Here are the Top 10 Fraud Alert Tips provided by KnowBe4.com:
- Never click on links in emails. If you want to shop at a site, enter that site address in your browser. There are thousands of fake sites that look almost identical to the real thing. Don’t fall for evil-twin shopping sites.
- Don’t open attachments with special offers. It’s a classic scam. The offer should be in the email, and you should be able to see it right away.
- Watch for malicious ads and popups. Do not click on ads that sound too good to be true and ignore popups that use phrasing such as “best deal ever”.
- Beware of e-skimmers. This is a new one. Do you know that bad guys sometimes skim your credit card at gas stations or ATMs? Well, there is a new flavor of that. The shopping website you order from might be infected with an “e-skimmer” that steals your card data when you check out. You can prevent that by using PayPal or Amazon.
- Best practice is to use a credit card rather than debit card for online purchases. According to KrebsonSecurity: “With a credit card, your maximum loss on any transactions you report as fraud is $50; with a debit card, that protection only extends for within two days of the unauthorized transaction. After that, the maximum consumer liability can increase to $500 within 60 days, and to an unlimited amount after 60 days.”
- Avoid shopping over a public Wi-Fi. You simply do not know if it’s secure and who is listening. Only shop using a secure, trusted network. If you have no other way to shop, use a VPN to encrypt your traffic.
- Be very careful when you see a free offer during the holidays. There is an explosion of all kinds of survey fraud and gift card scams.
- Do not re-use any of your passwords. Instead, use a password manager to create hard-to-break passwords. Re-using any password is an invitation to get hacked.
- Keep a close eye on your credit card and bank accounts. During this season, unexpected and strange charges might appear, which could be the first sign your card or even your whole identity has been stolen. If you think you might have been scammed, stay calm and call your credit card company; nix that card and get a new one.
- Be especially suspicious of gift card scams.They can be a perfect holiday gift, but gift card scams are skyrocketing. Only buy gift cards from trusted sources.
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