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.