To help educate and protect consumers, including senior citizens, fraud-prevention experts offer these tips:
Shop smart: Limit the credit cards you carry.
Keep receipts and check your statements. Examine every charge on your statement before paying.
Protect your computer when online shopping. Make sure your security patch and anti-virus software are updated regularly. Consider technology to protect against potential viruses.
Watch where you shop online. Look for the lock icon on the site’s browser status bar, a sign that that site is safe. If you have never heard of a website before, see if it has security precautions in place and isn’t a fake site set up by identity thieves.
Don’t write checks. Give cash or gift cards. The information on a check — name, signature, address — can be used to steal identity.
Strengthen passwords. Use passwords with at least eight characters, including a combination of letters, numbers and symbols that are easy for you to remember but difficult for predators to guess.
Watch your wallet. Be careful at parties, restaurants and fitness clubs and in your car.