Protecting your credit card information during the holiday season

WATERFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- It's about this time of year that people start to think about whether or not this going to be a credit card Christmas.

If you do decide to pay with plastic, there are ways to keep your information safe. Black Friday is only a week away and with lots of holiday shopping there may be lots of opportunity for theft.

Police say keep an eye on the clerk and your card when you're at the register.

"Before you take the item off the counter make sure the credit card goes back into your purse back in your wallet before you leave that store," said Lt. Dave Burton with Waterford Police.

He says even without the actual card thieves can use your stolen information.

Lt. Burton says your identity can be stolen right from your mailbox.

"They've either used that to generate a card or they've actually taken your card out of the mail," he said.

Thieves may also call you claiming to be your credit card company to try to get your card number, PIN number, and date of birth.

"That's a phishing scam so even though it sounds legitimate it is not," said Lt. Burton.

He says hang up and call your credit card company which would already know that information.

The Connecticut Better Business bureau says if you buy on line make sure you use an Https site. That 's' means it's secure.

Your credit card info can even be stolen while your card is in your wallet. It transmits a signal which can be detected by a portable scanner.

"You're not going to know if the individual behind you has a scanner," said Lt. Burton.

To prevent that theft keep your card in protective sleeves or wallets. Lisa Maynard just bought one.

"I just thought for a little more protection if you're out and about especially this time of year," said Maynard who recently had her credit card stolen right from her wallet.

"I don't think there was any activity but I"m not positive yet," said Maynard. "I'll know today."

Police tell shoppers to check their credit card billing statements weekly.

"A month is usually too late," said Burton.

Checking your statement whether it's monthly, weekly, or even daily should be done not only during the holiday season but all year long.

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