University of Missouri Extension

Holiday Credit Safety

It’s time once again for the annual hunt. No, not for deer or quail, but for the "perfect" Christmas presents. Many will be armed with their trusty credit cards. With the arrival of the holiday season comes an increase in the use of credit cards and also a rise in the number of cards that are lost or stolen. Most thefts take place on weekends and in crowded situations such as shopping centers. Here are some ways to protect your credit cards during the busy holiday season:

  1. When making credit purchases, be sure your card is returned to you after each purchase and then put it away in a safe place.

  2. If the card can be used at an ATM (automatic teller machine) be sure to memorize your PIN (personal Identification number).

  3. If your cards are lost of stolen, immediately notify the card issuers so they can stop charges on the cards. Follow up calls with letters, keep copies of all correspondence. The most you could owe for unauthorized purchases is $50, but you could owe nothing if the card is reported before any charges are made.

RESOURCE: Family Connection - Nov/Dec 97 Janet LaFon, extension consumer and family economics specialist.

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Last updated: March 09, 2005
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