Ways to keep your identity safe while shopping - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Ways to keep your identity safe while shopping

Have you ever had your wallet stolen? It can be a nightmare. It can be difficult to remember what credit cards you were carrying. Check out these great tips on how to protect what's in your wallet, your good name and your credit.

1. Thin out your wallet. Experts suggest when you go shopping to take everything out except the cards and IDs you need that day. If your wallet does get stolen, you won't have to replace everything.

2. Copy your cards. One idea is to make a photocopy of your credit and debit cards. If you lose them, or they're stolen, you have the correct contact information to report them missing.

3. Don't carry your social security card with you, unless you truly need it.

4. Write "check photo ID" on the back of your credit card in the signature spot. If someone steals your credit card, hopefully the merchant will ask to see an ID, and can prevent a thief from using it.

5. Keep your wallet close. Only take your cards out when you need them. Try not to let your card out of sight. If the clerk has to turn away from you to swipe your card, consider asking for it back, and paying with cash. Don't set your card on the counter and turn away. Someone can easily memorize your number, or take a picture of your card with a camera phone.

6. Run your debit cards as credit, so you don't have to punch in your pin number. If you do, try to shield the pad from onlookers.

7. If you're shopping online, try to only shop at legitimate online stores. If a web site looks shady, it probably is.

8. Only enter your credit card information on the check out page of a web site if it is secure. You can check by noticing if there is an "s" after the "http" in the web site address bar. So it should look like "https://"

9. Keep all your receipts in one place. Check them against your bank statement to monitor any unwanted purchases.

10. If your credit cards, debit cards, or identity is stolen, be sure to report it to all 3 credit bureaus.

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