Just like many of the clients who seek out our Chicago consumer fraud and false advertising lawyers, millions of Americans mark Thanksgiving as the beginning of an annual end-of-year shopping binge.
According to the National Retail Federation, more than 60 percent of Americans, or 140 million of us, will hit the stores or shop online over the long Thanksgiving weekend.
And while that research indicates that post-Recession consumers are choosing to spend more wisely with retailers who offer both discounted merchandise and exceptional customer service, the sheer volume of holiday credit and banking transactions means an increased fraud risk.
Here are three holiday fraud prevention tips from the consumer rights and fraud lawyers at Markoff Leinberger.
Holiday Fraud Prevention Tip No. 1: Own Your Personal Accounting. Review your personal banking transactions and any other account statements daily to ensure that they match up with your actual spending. Be wary and alert when using an ATM or entering a credit/debit card PIN during a shopping transaction.
Holiday Fraud Prevention Tip No. 2: Maintain Online Vigilance. Use caution with e-mail or social media correspondence from unfamiliar sources. Never open attachments or follow links from unfamiliar senders without running those correspondences through virus-protection program/software. Only shop online using a secure browser and Internet connection, and with secure retail websites – preferably those that you know and have used before.
Holiday Fraud Prevention Tip No. 3: Know the Signs of Identity Theft. Once scammers obtain your personal information, they can charge up credit cards, siphon money away from bank accounts, pay bills and even open new utility accounts. Some identity theft red flags include inexplicable charges or withdrawals, failing to receive your “snail mail,” and unfamiliar accounts on your credit report.
If you suspect that you have been victimized by a holiday-related fraud, please contact the Chicago consumer rights lawyers at Markoff Leinberger online, or call 1 (888) 517-9115 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced fraud attorneys.