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Holiday Shoppers Warned of Identity Theft

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Aired 4/19/09

In January some new state laws will strengthen penalties for identity theft. But the State Department of Consumer Affairs is reminding all of us the holiday shopping season means thieves are out shopping too ... for our personal information. Marianne Russ reports.

Director of the State Department of Consumer Affairs Charlene Zettel says thieves take advantage of the holiday bustle to steal wallets and purses, or information from online shoppers. She notes most of us are also making extra trips to the ATM this time of year, and they can strike there, too:

Charlene Zettel: Unfortunately now we see thieves put skimming devices on ATMS, particularly those that are just exposed in parking lots.

Zettel advises you use an ATM that's inside a building, shield your pin code with your hand, and carry as little identifying information with you as possible.  

 

New laws taking effect next month include: one that increases penalties for identity theft, and another that requires stores print no more than the last five digits of your credit card on receipts they retain.

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