‘Tis The Season For Dishonesty

‘Tis The Season For Dishonesty

sandy-cox
SJ is part of a local writers group in Senoia that meets the third Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. at the Senoia Library.  You can also follow more of her writing at creativejuices-sjcox.tumblr.com.

Every year at this time I hear sad stories of people being robbed of their Christmas purchases, or credit cards being stolen and thousands of dollars of fraudulent charges being made. It has always made me wary of how and where I spend my money during the holidays. I have always been careful to park in well-lit parking lots so I can clearly see who comes and goes. I always keep my wallet and credit cards close to my person so I never really thought much about the possibility of them being stolen, until the other day when it happened to me.
This week I became one of the millions of victims of credit card theft during this holiday season. It happened in a very subtle manner, so that if I had not been paying attention it may have escaped my notice. While checking over my email I scanned my junk mail folder to make sure I hadn’t missed anything important, when I saw an order confirmation email. Knowing full well that it was possible my husband had ordered one of my Christmas gifts I almost ignored it but, this time of year I tend to get nosy in hopes of discovering what Christmas presents I will be receiving. So, I went ahead and opened the email. Much to my dismay I found that it was not an order confirmation for one of my Christmas gifts, but instead confirmation of a letter to Santa.
Cyber thieves definitely get more creative during the holiday season. I’m not exactly sure how it works, but in my opinion a letter to Santa is  great if you have children but seeing as how I do not, that raised an alert with me. Further detailed reading showed that I was being billed for a letter to Santa, sent to a child I didn’t know, at an address I was not familiar with. I instantly went online to my banking establishment and checked my charge history. There were in fact two charges for that particular letter to Santa and it was then that I knew my credit card had somehow been compromised.
I don’t do much shopping online, partly because I enjoy going into the stores and seeing all the wonderful new items available for purchase and partly because I like to walk out of the store with the item I want, rather than wait for it to arrive on my doorstep. People who are very busy say that online shopping fits easier into their schedule and makes life more convenient, but I disagree.
One thing I don’t necessarily trust is the internet. Today’s technology has made it much too easy for dishonest people to steal not only your credit card information, but your identity. Social media allows us to put all our personal information out there for anyone to read and take advantage of. Cyber thieves are all around us and the internet makes them virtually invisible so they can easily steal without being caught.
I am not sure how or where someone could have gotten a hold of my credit card information, but the moral of this story is be very careful when it comes to your spending habits. This holiday season ‘tis the season to be jolly, but it’s also a perfect season for dishonesty. Make sure you keep your wallets close and your credit card information closer. Never give out your information to anyone who calls you asking for it and if you shop online make sure the websites have some sort of security to protect consumer information. The more reliable and well know the company and website are, the better the chances are that your information will be protected.