COVID-19 will no doubt discourage shoppers again this year from heading into stores. This will lead many of us to shop more online where hackers and scam artists are waiting eagerly. There are several kinds of online crime to watch for this holiday season. Check out the tips below on how to better protect yourself while shopping.
3 tips on how to protect yourself against fraud:
• Monitor your credit card and personal accounts
• Be wary of clicking on advertisements
• Secure your information
Monitor your credit card accounts.
While you should always monitor your credit card balance(s) on a regular basis, it’s especially important to check them during the holidays. Make sure all transactions listed were made by you or any authorized users on your account.
Turn on alerts. If you need to sign up visit beaconcu.org/online-services/#visa-alerts. These alerts can inform you when spending is taking place on your card. Beacon offers alerts via text, email and phone if we notice potential suspicious transactions on your account. We allow you to set alerts online when certain purchases are made or the ability to freeze your card if you would need to. Our new CardSmart features can be found here https://www.beaconcu.org/mobile-banking/
If you notice anything suspicious on your account, contact us immediately at (800) 762-3136.
Be wary of advertisements
With Covid-19 keeping shopping in person to a minimum this holiday season social media ads are out in full force. Ads are promoting limited-time offers and larger discounts if clicked on right from that location. Resist the urge to click before verifying the source of the ad. Verifying the source before shopping will save you a lot of trouble in the long run. Take the extra time and visit the site itself. Hackers are getting even better at spoofing websites so that you feel you are on the correct site.
Double check the URL to make sure it is spelled correctly, the URL begins with “https” and there is a small lock icon that confirms the site is a secure one will help you have less holiday hassles.
Secure your information
Make sure you are being extra vigilant and careful this holiday with all of your personal information. Do not leave personal information easily visible or accessible. Make sure to keep receipts and mail safe and dispose of them correctly. If you are making online purchases do so in a secure area such as your home rather than in a public area with public Wi-Fi where scammers could be waiting for you. Also using mobile wallets apps will help to secure your personal information from scammers.
Regularly monitoring your account activity is a good way to detect fraudulent activity. If you notice unauthorized transactions under your account, notify Beacon Credit Union immediately.