Online shopping between Thanksgiving and New Year's will be at an all-time high this year as more people turn to the internet to shop. This means cybercriminals will be watching and waiting.
Beware of fake websites and fraudulent apps! Many of these fake sites and apps look very real, even using the identity and logo branding from your favorite shopping sources. Credit card skimming has gone digital! Beware of any sites asking you to verify your credit card and personal information. If you begin to become suspicious, STOP, and go the extra mile to contact the seller to verify they are a legitimate source for purchasing.
Never save your credit card information on retail sites, and only make purchases from your home, never on public Wi-Fi. Cybercriminals are always scanning public Wi-Fi sources for opportunities to collect your personal information, passwords, and credit card numbers.
Social media, such as Facebook and Instagram offer particular items for sale via paid advertising or promise a 'gift exchange'. Beware! Many times these are pyramid schemes or phishing attempts. Never offer your credit card or personal information via an ad in your timeline. If you discover an ill-attempted ad report it to Facebook/Instagram or other social media platforms, or better yet, report it to the Better Business Bureau.
Avoid using USB charging ports in public places like airports, coffee houses, and shopping malls. Hackers use “juice-jacking” software that downloads malicious code onto your connected device, granting them access to all of your personal information. Charge in your vehicle, or wait until you get home to plug-in and buy or shop.
Many websites will encourage you to create an account. If you have determined the site is safe, be sure to use strong passwords. Be creative: think of a special phrase and use the first letter of each word as your password. Substitute numbers for some words or letters.
Also, be aware of follow-up solicitations after making a purchase online. These solicitations can come in the form of an email or phone call. Never give any personal information over the phone.
Rest assured, at Independent Federal Credit Union, we are always working to monitor our member accounts for any suspicious or unusual activity. Independent will never ask you for personal or financial information over the phone, in a text, or an e-mail. Please always be aware of phishing scams attempting to obtain any personal information from you.
Bottom-line – Shop smart, be aware, and always protect your information at all costs.
If you discover your debit or credit card has been compromised, contact us immediately. You can do this by calling 765-649-9271 or by contacting us online.
For more information on cyber safety read HERE.
If your identity has been compromised or stolen, download our 'Taking Charge! What to do if your Identity is stolen' PDF.