Holiday shopping can be hectic while trying to make sure you have everything you need. But are you practicing good safety online and in stores? Take some time to learn how to avoid scams with these holiday shopping safety tips.
The holidays are a prime time to target unsuspecting shoppers with identity theft, shopping scams, and cyber threats. According to the FBI, $337 million were lost to scams and $173 million to fraud in 2021.
To keep you safe, here are risk management tips for holiday shopping safety:
Online Shopping Safety:
Be Wary of Marketplaces
Online marketplaces can often have great deals, but have less protections should it be a scam.
Check a seller’s reviews for credibility before you buy. And consider using a payment app like Venmo, which has purchase protections.
Make Sure Your Internet Connection is Secure
Avoid shopping and entering personal details or passwords on public Wi-Fi, which is less secure and can be hacked.
Double-Check the Website is an https:// Address
It should also have a “lock” symbol next to the URL at the top of the screen when at checkout.
These sites are safer, more secure, and up-to-date to deter cyber hacking. When in doubt, shop with websites and brands you know, trust, and are highly rated.
Avoiding Skimmers and Cyber Threats:
Be On the Lookout for Holiday Scams in Your Email
You should never click suspicious hyperlinks. And don’t enter your personal information, passwords, or send money unless you are sure the email is legitimate.
If you didn’t request the email (such as a “forgot password” request), mark it as spam. If you’re unsure, contact the company’s customer service department first.
Avoid Non-Bank ATMs and Be Mindful of Using Your Card
If an ATM or card reader (such as outside at a gas station) looks odd, messed with, or loose, use another machine or go inside to pay. Most skimming happens at non-bank ATMs and outdoor gas station pumps.
Use Your Mobile Wallet on Your Phone
Your mobile wallet, such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, has several layers of protection and security. Your card is encoded and tokenized, so if a retailer is compromised, your card number will still be safe.
Make sure you pay on secure Wi-Fi and not public Wi-Fi. And keep your phone securely locked with a pin code for extra security.
Holiday Safety When Out Shopping:
Park in a Well-Lit, High Traffic Space
Areas such as the cart return or the elevator in a parking garage usually have more lighting and higher traffic. More visibility will deter theft.
Keep Your Purchases Out of Sight
Always put your shopping bags in your trunk and lock your car. Don’t tempt would-be break-ins by leaving your expensive presents in plain sight.
Avoid Carrying a Lot of Cash
Large amounts of cash can tempt thieves and pickpockets. A credit card can be a more secure option since disputes are often handled more easily.
Review Your Account Activity
Always review your account activity, especially after shopping. If there are any purchases that shouldn’t be there, you can handle it immediately before the problem grows.
And if you’ve made a special, invaluable purchase for a loved one, don’t forget to properly insure it for safeguarding! Request a quote.
Have a safe and joyful holiday from us at Vault to you!
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