Stay Safe with Our Online Holiday Shopping Tips. Online shopping is expected to increase by almost 15%.
Holiday online shopping is in full swing. So are fraudsters and hackers looking to find a way to steal your money or credentials. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe when making online purchases:
- Make sure you enter the correct web address or URL of the retailer. Clicking ads or links from other sites could send you to a fraudulent web site. So before you click, a tip is to hover over the link with your cursor to view the URL and verify the link.
- Verify the site is secure. The page URL should begin with HTTPS, the industry standard security protocol.
- Use a secure and safe form of payment like a credit card. Never send cash or perform a wire transfer.
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi. Only shop using a secure connection such as your home network.
- Watch out for phishing emails containing offers and sales too good to be true.
Watch Out for Gift Card Scams. Yes, even gift cards can be compromised.
Many of us give gift cards to our family, friends, and colleagues as presents during the holidays. But as safe as they sound, fraudsters have figured out ways to compromise them using various schemes such as false pin code stickers and buying stolen cards.
Here are a few tips to identify gift card scams and how to avoid them*:
- Don’t scratch off and reveal the card PIN until you’re ready to use it.
- Watch out for fake activation code stickers. These stickers will send money to the scammer instead of the card when it’s scanned at the register to activate it.
- When buying your gift card, check out the back of the card to make sure the PIN has not been revealed.
- Be wary of gift card reseller web sites. Some of these sites sell you stolen cards or worthless cards.
- Track your mailed gift cards. If it’s lost in transit, you’re out of luck. Keep your gift card receipt so you can report it and get it replaced.
*Charisse Jones. “Tis the season for gift card scams: Be on the lookout for these potential schemes.” USA Today, usatoday.com/story/money/2019/11/11/look-out-for-gift-card-scams/2521763001/. Accessed Nov. 11, 2019.
Visit the FMFCU Security Center for today’s latest online security news and tips to keep your computer up-to-date.