Identity thieves using gift cards

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Grand Junction, Colo. (KKCO) – Even though consumers are more aware of it, identity theft still happens everyday. Now thieves are getting more creative in how they spend your money.

Gift cards have become the top purchase using stolen credit cards. Multiple gift cards can be bought with a single credit card, allowing the thief time to use the money before your credit card has been canceled.

That makes it more difficult for police to track, but not impossible.

"We work really good with local stores, the grocery chains, Wal-Mart-- all of those kind of stores to provide video surveillance," said Mesa County Sheriff's spokesperson Heather Benjamin, "and actually we team up with Crimestoppers and our local media to get those pictures out, and frequently those people are identified, and we are able to find them and charge them and prosecute them here in Mesa County.

Here are some things you can do to better secure your identity, according to the Better Business Bureau:

-- You should cut up expired credit and debit cards, cutting through the numbers

-- Always monitor your bank and credit card transactions.

-- Pay attention to your billing cycles.

-- Minimize the personal information you print on you checks.

--If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

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