As shoppers snap up gifts, décor and travel arrangements for the holidays, their credit and debit cards are being swiped at stores and typed into websites at the fastest rate of the year. The Automobile Club of Southern California reminds consumers that the holiday shopping season is full of opportunities for identity theft, and they should take steps to help safeguard their bank accounts and credit standing.
Auto Club members have access to two excellent member benefits that provide identity theft monitoring. The free member benefit ProtectMyID® Essential provides basic credit monitoring of members’ Experian credit report, while ProtectMyID® Deluxe offers comprehensive daily monitoring of credit reports from all three major credit monitoring bureaus, plus many other valuable features to safeguard identities of both members and their children.
“During the hectic pre-holiday season, consumers provide a target-rich environment for identity thieves to either steal and use others’ credit card numbers or steal other identification to set up new fraudulent credit accounts,” said Greg Backley, the Auto Club’s vice president for product management. “Auto Club members appreciate the peace of mind we offer them with roadside, insurance and travel services. Now, members can get additional peace of mind and identity safeguarding through the enhanced benefits of ProtectMyID® Deluxe.”
For $8.95 per month – a AAA member discount of 60 percent – members can receive the following ProtectMyID® Deluxe benefits:
- Daily monitoring of all three credit reports – Experian®, TransUnion®, and Equifax®
- Email alerts on all three credit reports
- Fraud resolution support in the event of ID theft
- $1 million in identity theft insurance to help reimburse eligible expenses for enrollees who become victims of identity theft*
- Confidential, daily scans of illegal web sites and chat rooms searching for signs of ID theft for ProtectMyID® enrollees
- ChildSecure® – Helps protect enrollees’ minor children from ID theft if they opt to enroll their children’s names by monitoring their credit information and providing alerts of possible fraudulent activity.
“While everyone is especially busy at this time of year, it’s important for consumers not to let down their guard when it comes to protecting their identity,” said Backley. “We don’t want anyone to deal with the pain of identity theft, especially during the holiday season.”
The Auto Club offers the following tips for protecting your identity during the holiday shopping season:
- If shopping online, stick to familiar websites that you know are secure. Don’t use a new website to buy something before checking consumer reviews, and make sure it offers a secure web page for credit card transactions.
- Don’t shop online or access/type personal data while using an unsecured Wi-Fi connection in a public place or on a public computer. Hackers may be able to steal that information.
- When shopping at retail locations, don’t let your credit card out of sight when paying for purchases. Make sure your purse or wallet is secure at all times.
- Keep your smartphone in a secure place when shopping or out, and use a passcode lock feature if it has one. Thieves can access a trove of personal data by stealing an unsecured cell phone.
Auto Club of Southern California members can enroll in ProtectMyID® Deluxe by calling 877-279-6418 or visiting AAA.com/identity.
* Identity Theft Insurance underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms, conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms, conditions, and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.