Protecting Your Personal Data in Last-Minute Shopping Rush

News

December 23rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

 Time is running out to find the perfect gift for everyone on the “nice” list this year, but experts say it’s critical to protect yourself and your purchases in the midst of the last-minute rush.According to Michelle Corey of the Better Business Bureau, the recent data breach that affected an estimated 40 million Target customers should serve as a wake-up call for shoppers everywhere.

“If you’re using your credit card or your debit card on a regular basis during the holiday shopping season, go online to your bank and check your checking account statements or your credit card statements to see if there are unauthorized charges,” she suggested. Corey also recommended that at least once per quarter consumers check their credit reports with one of the three credit-reporting agencies to see if any unauthorized accounts have been opened or there’s any suspicious activity. 

Corey said many people look at gift cards as an easy option in these final shopping days, but she offered caution there too, as some gift cards come with transaction fees, processing fees, inactivity fees, or other issues. “Millions of gift cards every year, they go unused because people either lose them, they’re stolen, they forget about them or they just don’t want to do business at the stores,” she said.

Target data breach information is at tgt.biz/JMn9Td.

(Iowa News Service)