Holiday shopping: big deals for you, big steals for crooks

Holiday shopping: big deals for you, big steals for crooks

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - We are one week away from Black Friday so that means big deals for you and big steals for crooks. It's during the busy holiday season when criminals attempt to take advantage of distracted shoppers.

Large crowds in shopping centers can be tricky especially if you're lugging around multiple bags so the first thing you want to do is to only carry the essentials. Keep your personal belongings to a minimum, if you want to carry a purse try to have it strapped across your body.

Once you are ready to check out and type in your pin cover up the keypad, creating a wall between you and the other person. And when handing over your card have a photo ID request written on the back.

According to a survey conducted by Bankrate 34% of Black Friday shoppers will use debit cards and 24 percent credit cards.

"I got lots of wallets but I always take one. And I make sure I have all my credit cards and have my purse close, I don't carry cash around the holidays because if I loose my card I can always call and cancel it. If I have cash and somebody takes it, they got it." Shopper Eriel Nelson said.

AB&T President and CEO Luke Flatt says there are a few red flags to look out for to weed out the criminals. "You should know is when somebody calls and asks you for identifying information like social security number, your address, your phone number, your middle name, things like that then know not to give that information out."

Flatt says legitimate businesses such as banks and retailers will not ask for this information over the phone. If you plan to do some online shopping visit sites that are trusted, a green bar will pop up in the web address indicating it is a safe site. Also, make sure your security software is up to date.

Watch your bank account closely, if you see charges for than a dollar from companies you have never heard of or visited it could be sign that someone has tapped in your account.

Most banks have an online alert system or text message system that reports any suspicious activity, if you are not already signed up you can contact your local bank.

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