Welcome back and thanks for joining us here at The Kronzek Firm. We’ve been talking about the issue of credit card crimes over the holidays, and how there seems to be a significant spike in the number of fraud and finance-related criminal activity during the Christmas season. In the previous article, we looked at how seriously financial crimes are taken here in Michigan, and how it’s possible for someone to steal your credit card info without you ever losing your card! So how can you keep yourself safe? Check it out…
Our top tips for protecting yourself against financial crimes this holiday season:
- Keep a close eye on your account!
One of the best ways to ensure that no one has stolen your credit card info, is to check your account activity frequently. Many banks and credit unions have great fraud alert departments, but you are still the first line of defense against someone using your credit card without your consent. During the holidays, check your account activity daily, and if you see ANY suspicious transactions, report them to your credit card company immediately!
- Stay safe at the gas pump!
Whether you’ll be travelling around or out of Michigan this holiday season, or simply staying home for the holidays, be careful when you stop at the pump to top off your tank. “Skimmers” attached to gas pump card readers can steal your credit card info when you pay at the pump. So pay inside whenever possible – unattended gas pumps are much easier for thieves to tamper with than the credit card reader inside the store. If paying inside isn’t an option, make sure you inspect the credit card reader closely for any sign it’s been tampered with. Don’t use it if you have ANY concerns!
- Pay attention when you’re using the ATM!
Because a skimmer captures your ATM card information, thieves would need a PIN number as well in order to use your debit card. They get around this by installing tiny pinhole cameras somewhere in the vicinity of the ATM machine, so they can record you entering your pin number. So pay attention to your surroundings, and take note of any suspicious items on nearby magazine racks or on the ATM itself. Also, cover your hand while entering your pin. If they can’t see what buttons you’re hitting, your card info won’t be of any use to them!
- Take note of major data breach information!
As we pointed out last time, one of the ways credit card thieves get hold of your info is through hacking. Last year in 2018, the Marriott Hotel‘s client list was breached, and 500 million people’s credit card info was stolen and sold on the dark web. The year before, it was Equifax that was hacked, and the year before that it was Adult Friend Finder. Any time a company that stores private information is hacked, their clients are put at risk of identity theft, and financial and fraud crimes. So pay attention to news about data breaches. If your credit card info was accessed when a major company was hacked, the sooner you know about it, the sooner you can protect yourself!
Stay safe – and smart – this holiday season!
We encourage you to stay alert and attentive this Christmas. It’s already a time of year when there are so many other opportunities for financial concerns – having your credit card info stolen would make an already tough time even tougher! However, if the accusations of financial and fraud crimes is being made against you, the safest and smartest thing you could do is call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our highly experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorneys have spent many decades defending the people of Michigan against allegations of fraud. Don’t let the prosecutor’s office ruin your Christmas! Call us 24/7 at 866 7NO JAIL. We’re available day and night, including holidays.