Protect your identity at Christmas

15 December 2005
With credit and debit cards being handed over the counter 'willy nilly' in a last minute rush for Christmas presents and preparations, consumers are being reminded to protect themselves against fraud.

According to the UK's fraud prevention service, CIFAS, identity fraud is Britain's fastest growing crime and consumers should take extra precautions to protect their identities this Christmas.

CIFAS said shoppers could reduce their chances of becoming an identity fraud victim by only taking the cards they need out shopping with them, that way if their purse or wallet is stolen then the fraudster only has limited information and the consumer only has a few cards to cancel.

The organisation also said not to give away personal details to anyone asking for them face-to-face or over the phone as these details are not needed for routine transactions.

Another point that helps identify fraud at the onset is keeping track of what is spent on each card. It can be easy to lose track of £50 here or there if transaction details are not kept.

Other safety mechanisms include asking for privacy when applying for store cards, being aware that your post is valuable in the wrong hands, keeping your home secure, protecting your passwords, and shielding your pin.

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