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Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

JACKSON, Miss.- Scammers and hackers are getting your information easier than ever now and they’re coming up with lots of different ways to do it.  Protect yourself from having your identity stolen by avoiding giving out personal information to unknown people or sources over the phone or online.

John O’Hara the CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Mississippi says, “People are doing a lot more shopping online using their credit cards and keying in their numbers, you really want to be sure of the merchant you’re doing business with.”

If someone is asking for your date of birth, social security number, Medicaid number, those types of things should be a red flag and you should take down their information and verify. Make sure you look up the company because there are a lot of websites that look like some that we know. A lot of scammers have made duplicate websites mirroring other existing ones as a way to get your card information. You may go online to purchase something and won’t realize you’ll never get it until weeks later.

O’Hara also says, “When you make purchases you should use your credit card instead of your debit card so you can dispute the charges easier. It’s more difficult to dispute charges on your debit card because it comes directly out of your bank.”

There are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of having your card information stolen, including using a shredder, monitoring your accounts carefully and signing up for text alerts from your card issuer to catch fraud quickly.

If something looks odd on your accounts call your bank as soon as you see it to stop any further fraudulent purchases and always double check who you are doing business with before buying anything, especially online.

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