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413.536.8386 (fax)
150 Lower Westfield Road
Holyoke, MA 01040


1Dec. 2016

Careful Holiday Shopping

My son works at JCPenney.  It is a great part time job for him while he is in school.  He was scheduled for an 11-11 shift for Black Friday.  My husband and I decided to drive over and surprise him at work.  We though it might break up a long day for him and maybe we could take him for a late lunch/early dinner.  Now, my husband does not enjoy the mall on the deadest day of the year, so I knew this was going to be touch and go for him.

There is nothing in this world that could have prepared me for the mass chaos we embarked on just to say hi to Jack at work.  It started at the parking garage...that was the first time I heard my husband declare he "hates this" and "this is ridiculous".  He was right....it was completely insane.  We walked into the mall and it was people everywhere.  The line to cash out was down the entire store.  We never ended up finding Jack in the sea of people and had to fight our way out of the store back to our car.  When we were safely back in the refuge of our Honda, Jeremy looked at me and said "Did people forget how to walk?" It is true....we were bumped into, tripped and cut off more times than I care to recount.

There is one group of people who thrive on this kind of crowded environment.  Electronic pick pockets.  They have skimmer machines that read the RFID chips that are on most of your credit and debit cards.  They just need to get close enough to you and they have read all your unprotected card data.  Just like that.  You wouldn't even notice on those chaotic days at the stores during the holidays.

There are some things you can do to prevent such  an attack on your finances.

  • Purchase a purse, wallet or credit card slips that offer RFID protection.  These special items prevent the skimming machines from being able to read your electronic information.

  • Keep your wallets and purses on you.  Don't leave them for a second, because that is all it takes for someone to snatch it up and they will be lost in a sea of people.

  • Type in all PINS and other credit/debit info while shielding the screen with your hand.  Having just a bit of extra protection can't hurt!

If you do have an incident with identity theft or electronic pick pocketing, we are here to help you at Ross Insurance.  Enjoy your holiday shopping season, but be vigilant about those trying to do harm.


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