Holiday Shopping Safety Tips from the FBI

The holidays are a fun and busy time of year. They are also a time when crime tends to rise. With this in mind, the FBI has recommended some tips which will help people to avoid the scams which are so prevalent during the winter holiday season.

Today, we’d like to share some of these tips with you. SecureCheck, LLC is On Guard So You Don’t Have To Be. Contact us today and learn more about our total security solutions.

Watch Out for Amazing Deals

We’re all on the lookout for ways to save money while we shop for holiday goods and services. Scammers know this and they create scams which are designed to extract money and private data from consumers. For example, scammers may provide consumers with goods which are just too good to be true. These scams are typically in the form of emails which are phishing schemes or ads which promise the moon and stars, such as the best merchandise at unbelievably low prices.

Gift Cards

Gift cards for customers who buy things are also common forms of scams. In addition, consumers should look out for ads and emails which promise great prices if you visit websites which are linked. In some cases, the websites don’t provide the products for the prices which were advertised.

Basically, you should watch for websites which seem a little bit suspicious. Also, be careful of clicking on emails which may be phishing schemes or advertisements which provide details about discounts which seem too deep. With these types of websites, emails and advertisements, consumers may not get what they pay for if they do decide to order.

As well, they may end up giving all of their personal and financial details to scammers. In general, the Federal Bureau of Investigation recommends never clicking on emails which weren’t solicited. For example, if you signed up for an email subscription list, the email should be ok. If it came out of nowhere, it’s really best to avoid clicking on it.

As well, don’t fill out forms which are found inside of electronic communications. As well, avoid social media advertisements which require you to give out information that is personal.

Buying Online

If you want to buy something online and you’ve haven’t purchased goods from the company in the past, you should make sure to check the company out before registering and buying. The easiest way to do this is to visit the official website of the company. You may also want to check out a company at the BBB website and look for reviews of that company. Most scam companies get some complaints and finding them will help you to avoid the bad apples.

It’s always better to buy from companies which do have strong and positive reputations. It’s really the best way to stay safe. Luckily, establishing a business reputation online is pretty simple. If you can’t find any reviews for a website or information about it, it may be a fly-by-night company and is probably best avoided, particularly if it’s offering deals which seem much more impressive than you would expect.

Check Your Statements Regularly

Another FBI tip for shopping safely during the holidays is to look at bank statements and credit card statements on a more frequent basis. It’s important to make certain that unauthorized charges aren’t on your statements. As well, you should beef up online security by updating your passwords for banking and for your credit cards. Strong passwords are recommended. Make sure add numbers, upper/lower-case letters and make sure the passwords contain as many characters as possible, in order to make it harder for others to hack your financial accounts.

In particular, if you tend to use the same password across the board, because you’ve never had a problem with hackers, you should change all of the passwords right away. Each one should be strong and unique. Hacking can happen at any time and it’s important to take preventative measures. Everyone is at risk, especially during the winter holidays, when scammers and hackers know that a lot of shopping activity is happening online.

If you do become a victim of scams during the winter holidays, you should get in touch with your bank right away. When you visit the bank, you should ask bank personnel to connect with the company which made the unauthorized transfer. The bank can do a lot to help.

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