Protect Your Identity From Holiday Grinches
With the holidays around the corner and more people heading online and in stores to do their shopping, it is important to be aware of the grinches out there looking to take advantage of those embracing the holiday spirit.
During the holidays, consumers tend to be less attentive and more wrapped up in the excitement and hustle and bustle of the holiday season. This in turn can make them easier prey for fraudsters around the holidays.
In 2019, 14.4 million people reported being a victim of identity fraud. According to an Experian survey, 1 in 4 respondents reported being a victim of identity theft during the holidays.1 And unfortunately, this number only seems to be increasing. Looking at last year’s numbers, the incidents of identity theft during the holidays has nearly doubled.1
So how can you help protect yourself this holiday season?
Although there is no way to stop a thief from stealing your identity, there are steps you can take to make it harder for them to access your information and for you to be more vigilant this season.
Experian reported 22% of consumers said that the fraud took place when they used a credit card at a retail store, while 21% said it happened while shopping online.1 Keeping this in mind, it is best to brush up on your safe shopping practices for both in-store and online shopping. This includes having a watchful eye over your belongings (especially while shopping and traveling), safely and correctly disposing of mail that contains personal information, and looking out for the red flags of cyber scammers, which we outlined in our previous post.
Another common holiday scheme that consumers get caught in are fraudulent charities. These are organizations that cybercriminals create to appear legitimate but are only there to steal your money and/or information. Under the appearance of a good cause, these fraudsters prey among people looking to give back this time of year. You can learn more about how to look out for fraudulent charities on our blog here.
Although it is important to stay vigilant, don’t let the fear of identity theft ruin your holiday fun. If you’re feeling concerned about the safety of your information, it might be worth looking into a monitoring service such as IDSeal. With IDSeal, you will be alerted when your personal data has been stolen, and if so, will be assisted in restoring it. Stay up to date and download the IDSeal app for 24/7 access to your account. If something should arise this holiday season, our dedicated customer support specialists will be only a call away to help you through it.
The IDSeal Team wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!