While you are getting your December on, criminals are plotting how to get their hands on your credit details and identity. They know when the holiday fever strikes, people get careless with their security habits.
Fraud is evolving and increasing like never before. Between 2015 and 2018, TransUnion identified a 433% rise in ‘synthetic identities’, where criminals combine real and fake information to create new identities. We also saw a 126% rise in consumer account takeovers and a 146% increase in true consumer identity theft.
Identity theft will spoil your holiday in a big way. According to the SA Fraud Prevention Service, fraudsters using real identity documents and names for impersonations have doubled in the past year.
Here are five ways to protect your credit and identity during the holiday season.
Keep checking your transaction alerts
If you’re shopping, traveling or at home, check your emails and cell phone alerts via a password-protected Wi-Fi. Avoid using open Wi-Fi in malls and restaurants for personal transactions and banking. Most public Wi-Fi connections are not secure, making it easier for your information to be stolen.
Make copies of all your important documents
Whether you traveling locally or abroad, it’s always handy to have copies of your important documents: ID and passports, driver’s licenses and credit cards.
Protect your physical documents
Don’t leave your passports and sensitive documents in a kitchen drawer. Lock them in a safe or in a place only a few trusted people will have access to.
Stick to legitimate sites for online shopping
Check there’s an ‘https’ in the web address and an icon of a locked padlock on the left side of the URL. The ‘s’ stands for secure and means the site can be trusted.
Never provide your sensitive information in an email
Email phishing is a big part of identity theft and fraud. Be mindful that no reputable company or financial institution will ask for your credit, bank account or PIN details in an email. Never click on the link in the email.
Adapted from https://www.transunion.co.za/archives-article/5-ways-to-stay-credit-safe-this-festive-season?utm_source=TransUnion&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Marketing_Newsletter__17_December_2019&utm_term=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.transunion.co.za%2Farchives-article%2F5-ways-to-stay-credit-safe-this-festive-season