National Consumer Protection Week is just around the corner. Here’s what it means for you.
It’s almost From March 5th through March 11th, the Federal Trade Commission along with coalition partners are encouraging consumers to understand their consumer rights through its National Consumer Protection Week campaign. The FTC encourages consumers to better understand their rights. As the Identity Protection company, Legal Shred has some insight to help you make better-informed decisions when it comes to spending money and sharing personal information.
Know Who You Are Purchasing From
If you want to buy something from a less well known website or retailer, spend a few minutes researching them and asking for recommendations. If they aren’t legitimate, you will quickly find out. Those who violate consumer protection laws can cause devastating harm, often hitting the most vulnerable consumers the hardest. Victims of fraud, misrepresentation, and unsafe manufacturing and production practices can lose significant amounts of hard-earned and much-needed money.
How Are You Paying?
Often your bank will recommend that you use a credit card to perform online purchases because you are protected by the Consumer Credit Directive. In store you can always pay in cash, which is a safe bet as there is no information exchanged. You can also use prepaid gift cards since these do not store personal data, and the bonus is you stay within a budget.
Has your bank issued a card with an EMV chip yet? With credit card fraud on the rise, EMV is designed to mitigate the risk. Regular magnetic strip cards contain the information on the strip itself, whereas EMV data is transmitted during a card transaction and generates a unique code for every time. Even if a criminal manages to grab the code from the store, it’s mostly useless because it won’t work a second time. Even if a thief intercepted the information, they are not likely able to do anything with it.
Get To Know Your Credit Card
Your credit card may have special protections you’re not aware of. Some card accounts extend special warranties for products purchased with those cards. There may be insurance for some items as well.
Know When to Shop
Scammers will be more active during busy retail seasons, so email traffic confirming online orders and deliveries will exponentially increase. One way to mitigate identity theft is to plan out your purchases and keep track of what you’re spending and where.
Help Is Available
Identity theft victims can get a free, personalized identity theft recovery plan online from the FTC at IdentityTheft.gov.
Here at Legal Shred, we recommend that you keep your credit card statements, bank statements, and receipts for the amount of time necessary, and be sure to call us when it’s time to destroy them. Don’t think your trash is safe; your identity becomes public property once it hits the curb! Legal Shred offers one-time services for residential customers and can safely and securely shred your documents.
This National Consumer Protection Week, contact Legal Shred and find out more about how we can help you.
Check out these other Legal Shred resources on consumer protection:
- The Legal Shred Identity Theft Survival Guide
- Cybersecurity 101: Protecting Your Identity Online
- Protect Your Identity While Traveling for the Holidays
- Holiday Shopping Security Guide