The holiday season is prime time for identity thieves

You're stressed. You're sleep-deprived. And you're running around trying to get all of your shopping done.

The crooks who want to steal your personal information couldn't be happier.

Identity theft is a year-round problem, but fraud prevention experts warn that the hectic holiday season is prime time for this crime.

"If you look at the biggest reason why people become victimized during the holidays is because they are distracted," said Adam Levin, chairman and founder of IDentity Theft 911. "Their head is on the gift. the joy of the holiday season, and they're not thinking and it's at that one moment of distraction, you become the most vulnerable."

Levin says too many people are simply too lax when they shop online. They're willing to give out personal information like birth date or mother's maiden name - information that can be used to gain access to financial accounts.

Convenience should never trump security. The consequences of identity theft are simply too serious.

More Info: Herb's Tips on How to Prevent Holiday Identity Theft