I got a stark reminder recently about the jeopardy we all face everyday created by the internet.
It seems my credit card number showed up at a Walmart in New Jersey.
Now here's the scary part...the only copy of my credit card is in my wallet, which means a thief most likely got access to my personal information on-line. Thinking back on it, there's a lot of ways it can happen.
We use them at restaurants, department stores, even directly on the internet. Fortunately, the criminal trying to use my card was caught before he did any damage. That's probably because I learned long ago that a local credit card issuer with a local office is a lot better than double or triple points offered by any bank in new york.
We're all in the midst of the holiday shopping season. And with the state of the economy there will be even more criminals vying for your hard earned dollars. There is no guaranteed way to derail these predators. But you can do some things to protect yourself.
First, don't be tempted by those lucrative credit card offers you get in the mail. Second, get your credit card through someone in your home town. In my experience people with a 903 area code are a lot more helpful than those with an 800 number.
And, if at all possible buy locally. The folks running those stores provide jobs for your neighbors and make this a better east Texas.