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Working women who step out of the office for brief intervals are better off leaving their pocketbooks behind and concealing some cash or a credit card in a coat, jacket or vest pocket.

As for shopping with a credit card, headaches can be avoided by shielding the number on the card when holding it at the checkout, so that it is not visible to anyone standing nearby. Never losing sight of the card as a transaction is being processed, and tucking it safely away as soon as it is returned, will further lessen the chance of fraudulent activity on the account.

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Most stores today do not expose credit card numbers on sales receipts, but it doesn’t hurt to double check to make sure. Monthly statements should be scrutinized for accuracy as soon as they are received in the mail. Recent purchases and up-to-date balances can be simply verified by calling the 800 number on the card.

Most importantly, confidential information such as bank and credit card account numbers, as well as social security numbers, should never be transmitted to anyone via e-mail. (E-mail accounts are regularly, universally, hacked.) Like they say, better safe than sorry!

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