This is an article I wrote that appeared in the most recent issue of Panorama Magazine here in Northwest Indiana. It’s almost exactly like the Video Dispatch I did on the same topic a couple weeks ago. Actually, I think I made the video the same day I wrote the article. Yes, this means I’ll be referring to myself as a “published writer” now.
Here’s the text, for those of you who would rather read something than watch a video:
Holiday shopping season is fast approaching, and it’s about to get nuts out there. Here are a few tips to keep yourself and your money safe.
Use Your Elbows
Watch out for “shoulder surfers.” With camera phone technology, it’s easier than ever for someone to sidle up to a store counter and take a photo of your credit card. Make sure nobody is standing suspiciously close before you whip out the plastic.
Use Your Head
Never write your PIN on your ATM or debit card, and never carry your Social Security card around with you. Both are bad news if you lose your wallet. Additionally, never let anyone write your Social Security Number on a check. Most stores have wised up, but you might encounter some that haven’t.
I’m Not Saying You Can Only Shop at the Mall, But…
Where to buy plasma TVs and other electronics:
- From an electronics store
- From a department store
Where not to buy plasma TVs and other electronics:
- From some guy in a parking lot at night.
If you go this route, the best thing you can hope for is to end up with an empty, weighted box. At worst, you could get arrested for receiving stolen property. Jail tends to dampen one’s holiday cheer.
Shop Online. Seriously
It’s more secure than ever. In fact, it’s probably safer than shopping at the store. Plus, you won’t have to deal with a mall full of desperate maniacs.