LifeLock Warns Consumers of Skimming
Tempe, Ariz. — As the holiday shopping season draws near, LifeLock, the industry leader in proactive identity theft protection wants to arm consumers with smart shopping habits to help protect against increasing threats of identity theft. According to a September poll conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, 66% of respondents feel that they are at risk for identity theft.
"Whether shopping in a traditional mall or online, consumers need to understand that identity thieves can lurk everywhere, especially when we let our guard down to enjoy the celebrations of the holidays," said Wayne Ivey, 29-year law enforcement veteran. "Each time we hand over or swipe our debit or credit card, we have the potential to have our card numbers skimmed, giving the identity thieves all they need to duplicate our cards and go on their own spending spree."
The National Retail Federation is forecasting holiday retail sales to reach $447.1 billion in 2010, a 2.3% increase over last year. Regardless of the channels you take to spend this holiday season, LifeLock wants consumers to understand the dangers that lurk when shopping with plastic this time of year:
Dining Out - Be leery when handing over your credit or debit card at a restaurant. Law enforcement from around the country have been working large identity theft rings where the consumers' point of compromise has been in restaurants. How it works: Diners hand over plastic to pay for meal. Waiter runs credit/debit card through restaurant machine first and then secondly through a handheld skimming device, capturing the name, card number and expiration date from the magnetic stripe. Bad guys can turn this information into a duplicate card, leaving you stuck with the debt.
Anonymous ATM - Pay attention to your surroundings when using your regular or an out-of-the-ordinary ATM. Identity thieves can place a skimming device over top of the ATM card reader, capturing the information off the magnetic strip of your card before the ATM does. When using ATM machines, confirm that the card reader is flush with the system and that no additional metal or plastic devices are protruding. If something looks strange, alert the bank manager or the authorities.
Gas and Go - When paying for fuel at the pump, be sure to confirm the card reader does not appear tampered with, as identity thieves can apply skimming devices to these card readers as well. To be safe, walk in and pay at the register where you can watch the attendant swipe your card in the machine.
This holiday season LifeLock aims to further educate consumers on identity theft and empower them to start protecting themselves from one of the nation's fastest growing crimes by hosting numerous free educational presentations around the country. The LifeLock Speakers Series program provides attendees with a better understanding of the various risks associated with identity theft, current trends of the crime, and the diverse ways identity theft can happen, including during the busiest shopping season of the year.
LifeLock, Inc. (www.lifelock.com) is an industry leader in proactive identity theft protection. Since 2005, LifeLock has been providing consumers with the tools and confidence they need to help protect themselves from identity theft. The company has a strong focus on educating consumers and working with law enforcement and elected officials to better understand the increasing threats of identity theft. A multiple award-winning organization, LifeLock has been recognized by Arizona Corporate Excellence as Arizona's Fastest Growing Company, by the American Business Awards as having the Best New Product or Service of the Year for the LifeLock Identity Alert™ system, and most recently ranked 8th on Inc. Magazine's 29th Annual Inc. 500 List, an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies.