Credit card fraud on the rise, tips to avoid becoming a victim

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)- The busiest shopping of the day is just around the corner which means it is not only time to think about what gifts you are going to buy, but also how you plan to pay for them.

Your main choices are cash, credit, or debit. As it turns out, one might be better than the other when it comes to protecting your identity.

American Express reports there are millions of credit card fraud strikes every year. Christopher St. John with Carolina Wealth Advisors said there are a few steps you can take to make sure you do not become a victim.

One step is just to monitor your balances multiple times a week as you make purchases.

"You may go into seven different stores in one day, and you'll have all this merchandise and you might not remember the totals," added St. John. "You may have an idea in your head but this is to actually match up what those totals are to what is charged to your account."

St. John said using a credit card might be your best option when it comes to shopping because you have no real chance of getting your cash back if it is stolen and if your debit card is taken you would lose money at least in the short term till it is reversed.

"With the credit card I feel like you can monitor a bit more easily especially if you monitor it every day and the debit card will do the same thing as long as you check your bank balance," said St. John.

Some stores like CityMac in Market Common are also taking steps to keep credit card fraud from happening more often.

"Whether it's a credit card or a debit card we ask for ID," said manager Marc Yunt.  "We have to make sure the name matches the card and that all of the information is correct then we can accept it if not then we can't accept it."

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