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      Protecting yourself from the holiday grinch

      If you're a Black Friday shopper, no doubt you have a plan of attack for holiday shopping. But do you have a plan in place to protect your money?

      While you're out shopping for good deals, there's a good chance a thief is out shopping for credit and debit card numbers.

      Julie Bowen with Mercantile Bank says protect your card by keeping in the same place in your wallet. That way if it does get lost, you'll know it's missing right away.

      Also, before you use it, monitor your surroundings.

      Is anyone lurking nearby, does the payment terminal look normal and not altered?

      Possibly the best way to protect your money is to check your bank statement often.

      If your card or its numbers end up in the wrong hands, "Call the bank right away because that is the most important thing to help sot theft. There are many things a bank can do to protect the card, whether that be a temporary block or cancel it if it turns out to be an actual fraudulent charge," Bowen said.

      One final tip, if you use debit, protect your PIN so no one can see it.

      Make sure you memorize it and don't write it on the card.

      Your PIN should be random, and not something that's associated with you like a phone number or birth date.

      Julie Bowen was on KHQA This Morning, and has more tips here.