Local News

Holiday Shoppers Susceptible to Credit Card Theft

Posted December 4, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— 'Tis the season to spend. With the holidays just around the corner, most people will be spending big. Often, of course, that means pulling out the plastic, and with all the hustle and bustle at the stores this time of year, you could be spending more than you'd counted.

It's easy for shoppers to be distracted by the holiday hurry and leave their credit cards behind with information criminals could use to shop for free.

Three years ago, Barbie Parrish says learned an expensive lesson while shopping for her Christmas gifts.

Not only did they steal thousands of dollars in gifts but also her credit card. At this time of year, credit card theft becomes a bigger than usual crime. Sgt. Michael Hunter is with the Raleigh Police Department. He says shoppers get caught up in the hectic pace of the season and make simple, but costly mistakes with their cards.

Hunter says people should be aware of the card as well as the charge card number and receipt.

Planning and staying alert can keep your credit card from ending up in the wrong hands. Parrish says she is much more cautious these days.

Officers also say to keep your pin number secure, to prevent criminals from making purchases over the phone. They advise that you not leave credit cards in an unattended vehicle.

Photographer:Greg Clark