Farmers Warns: Due to Closing Holiday Hustle Be Extra Careful With Credit Cards
Be careful to protect your identity

The 2008 holiday rush for gifts, toys and special presents should be over in 10 days -- but, Farmers Insurance Group of Companies warns: don't forget the after Christmas sales and returns.


"At this time of year, everyone is hurrying to finish their shopping but we want everyone to remember to keep track of their credit cards. During this hectic time, it is easy to forget your credit card," notes Jeff Dailey, Farmers President of Personal Lines. "Or, a hurried retail clerk could easily forget to return your credit card to you. Don't get so rushed that you forget your credit card."

Mr. Dailey offers these tips to help assure your identity is not stolen this holiday season:

  --  Only bring with you what you will actually need.  Leave the checkbook,
      old receipts, deposit slips and especially your social security card
      at home.
  --  Credit card receipts should only contain the last four digits of the
      credit card.  If the merchant hasn't met this requirement, then cross
      out the remaining numbers with a pen.
  --  Check your credit card statement at the end of the season.  Match
      purchases and returns with receipts, and dispute any discrepancies. 
      Shred your receipts after they have been verified.  Don't throw them
      in the trash.
  --  Put your mail in secure mailboxes or the post office, especially if
      you are traveling.  Thieves often steal outgoing mail in order to get
      checks or valuable information.
  --  Only use one credit card for all your online purchases.  This will
      allow easy validation later.  Also, it will allow you to deal with
      only one creditor if problems do occur.
  --  Only shop at reputable stores online.  Just because you find an online
      store with a deal that's a couple bucks cheaper, don't take the risk.
  --  Don't click on links to stores from emails.  They could contain
      phishing software that will monitor your web activity and key strokes.
      Thieves will use this information to obtain key information.
  --  Check website URLs for security symbols.  Many reputable sites will
      have padlock icons next to the http.

"Since Identity Theft is the fastest growing crime in the world today, Farmers insurance has developed comprehensive identity theft coverage. Farmers Identity Shield helps you restore your identity after an identity fraud. Those who have experienced its devastating effects know how hard it is to fix and how much time it takes," Dailey added.

Dailey explained that Identity Shield includes a 24/7 advocate to guide and assist victims. An expert also is on call to answer any questions policyholders may have about children or adult identity theft. "There is much more, including assistance in replacing lost, stolen or damaged identification documents and prevention tips," Dailey said.

For more information on identity theft and how to prevent it, contact your local Farmers agent or visit

Farmers Group, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Zurich Financial Services, an insurance-based financial services provider with a global network of subsidiaries and offices in North America and Europe as well as in Asia Pacific, Latin America and other markets. Farmers(R) is the nation's third-largest Personal Lines Property & Casualty insurance group. Property and casualty products are underwritten and issued by the Farmers Exchanges and their subsidiaries, which Farmers Group, Inc. manages but does not own. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Farmers insurers provide Homeowners, Auto, Business, Life insurance and financial services to more than 10 million households. For more information about Farmers, visit our Web site at

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SOURCE: Farmers Group, Inc.

CONTACT: Jerry Davies of Farmers Group, Inc., +1-213-400-4459,



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