November 9, 2020
Online shopping is a great convenience, especially when you are trying to stay home as much as possible. But it’s important to know that fraudsters are using these difficult times and the holiday season as an opportunity for increased schemes and criminal activity.
Cyber criminals use many different types of attacks to access your personal information and assets and potentially steal your identity. During holiday shopping season it’s common to see an increase in online shopping, social media, gift card and charity scams. We want you to stay alert and safe from fraud in the upcoming months.
Protect yourself and your accounts with these steps:
- Verify the authenticity of websites before providing your credit or debit card information. Your card and data can be compromised if you are not shopping on a secure website.
- Hover over and review any links in an eMail to confirm they are legitimate before clicking on them.
- When answering calls, be cautious of disclosing any personal or sensitive information. When in doubt, hang up and call your financial institution.
- As always, ensure your computers, online browsers and mobile devices are updated with the latest versions of protection software.
- Sign up for security alerts to notify you of potential suspicious activity on your accounts.
- Use a two-step verification for all your financial accounts that requires a unique security code each time you access your accounts.
- Never share sensitive information via eMail, phone or text message.
If you are concerned that you’ve been the victim of any form of identity theft or fraud, you should immediately notify any financial institutions that you conduct business with, contact any creditors (including the credit bureaus), and report the crime to local police.