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WASHINGTON – A group called Your Credit Card Companies is making sure consumers are “credit wise” this holiday season. The group has posted tips on its Website www.yourcreditcardcompanies.com to help holiday shoppers avoid becoming victims of credit card fraud or identity theft. Your Credit Card Companies is a group of financial services companies dedicated to helping consumers better understand how credit works, manage debt and protect their total credit picture. Members include MasterCard,Capital One, Citigroup, Discover Financial Services, Chase Manhattan Bank USA and MBNA. This year’s holiday consumer tips include the following: * Ensure online credit card purchases are made through a secure Web site * Promptly open ad check credit card statements for any suspicious purchases * Make sure credit cards are stored securely while shopping-don’t leave credit cards in glove compartments * Be on the lookout for fraudulent telephone, Internet or mail offers that take advantage of the holidays to gather credit card and other personal information * Destroy credit card receipts after they’ve been reconciled * Record credit card account numbers, expiration dates and customer service department telephone numbers in case of lost or stolen cards and store information in a safe location * Make arrangements with friend, family or the Post Office if traveling for the holidays since mail piling up in a mailbox could end up in the wrong hands.

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