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Tis the be aware of scams and identity theft

The holiday season is in full swing with all the joy and merriment that it brings.  Unfortunately, it also brings a higher risk of identity theft and financial fraud.  There are actions you can take though to protect yourself and also to lower the impact if it happens to you.
Let’s start with how to protect ourselves from getting our identity stolen?
When shopping online, always make sure you have confirmed it is a secure site and that you are at a legitimate site.  One trick of hackers is to send what are called phishing emails that have links to sites that look like the real site but are fake and designed to capture information about you and/or get your credit card number.  The best way to avoid this scam is to go directly to the site from your internet browser.
Besides phishing emails, is there another way cyber thieves like to strike?
Yes, they like to troll into public WiFi networks and look for people who are using those public networks to conduct transactions that will give them information like credit card numbers or other personal information.  Don’t shop with your tablet or phone using an unsecure network.  You are just putting your information out there for it to be seen and stolen by others.  Use a secure WiFi network only when transmitting sensitive data.
So, should we just avoid shopping online at all?
No, there are risks shopping at retail brick and mortar stores because they keep your information as well.  And we all know about the rising incidents of stores having their credit card databases hacked.  Regardless of where you shop, it is important to take precautions and be vigilant about monitoring your accounts and cards.  All shopping methods carry risks, it is just important to be aware of those risks and to employ methods to mitigate those risks as much as possible.
What are a few good ways to monitor your accounts?
First, set up account alerts for your checking, debit card and credit card accounts.  That way you are notified about every transaction that is posted to your account.  Another method to monitor is to setup online access and periodically review the transactions on your account or card.  Early detection is extremely important in helping make any credit card fraud or identity theft less impactful to your financial situation.

Posted: 12/10/2014 with 0 comments

Categories: Money Matters, Security

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