy. The prices are often inflated, and some of these sellers steal your credit card info with no intention of sending you the item you charged. If you can’t find it at a local store or on an online retailer you trust, save that must-have item for a future birthday gift.
Stay safe this holiday shopping season!

Stay safe this holiday shopping season!

Shop safe online. Check out The First’s September Blog:

http://fnbn.com/blog/identity-theft

Beware of bogus charities

Before you give to any charity, search that charity’s name + complaints online to find out if they’re on the Naughty or Nice list. Try to find out how much of what they collect goes to people in need vs. charity overhead. And DON’T give in to high pressure or emotional appeals. Money can be tight this time of year. Make sure the cash you earmark for charity goes where it can do the most good!

The BBB can help you find out if a charity is okay

http://www.bbb.org/us/charity/

Do you have any ideas for safe holiday shopping? Comment below to let us know.