Staff Photo: Erin Evans
Law enforcement and banking officials urge residents to be extra vigilant in using credit cards to pay for holiday shopping. Rockdale County District Attorney Richard Reed said that even with more sophisticated security measures set by credit card companies residents need to keep a close eye on their cards and be aware of who is using the information in transactions.
Finding the perfect present can come with a hefty price, if you're not careful. It could cost you your identity or hard-earned cash. As we all make our way to the stores or sign onto to the web for those holiday deals, we all need to be proactive, and understand this is prime season for crooks.
Shopper Alana Kilgore said its especially important to be proactive and know that crooks are always looking for an easy target, "People have a lot less money to spend, and they're trying to spend it wisely. If somebody comes and takes it, it ruins the whole season."
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation has a few tips to keep your holidays merry. When you hit the mall, shops or holiday parties the fewer things you bring, the less chance there is to loose it. Take your identification card and a single credit or debit card if you can. If you do take a wallet or purse, never leave it unattended. Select a well-lit ATM and keep the receipt in a safe place. Shop on secure and trustworthy websites. They will have a padlock icon, or will have "https:" before the web address. Avoid e-mailed requests for cash. It is likely a scam.
Lots of people will celebrate the holidays by attending church services and or parties. CBI says consider installing motion sensing lights and putting electronics on timers to make it look like someone is home. Another useful tip, CBI says never check your wallet or purse with your coat.
If you have questions about protecting yourself from fraud and ID theft, please call the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. They will answer your individual questions or provide a free educational presentation for your group or community. Call them at 303-239-4649.