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Protect your finances this holiday season

Protect your finances this holiday season

In all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we may not be as careful with our credit and debit cards and other personal information.

There is typically an increase in credit and debit card number thefts during the holiday season, because consumers aren’t being as cautious, and because thieves are becoming more and more clever.

It is important to look around and check your surroundings before using your card. It doesn’t take long for someone to copy your card number and use it.

When handing your card to someone else to use, make sure you hand it to them with the card number facing down and never leave it on a counter with the numbers facing up.

Follow these other tips to protect your credit and debit cards:

  • Keep your credit or debit card in a safe and secure place until you’re ready to use it.
  • Do not send your card number through email, as it is typically not secure. Do not give out your card number over the phone unless you initiated the call.
  • Review your account statements as soon as you receive them to verify transactions or review your account online regularly. If you notice any transactions that are not yours, contact your financial institution immediately.
  • Change your personal identification number every six months. When selecting a PIN, do not use any number that appears in your wallet, such as your birth date, name or phone number. Memorize your PIN and do not share it with others.
  • Cancel and cut up unused credit and debit cards, and when receiving a replacement card, destroy your old card.
  • Only shop with merchants you know and trust.
  • Make sure any Internet purchase activity you engage in is secured. Look for “https://” in the web address to make sure your account information is safe.
  • Always log off from any website after making a purchase with your credit or debit card. If you cannot log off, shut down your browser to prevent unauthorized access to your account information.
  • Safe-keep or securely dispose of transaction receipts and report lost or stolen cards immediately.

Victim of fraud or theft? Farm Bureau can help

If you’ve been a victim of theft or fraud, Virginia Farm Bureau Investigations can help. Call 1-800-277-8323, ext. 11162. A member of the Investigations staff can provide you with information and assist you with your fraud claim.