You’ve taken down the decorations, found space for all the new ‘stuff’, and created your New Year’s resolutions… but wait! Before you put the holidays behind you, closely review your credit card statements to be sure the charges you see are charges you made.
By all accounts, online holiday spending hit new highs. According to data from comScore the November – December 2010 holiday season reached a record $32.6 billion in spending, marking a 12% increase over the $29 billion spent in the 2009 holiday season.
Spending was so high on Cyber Monday (Monday, Nov. 29) at almost $1.03 Billion that it stands as the single heaviest online spending day of 2010 billion, and it shattered previous records to become the single greatest spending day on record.
Crooks are making a list, and checking it twice…..
With all that money flowing through all those websites via all those unprotected computers, cyberthieves have surely had a heyday. And if you aren’t paying close attention to the charges on your credit card statements, you may have given one ‘gift’ more than you intended.
If there are fraudulent charges, make sure you check your credit scores as well. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to one free credit disclosure in every 12-month period from each of the three national credit reporting companies—TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.
- Request a free credit report from one of the three companies for yourself, your spouse, and any minors over the age of 13 living at home to check for credit fraud or inaccuracies that could put you at financial risk. (Although exact figures are difficult to get, the latest data shows that at least 7 percent of identity theft targets the identities of children.) The easiest way to do this is through AnnualCreditReport.com.
- You can also pay for credit monitoring services that will alert you to any suspicious activity or changes in your credit scores.
Have a happy new year.