On The Lookout: Credit Card Crimes For Holiday Shoppers - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

On The Lookout: Credit Card Crimes For Holiday Shoppers

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WICOMICO CO., Md. - It's a past time for many: holiday shopping.

With a swipe of a card, a new gift to wrap up. Last Black Friday, shoppers descended on stores in record-setting numbers, an estimated 247 million people.

But more shoppers may mean more opportunity for thieves to steal your credit card.

"It does happen during the holidays. People are desperate, want to provide [for their families]," said Sgt. David Owens of WBI.

WMDT examined the number of credit card thefts at the Wicomico County Sheriff's office. Last year, 20 percent of all credit card crimes happened in the two biggest holiday months: November and December. The most victimized group: online shoppers caught in Internet scams.

But Owens says thieves could be lurking right at the stores themselves.

"Face it, there's people on the other side of the counter, people that have been hired, [temporary] hires, even permanent hires, retail stores that will record and reuse that number," said Owens.

What can you do to shop safely during the holidays?

When paying for items, cover up your credit card number, that way no one can write down a number. Also, keep your purse or wallet hidden if you leave it in your car or keep it close if you take it shopping with you.

But more generally, Owens says, be alert and know your surroundings.

"We got to get it stopped so nobody is a victim," said Owens.

Unfortunately even with these tips, there may still be fraudulent charges on bank statements. If that happens, Owens says make calls to both police and your bank, not only will your bank dispute the charges, but police will have a chance at stopping the criminal so it doesn't happen again.

If this, or any other crime has happened to you recently, tell us about it. Send us messages on Facebook and Twitter using #47lookout or call WMDT at 410-742-4747.

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