Six Ways to Avoid Holiday Shopping Scams- November 22

With holiday shopping in full swing, shoppers should be extra cautious when making Christmas purchases. While millions of credit and debit card transactions are conducted safely every day, it is still important that consumers are aware of the potential for holiday scams. Here are some tips to help you keep your information safe whether shopping online or in store:

  • Monitor your account. Use online and mobile banking to keep an eye on your transactions, especially during the holidays. Notify FTSB right away if there is any fraudulent activity.
  • Beware of phishing scams. During the holidays, criminals may create a fake email for a deal that’s too good to be true. If you click on any links within the email, you may be downloading malware onto your computer or you may be asked for payment information that could lead to fraud.
  • Limit large sums of cash. Even though we’ve seen financial crime migrate from physical to cyber, customers should be careful not to carry around large sums of cash when shopping. If cash is stolen, your money is gone – with little chance for recovery.
  • Secure your internet connection. If shopping online, make sure you do so from a password protected Wi-Fi network. Never access online banking from a public Wi-Fi network.
  • Shop safely. Before making an online purchase, make sure the website uses secure technology. When you are at the checkout screen, verify that the web address begins with https. Also, check to see if a tiny locked padlock symbol appears on the page.
  • Read the site’s privacy policies. Privacy policies tell you how the site protects the personal information it collects. If you don’t see or understand a site’s privacy policy, consider asking the business for clarification. If they don’t provide it, consider doing business elsewhere.

*These tips are provided by the American Bankers Association and Iowa Bankers Association.