Everyone knows, including criminals, that now is the busiest time of the year to be out shopping. So, it is especially important to take extra steps to keep yourself and your information safe. Plan ahead before you leave the house and only bring the cash or a credit/debit card that you will be using. Leave all other cards at home. This will not only help limit impulse spending but also protect you from losing all your cards and cash if your wallet is stolen.
Also, make sure your trunk has space in it to store the items that you buy. You should always keep your purchases locked and out of sight in your trunk. Whenever possible, insert your card in a chip reader instead of swiping it. The chip adds an extra level of protection by creating a one-time code that can’t be duplicated or counterfeited (unlike the static data on a magnetic strip).
When shopping in a store, always keep your belongings close (e.g., don’t leave your purse in the cart while you are distracted and deciding which shirt to buy). Be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to other shoppers especially when walking in the parking lot. Have your car keys ready and don’t linger for a long time with your car doors open. And finally, check your bank and credit card statements frequently to check for any fraudulent purchases. If there are any, report them immediately.