Use Secure Sites
When you see an ‘s’ at the end of ‘http’ in the URL, that means the site has an SSL certificate which means it’s secure. LifeLock states, “You should also be sure that emails sent to you with promotional links don’t point back toward an altered link, often with one or two letters missing or changed. This could signal a phishing scam, designed to fool you into entering personal information, like your credit card number or your email and password, which may later be used to compromise your identity.” If the email is from a store you like to shop at, leave the email and go directly to their site. Promotional emails typically have the coupon code in the email or on their homepage of the site, so you can still get their advertised deals!
Set Spending Alerts
In Online Banking, you can usually set alerts for some items coming out of your account or for your account going below a certain balance you set. Some credit card companies also allow you to set alerts for ‘spending past your set limit.’ If you get an email or text alerting you to extra purchases, that can be a quick way to find out about potential fraud.
Check Your Accounts and Statements
A lot of banks offer e-statements, so you don’t have to wait for paper statements to see your expenses from the month. Online and Mobile Banking options allow you to check your transactions any time of the day, so you don’t even have to wait for statements to be issued. Check your accounts more frequently to be on the lookout for strange purchases.
Watch for Scams
There are many scams during the holiday season – we can’t even name them all! Be wary of fake charities, emails, links and so forth. Only give to trusted sources if you want to spread the holiday cheer. AbbyBank offers a matching holiday meal program each year for the local food pantries in their communities. AbbyBank partners with Peyton’s Promise and will match your monetary donations up to a certain amount.
Keep Away from Skimmers
It’s easy to forget that even when you’re the one using the card, it’s still in danger. Skimmers tend to pop up more around the holidays, which are invisible to the untrained eye and download your credit card information to the computers of criminals. Then, criminals can steal your identity. Here’s an article on how to avoid skimmers.
Hopefully, these tips help you stay a little more cautious when doing your holiday shopping. Be on the lookout and extra aware this season, so you can keep your identity safe!