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Protect Your Identity And Your Money This Holiday Season

Tips on how to protect yourself from credit card theft. (Credit: CBS 2)

Tips on how to protect yourself from credit card theft. (Credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The investigation into how millions of credit and debit card accounts recently used at Target may have been affected by a data breach has left many consumers asking what they can do to protect their identity and their money while they shop.

CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu took a look at what shoppers can do to build up protection against identity and credit card theft.

Checking your credit and debit card statements often and using cash whenever possible are just two ways to help keep the thieves away, Hsu reported.

Some experts also urge consumers to go with credit cards over using debit cards.

“The problem with a debit card is that money is coming directly out of your account, it’s come and it’s gone.  Even if that’s done for fraudulent reasons, with a credit card there’s a delay and the credit card company can come back and reimburse you for a loss,” CBS Business News analyst Jill Schlesinger said.

With debit cards, you will eventually get your money back, but it may take some time, Hsu reported.

Experts also suggest keeping a close eye on your card at the register — making sure the store employee doesn’t swipe it multiple times or use a card skimmer, which can record personal information.

Everyone is entitled to a free credit report ever year from the three major credit reporting agencies.  Experts say you should request a report from one of them every four months by going to annualcreditreport.com.

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