Holiday Shopping Tips
Bad guys are working harder than ever during this time of year to get your personal and debit card information. Here are some tips to keep your information safe!
Fake Ads & Too Good to Be True Deals
Scammers will create a too good to be true ad for you to click on and reroute you to a malicious website. They will try and sell a product for much less than the typical price and ask for your credit card or banking information to “buy” the product. Be aware of what website the ad took you to, pay attention to the website URL.
Trusted Sites & Trusted Sellers
Some merchants such as Walmart, Target, Kohls allow third parties to sell products on their websites. Those merchants do have secure purchase methods; however, they cannot guarantee the products are priced correctly or that the products are legitimate. If it is too good to be true, it probably is a scam.
Safe Methods of Payments for Purchasing
Payment processors such as PayPal, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, Apple Pay are secure methods of payment. Be aware of using your personal bank information or credit card information on a website. If there are secure payments, such as those listed above, use them. Make sure that a secure padlock symbol is on the website URL. Only use Zelle© for transferring money to people you know! DO NOT use Zelle to purchase products or to people you do not know! Those funds that are used in Zelle are just like cash, you cannot get the money back once it’s gone.
Be Aware of Scams Inside Physical Stores
A current fraud trend happening is fraudsters will go into the store to the gift card area, they will remove the glue that covers the barcode, record the PINs, re-conceal the bar codes with glue and return the card to the shelves. Unsuspecting shoppers will purchase the gift cards, load money on them and then the fraudster will move the money to a bank account leaving the receiver of the gift card with a $0 balance and the purchaser of the gift card is out the money they spent to buy the gift card. When purchasing a gift card, look around the barcode to make sure there are no signs of tampering such as marks or scratches.
Holidays are a great time to be with family and friends, and the perfect time for fraudsters too! Online shopping is a convenient way to purchase gifts due to the prices, the quick shipping, and great deals out there! Just be very aware and do not let those benefits cloud your judgement when shopping online or in store. Your safety and security is just as important as getting the perfect gift. Stay safe this Holiday Season!