‘Tis the season for holiday shopping. When making purchases online, be sure to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft -- it’s more common than you may think.

With just a few pieces of personal information, thieves can open new credit lines, drain bank accounts and file fraudulent tax returns. The Federal Trade Commission says credit card fraud was the number one type of identity theft reported in 2018, with 167,000 people saying their information was misused on an existing account or used to open a new credit card account. No matter what form it takes, identity theft can cost thousands of dollars and take years to correct.

Here are four tips to help prevent identity theft:

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