Friday, December 4, 2009

'Tis the season for purse snatchings, car break-ins, identity theft

Jeanette Barnes did the majority of her Christmas shopping for her husband and two children online, mainly to avoid long lines, crowded shopping malls and being robbed, she said. She worries about her credit card number being stolen online, but not as much as having her purse ripped from her shoulder at the mall.

"I feel more comfortable shopping online anyway," Barnes, 47, of Gaithersburg said Monday as she stood in front of the Nordstrom Rack in Gaithersburg. "If something goes wrong and someone uses my credit card online, I can report it easily."

FBI spokesman Christopher Allen said victims of cyber scams lost more than $265 million last year in purchases made with stolen identities.

There are always more reports of purse snatchings, car break ins and online identity thefts during the holiday shopping season, said David Baker, a crime prevention specialist with the Montgomery County Police. gazette

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