How holiday thieves get on the naughty list and put your finances at risk
Increased online shopping and spending raises the risk of holiday fraud. An estimated two-thirds of consumers are expected to buy most of their gifts online this holiday season due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.
How to keep yourself safe this season:
- Confirm the security of the site(s) on which you are shopping to make sure they are secure before inputting your credit or debit card information
- Use a credit card for your online purchases, instead of a debit card so you can dispute chargers and limit potential damage
- If a company asks you to update your password or account information, look up the company’s phone number and call them directly
- Don’t fall for freebies like free iphones, vacation packages, and other luxury items all for simply downloading a holiday phone background, wallpaper, or game
- Verify any emails that look like they are coming from FedEx or UPS saying they want to set up delivery for packages to you
- Don’t click on any unsolicited emails asking you to click on a link or download an app to access a deal or arrange a delivery
- Be sure to only use secure Wifi networks when performing financial transactions, including gifts to charitable organizations
- Buy gift cards directly from the issuing company or store instead of third-party sites
- Confirm the authenticity when you are making charitable donations instead of following a website or email link
- Never wire money directly to a seller
- Always get a tracking number for any items you purchase online so you can monitor the progress of your order and follow its delivery to you
If you encounter a scam this holiday season, report it immediately and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (online or at 877-382-4357) and report it to your state’s attorney general and consumer protection office.