Avoid credit card theft, phone scams during holidays | Sheriff column
As we celebrate Thanksgiving and wind down the gun deer season, our thoughts will soon turn to holiday shopping.
For many, this has become as much of a tradition as the holidays themselves, with coordinated shopping trips in the early morning hours of Black Friday in search of those elusive deals. For others, it may be the tradition of shopping at their favorite retailers and combining it with other favorite family activities.
Regardless of how you decide to shop, be aware of the potential risks to both your property as well as your identity.
Personally, I am a big supporter of shopping locally, not just because of the boost to the local economy but also because you are less susceptible to fraud or scams.
If you do find yourself shopping the old-fashioned way by going from store to store, make sure you keep the items you have already purchased out of sight.
When purchasing with your credit or debit card, keep it in sight. One of the common themes that run through the various credit card scams is that the card left the purchaser's sight at some point during the transaction.
Once you get home, double-check your balances to make sure no additional purchases found their way onto the card.
If you are of the new generation that shops from the home computer, be aware of the risks this poses as well.
Make sure you know the websites or businesses you are purchasing from. Verify that they have a secure way of processing the transaction online.
If you are purchasing from individuals online, do not send money until you confirm the delivery of the item. The use of PayPal is also a great tool.
Many nonprofit organizations use the holiday season to solicit funding. Again, I would advise to “give locally.” This not only guarantees that your generosity will reach your neighbors but will also limit your exposure to the risk of fraud or scams.
If you receive a call for donations and you are not sure of the source, asking for a call-back number or follow-up mailing will generate one of two things. If it is legitimate, the caller will more than gladly assist in any questions you may have.
If it is not legitimate, you will probably be met with an abrupt hang-up. Your persistence in demanding more information may make the difference between becoming a victim or not.
Thank you to all who give of both their resources and their time during this season of giving!
Matt Joski is Kewaunee County Sheriff.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Avoid credit card theft, phone scams during holidays | Sheriff column