The Holiday Season is an optimal time for parties, celebration, and fraud. That’s right, cybercriminals enjoy the holidays as much as we do! However, it’s for a much different reason. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest online shopping days of the year, with 12% more Americans expected to partake in 2019 than did in 2018, and spending expected to reach $87 billion total.
While people are busy online shopping for gifts, fraudsters are seizing the opportunity to scam them out of their money. So, take these precautions as you shop this year to help protect your money and information.
Top 10 Fraud Alert Tips for Cyber Monday
Avoid clicking on links in emails.
A top phishing tactic is to create a fake site that looks exactly like the real one. If you want to shop at a site, enter the site address directly in your browser to avoid falling for fake lookalikes.
Never open email attachments with special offers.
This is a classic scam. The offer should be in the body of the email, and you should be able to see it right away without opening any attachments.
Watch out for malicious ads and popups.
Do not click on ads or popups that sound too good to be true. If a popup won’t go away after you’ve tried to dismiss it, exit the website completely.
Do not online shop on public WiFi.
Public WiFi isn’t very secure. Only shop if you are on a secure, trusted network.
Read More: 7 Tips to Protect Your Identity
Only purchase from SECURE websites.
When online shopping, make sure the websites you visit begin with https instead of http. That “s” stands for “secure”, and it means that the information you enter on that site will be encrypted so it will be useless to cybercriminals.
Use a credit card for online shopping.
To stay on the safe side, reserve your debit card for withdrawing cash. A credit card provides better fraud protection when online shopping.
Read More: 5 Tips to Prevent Card Fraud
Be critical of “free” offers and lookout for gift card scams.
Survey fraud and gift card scams explode during the holiday season. Be wary of offers that require you to enter information to receive a free gift, and only buy gift cards from trusted sources.
Look out for email or text alerts saying you’ve received a package.
If you receive an email or text from what looks like FedEx, UPS, or USPS asking you to enter personal information to learn more about the package, don’t enter anything.
Do not re-use passwords.
Consider using a password manager to create secure passwords for all of your accounts.
Monitor your accounts closely.
During the holidays, unexpected or strange charges may be the first sign your card has been stolen. You can sign up for real time alerts from Powell Valley Bank so you can be alerted of all charges coming through.
Powell Valley National Bank wishes everyone a safe and wonderful holiday season! If you believe your financial information may have been compromised, contact your bank immediately. Click here for PVNB Debit Card Support Numbers.