GREENSBORO, NC -- Shopping this holiday season shouldn't cost you your identity. When 2WTK talked to NC Attorney General Roy Cooper recently, he had two main issues on his mind.
Cooper says, "This is prime time for 'Tis the season for identity theft". Check your bank and credit card statements and don't forget to get a free credit report this season. (The only truly free credit report is at AnnualCreditReport Also, if you need a reminder to get a free credit report every 4 months, sign up on the 2WTK free reminder on the right hand side of our page!)
Credit Cards Offer Consumer Protection
Cooper is quick to point out, "If you can control your spending, you should think about making your purchases on your credit cards versus your debit cards."
"Credit cards often times will allow you to go back and contest the charge particularly if the merchant did something you don't like or failed to live up to its promises sometimes the credit card will give you a refund."
Debit cards don't offer the same protections as credit cards. Plus, the money is already out of your account when you use debit.
Getting real money refunded is much more difficult.
Cooper also says its good to buy gift cards with a credit card. That way, if the store goes out of business the credit card will many times, pay you your money back.
Of course this all comes with the disclaimer, the thing consumers need to watch for is charging too much on the credit card and getting snowed under in debt.
Watch your spending.