Tips to avoid money and ID theft this holiday season - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Tips to avoid money and ID theft this holiday season

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Consumers can take simple steps to avoid money and ID theft Grinches this holiday season.

The Georgia Bankers Association put together a list of tips that people can use to prevent giving unwanted personal information away.

Automatic Alerts: Use all the tools you have to monitor your accounts. Take advantage of online banking and set balance and transaction alerts to be emailed to you. Make sure to check your balances and transactions frequently and call your bank as soon as possible if something doesn't seem right.

Phone Security: Use a password or passcode feature on your phone to lock it when not in use. Know how to wipe the data from your phone remotely if it is ever lost or stolen, and also know how to use any GPS functions to locate it if it is ever lost or stolen.

Give with Care: Be wary of charity scams and attempts to get your money or information. It is never a good idea to give account numbers and personal information over the phone to anyone.

Email Safely: Don't click on links in unsolicited emails from people or companies that you don't know.

Secure information around the house: Thieves know that with the holidays, people will be coming and going. If you will be out of town for an extended period of time, have your mail delivery suspended. Also, shred any documents with personal information instead of throwing them away in the trash.

Online Security: Use secure internet sites that use an https URL when completing transactions online. Also be wary of public WIFI sources that may not be secure for transactions.

On the Go Safety: If visiting an ATM, be alert to your surroundings. When shopping, take minimal indentifying information and personal bags that could be taken. Lock valuables in your trunk and be careful in parking areas.

With these tips, you should be able to enjoy a happy and safe holiday season.

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