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Newport News Now

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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Dec 28

Holiday Credit Card Crime

Posted on December 28, 2016 at 8:31 AM by Communications Department

credit cardsThe Newport News Police Department’s Economic Crimes Unit frequently sees an increase in fraud related offenses during the holiday season. Thieves are more likely to steal financial information at this time of year due to the increased spending done by consumers. The following tips should help keep your financial information safer during the holiday season and during the rest of the year too.
  1. Avoid leaving your wallets or purses in your vehicles or alone in a shopping cart when shopping. Thieves know there is increased activity at shopping centers and are on the lookout for easy targets of opportunity. 
  2.  Commit your PIN numbers to memory. Avoid writing your PIN numbers down to carry with you. If thieves gain access to this information they can withdraw the balance of your bank account in cash and make it more difficult to track them.
  3. Check your bank statements regularly. Banks only authorize fraud reimbursement if you report it within a short period of time. The sooner you discover the fraud, the more likely the chance of being reimbursed and the more likely the suspect will be apprehended.
  4. Be cautious of anyone walking up to you as certain cards use a radio frequency to transmit information. These cards can be compromised by someone walking next to you with a special device that captures credit card information. A radio frequency Identification (RFID) blocking wallet or sleeve can help prevent that from happening.
  5. Be cautious of deals that seem too good to be true and websites that offer them. When “Hot” items are craved during the holidays, scammers will try to capitalize on items in high demand. Know who and what you are getting. You do not want to buy an item to realize, in the fine print, they were just selling the packaging of that item.
  6. Use Credit cards and not bank or debit cards. Credit Cards are not linked to your money so if they are compromised it can be easier to get your money back. 
  7.  Lastly, check your credit after the holidays. You are entitled to a credit check from each of the three national Credit Bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. This is a free service through or With, you can obtain a credit report free of charge once every 12 months. With, you can monitor your report from two of the credit bureaus free of charge.
There is no foolproof way to protect your identity; however, following these tips should help protect you and your financial information.