Chicago, IL, December 4, 2012 – Consumers may
shop more during the holiday season and this increase in transactions may put them
at a higher risk for identity theft or fraud warns the Better Business Bureau
serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB).
“There are existing statutes that may require companies to
provide reasonable security for sensitive information,” explained Steve J.
Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.
“It is important to shop at companies that keep your information secure, but it
is also important to take precautions yourself.”
offers these tips to consumers on how to prevent fraud:
- Some mail can carry
sensitive information that should be protected. It is important to install
a lockable mailbox to prevent mail theft.
- Keep track of what
credit cards you are using and which ones have become inactive. Be sure to
close any credit card accounts that are no longer necessary.
- Be sure to check
your account statements frequently, especially around the holidays when
shopping increases. If there are any fraudulent charges deal with them
- Make sure to shred any bills or offers for
pre-approved credit cards.
· When closing a checking account,
be sure to have all he checks destroyed.
Steps to take if you have experienced fraud:
- Contact local law enforcements and report the
fraudulent activity and file a report.
- Contact you bank and financial companies to
alert that fraud has taken place. Work with the company to reset new pin
numbers and get new cards. Also, if a check has been alert the bank to
stop accepting all checks.
- Keep a close watch on your account and be sure
to quickly report any fraudulent activity. Make sure to follow up with the
- Every so often check your credit report on annualcreditreport.com to monitor the activity and make sure that
there are not any red flags.
take if you experience fraud with an online company:
be aware what information was saved in your online profile with the
company. If credit card information was saved in the profile, be sure to
cancel your card and alert your bank for possible fraudulent activity.
the email saved in the profile is your main one, be especially on the look
out for scams and viruses that could be targeting you.
there was information included in your profile such as your social
security number seek theft protection. Companies should not have asked for
your social security number to begin with and contact the company to cover
the costs of identity theft.
advice on finding reputable businesses around the holidays, visit www.bbb.org
As a private, non-profit
organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an
ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of
conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims,
online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and
issue reviews on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage
people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.