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Consumer Safety Tips for the Cyber Shopping Season

More than ever, holiday shoppers are turning to the internet to purchase some or all of their Christmas gifts. Although the internet is very convenient and shoppers can score some great deals, cyber thieves are out there looking for a way to steal your credit card and other personal information. So how can you stay safe while shopping online?

The Federal Trade Commission recommends a three-pronged approach.

1. Deter. Safeguard your information in order to deter identity thieves from obtaining your information. Some ways to do this include:

  • Do not click on links in unsolicited emails or pop-up advertisements. Use anti-virus software on your home computer and keep it updated.
  • Do not use obvious passwords.
  • Don’t give out your Social Security number online unless absolutely necessary.
  • Make sure each website on which you make purchases is a secure website.

2. Detect. Detect suspicious activity involving your identity by monitoring your financial accounts.

  • Be alert for bills do not arrive as expected.
  • Be alert for calls about purchases you did not make or accounts you did not open.
  • Monitor your credit report, either by obtaining free credit reports or by signing up with a monitoring service.
  • Review your account statements for suspicious charges.

3. Defend. Once suspicious activity is detected, defend yourself against identity theft.

  • Place a fraud alert on your credit reports by contacting the three major credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Creditors will then have certain procedures in place if someone opens an account in your name within 90 days.
  • Close accounts that are fraudulent.
  • File a police report.
  • Make a complaint with the FTC.

Have you or a loved one been the victim of identity theft or another legal problem? If so, contact The Barber Law Firm in Dallas at 972-231-5800. We will help you evaluate your legal options. Call today to learn more.

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