For more information:
Andrew K. Johnson
Communications Manager/GreenPath Financial Wellness
(248) 488-0419
mediarelations@greenpath.org

10 Tips to Keep your Credit Card out of Thieves' Hands

Protect your identity and pocketbook, whether you are in-line or on-line

(FARMINGTON HILLS, MI – December 16, 2014) – As we enter the final shopping days until Christmas, GreenPath Financial Wellness, a nationwide, non-profit credit counseling and education organization, reminds shoppers to be on guard. Rushing to complete that wish list can have people giving out sensitive data, like credit card numbers and social security numbers, to unscrupulous hackers and identity thieves.

“Technology today goes well beyond pick pocketing or taking a purse,” said Katie Moore, GreenPath Financial Wellness counselor. “Identity thieves have so much technology at their fingertips to build a personal profile on an individual. If you let your guard down, even for a moment, you could have your identity stolen.”

5 TIPS – KEEPING YOUR IDENTITY SAFE IN PUBLIC

  1. Before you leave your house, take out the credit cards that you know you will not be using.
  2. Copy the front and back information on your card, so you have contact information quickly, in case your card is stolen.
  3. Do not carry your Social Security card with you. That number is vital in opening new credit accounts.
  4. Watch where you leave your card when you shop. “Don’t leave your credit card on the counter with people around,” said Moore. “A quick screenshot or good memory can capture your name, card number and expiration date.”  A thief can then use that number instantly to buy goods online.
  5. Keep your receipts in your purse or wallet, not in the bag.

5 TIPS – KEEPING YOUR IDENTITY SAFE ON-LINE

  1. Always initiate the transaction yourself. Do not open a store’s website through a received email. Physically type in the web address and review carefully to make sure it is the actual store website.
  2. When entering credit card information as part of transaction, make sure the web address starts with a secure extension, shown as https://.
  3.  If you shop online in a public location, like at a library, make sure you log out and click the “back” button, when you are finished with a shopping session.
  4. Shopping at the coffee house? Use their approved, secure wi-fi server.
  5. Keep your guard up while online. Be aware of pop-up windows and your online experience at all times. While entering data, keep distractions to a minimum.

GreenPath offers face-to-face services at 58 offices in 12 states.  The company also offers licensed services by phone and Internet throughout the United States.  For more information about GreenPath Financial Wellness, visit www.greenpath.org or call (866) 648-8122.

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GreenPath Financial Wellness is a nationwide, non-profit financial organization that assists consumers with credit card debt, housing debt and bankruptcy concerns. Their customized services and attainable solutions have been helping people achieve their financial goals since 1961. Headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, GreenPath operates more than 55 branch offices in Michigan, New York, New Hampshire, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Vermont, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Arizona and Wyoming. GreenPath also delivers licensed services throughout the United States over the Internet and telephone. GreenPath is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA). For more information, visit www.greenpath.org.