Tips to prevent fraud while holiday shopping

FRESNO, Calif.

A group of ladies combined Black Friday and a birthday celebration for a fun day in Fresno.

"We're shopping til we drop, but they have more stamina than I do," shopper Nikki White said.

While the shopping took center stage, Oakhurst resident Nikki White said she was reminded how important it is to keep an eye on your credit.

"I couldn't use my card because I was out of my spending pattern for the year. It was atypical for me, they just wanted to make sure everything was okay and I was actually the one using the card," White said.

White was thankful she received a safe guard by her credit union. With a phone call to her credit union White was able to clear up the restriction on her account.

"It's an exciting time of the year and people are out making holiday purchases, but they really need to think about what they're doing to avoid the possibility of exposing themselves to identity theft," Martha Lucey with Clear Point Credit Counseling Solutions said.

So what makes the holiday season such a popular time for identity theft? Experts say most people are distracted and vulnerable.

Crooks can be in the crowds or they can be online. So it is important for consumers to safe guard personal information. That is why Lucey says to plan ahead to stay safe this season.

"Don't leave home with a lot of extra credit cards or other information in your wallet, keep yourself safe by taking only the things crucial for you on that shopping trip," Lucey said.

Experts advise consumers to take make sure they are provided proof of purchase when at the register.

"Make sure you get your receipt so you know what you were charged for. You can check your receipt when you get home and check it against your online statement," Lucey said.

Experts say this advice could help keep the Identity thief's away and keep you in the holiday spirit.

If you want to look at your credit report, you can get a free one from annual

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