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Consumers Nervous to Use Credit Cards

Expert gives identity theft protection advice

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Stamford, CT | Added on January 30, 2014 At 03:25 PM

With all the recent data security breaches, many say they're a little nervous to use their credit and debit cards.

"It's kind of scary and nerve-racking," said area resident Tahara Williams.  "You don't want anybody to have your information."  

Tahara Williams says she's using cash more these days.  

"I've been kind of scared to use my card.  I prefer to use cash right now," said Williams.  

Many say they're scared to swipe at registers because of security breaches at major retailers.  

Nieman Marcus says 1.1 million debit and credit cards may have been compromised last year.  During the peak of the holiday shopping season, 40 million Target customers' credit and debit card information had been stolen.  

Local financial expert Julie Jason says it's a new risk we have to deal with.

"The potential for identity theft is here because of how we do business now-a-days," said Julie Jason.  

Jason says there's important steps consumers can take to protect themselves, like using a credit card instead of a debit card.  

"A debit card is an automatic withdrawal from your bank account," said Jason, explaining it would be easier for a person to steal money with someone's debit card data.  

Also, beware of what you share verbally, and shred important documents.

"It can also be someone who goes through, what you've tossed out, papers that you've thrown away," said Jason, "Or someone could be listening to you if you're giving someone your social security number or your credit card number verbally, or your bank account number verbally, and that's something you really want to avoid."  

For now, shoppers say they're going to pay on the safe side.  

"If they're going to hack me, the money from my credit card, I'd rather pay cash," said Briton Sejdiu.

"I hope they get a lead on it so that we can use our card more and more and it'll be safe to use," said Williams, "But right now, I'm just going to use cash."  

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