TODAY   |  December 21, 2013

How to protect against fraud while shopping

This weekend marks the second-biggest shopping day of the year after Black Friday, and millions are headed out to find the perfect presents. But news of the security breach at Target has had customers on edge. Financial editor Jean Chatzky offers tips on how to shop safely.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> you've heard of black friday and cybermonday but did you know that today is super saturday? the second biggest shopping day of the year. but news this week of that massive security breach at target has a lot of shoppers on edge and jean is here with more. good morning.

>> good morning.

>> a lot of of us shopped at target are freaked out. will you walk us through things to look out for? but what should we be doing if you're going out soon to go shopping, is cash the way to go?

>> you can lose cash. it can be stolen. you can handle a credit card and by "handle," pay it off every single month so you don't pay interest. i'd use credit card because you have a credit card company to back you up if something goes wrong.

>> if you shopped at target during that period between november 27th and december 15th when there was that jurt breach a couple of things we should be doing. first, check your accounts and your credit report ?

>> go online. don't wait for your statement and check the activity on your account. what you're looking for there and on your credit report is anything that doesn't belong to you and you can pull a free credit report at annualcreditreport.com. pull one and take a look at it. if there is anything suspicious put a fraud alert on your account or more significantly, freeze your account and alert you or not let anybody take out credit in your name which is the big problem. and if you have seen activity, you'll want to shut your account down and get a new number.

>> it's small amounts you're looking out for, right?

>> absolutely. you should be keeping receipts and keeping track of what activity actually belongs to you. anything that looks suspicious, call and report it.

>> can your bank do anything about this?

>> they can give you a new number. they are not going to alert you to necessarily activity on your account. unless it looks truly suspicious. if the pattern don't match your patterns --

>> a statement released yesterday is that target is offering free credit monitoring service to its customers and a 10% discount in stores this weekend. is it safe to go back to target and shop there with a credit card ?

>> i would think at this point, target is under a massive amount of security and so it's probably the safest place to shop this weekend, but take advantage of that credit monitoring once you get the application or the offer to actually take it. it's a good thing to do.

>> we hear, of course, the weather is going to be a factor this weekend on super saturday. are retailers under pressure to get rid of inventory now?

>> they are under pressure to get rid of the seasonal merchandise. apparel and anything with a holiday logo or symbol on it and other sorts of merchandise and technology, those sorts of things, they will sell throughout the year so the discounts won't be as great. i got an alert in my inbox this morning 50% off at banana republic and they are not all.