JEROME, Idaho (KLIX) – Christmas might be over – and that means your shopping might have lessened – but that doesn’t mean the scammers have gone into hibernation.

You should still be vigilant protecting your credit cards and other personal information, no matter the time of year. Sadly, however, people every year become duped by vigilant scammers and identity thieves.

Below are some helpful reminders from the city of Jerome and the Federal Trade Commission:

  • Make sure you know who you are dealing with and don’t provide your personal information to others unless you have a reason to trust them.
  • Never give out personal information over the telephone, such as your date of birth, social security number, mother’s maiden name, or other information that may be used to verify your identity. Your bank or financial institution will not call you and ask for this type of information. Don’t reply to e-mails requesting your personal information in order to receive a prize or gift.
  • Never send money to someone who promises a cash prize, inheritance, or other large sum of money in return.
  • If offered a credit card, prize, or other valuable item and asked for your personal information, always request that they provide you with a written application form. If you are leaving home for more than a few days, arrange for someone to pick up your mail.
  • Check your bank statements, credit card statements, and financial information regularly and look for any unfamiliar activity.
  • Always maintain control of your credit cards and financial transaction cards. Never loan them to anyone.
  • Invest in a shredder and shred any mail or items that have personal information before you dispose of them.
  • Remember, if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.