This time of year is not only busy season for retailers, but also criminals looking to prey on shoppers.
With so much hustle and bustle during the holiday season, law enforcement officers say it can be easy to forget simple tasks to keep your money and identity secure. The U.S. Attorney's Office and U.S. Secret Service offers the following advice:
Retailers and consumers should be mindful of criminals attempting to steal or use stolen credit cards, credit card numbers or store gift cards. Retailers should continue to actively compare credit card signatures with photo IDs, and consumers should carefully scrutinize card transactions and card statements to ensure their cards are not compromised.
To help avoid becoming a victim of identity fraud, never provide personal information over the phone or the Internet. No credit card company or bank will ever contact you to verify your information.
Counterfeiters prey on both cashiers distracted by long lines, and consumers juggling purchases and shopping lists. If you suspect a bill is counterfeit, compare the bill to a note of the same series and denomination that is known to be genuine. The note in question should display the proper watermark as well as the proper security thread that is consistent with that denomination.
If you think you have a counterfeit bill or think you may be a victim of financial fraud, call police or the U.S. Secret Service Savannah Resident Office at 912.652.4401.