Wednesday, November 29, 2006


It’s the holiday season and the stores will be filled with happy families rushing for last moment presents for loved ones and friends. The stores will also be filled with criminals and thieves intent on having a happy holiday at your expense.

For stores and merchants this is the busiest time of the year and almost every store will run short handed and often with untrustworthy temporary employees. Normal credit checking procedures will not be followed or waved as merchants try to capture as much income as possible. Instant store credit will often be granted without ID verification or credit checking.

What can you do to protect yourself during this season?

Here are KnightsBridge Castle’s suggestions for extra care during the holidays:

Check you credit card when it is returned to you to make sure it is you own, and not substitute.

If possible, don’t let your credit card out of your view when processing payments at a store.

Check your on-line credit accounts frequently – at least weekly or more often for early detection of fraud.

Close unused and dormant merchant accounts. These accounts are like open doors inviting thieves to enter your home and accounts.

Shop on-line. Many risks are reduced through on-line shopping.

Make a photocopy of the contents of your purse or wallet. If your wallet or purse are stolen are you going to remember exactly what you were carrying? Can you take action to close accounts within moments of the detection of theft?

If possible avoid making payments to temporary employees. Seek a supervisor or long term employee to handle your transactions.

Never apply for instant store credit. Instant store credit only provides thieves with effective and riskless ways to steal from merchants. You pay higher prices as a result.

Watch you incoming mail very closely for new unauthorized credit card welcome letters or cards. Last Christmas we had clients discovering up to 11 unauthorized cards during the hollidays.

To ensure a truly happy holiday, take a little extra care.


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