If you’re like many Americans, you’ve done some Black Friday shopping, but are now looking for Cyber Monday deals to complete your holiday gift list. As you shop online for deals this Cyber Monday, please keep the following tips in mind.
Shop Safely Online
When shopping online, be sure your computer and mobile devices are current with the latest software updates. Any time your browser or operating system can be updated, you should do so to help minimize vulnerabilities on your device.
Additionally, consider using a legitimate online payment service so the seller or website doesn’t actually obtain your credit or debit card number.
Be Cautious of Emails
This is a time of year when fraudsters try sending malicious emails pretending to be a great offer. Don’t respond to emails asking for your credit card, debit card, bank account, or other personal information. If you are asked to update information, navigate to the company website to update your information or call their customer service to check the legitimacy of the email. When it doubt, throw it out.
Be Aware of Text Scams
A text message scam is similar to an email scam except it targets your mobile phone instead of your computer. Common text message scams promise free gifts or products in order to gain access to your personal information. Also, be aware of fraudsters sending text messages claiming your credit/debit card has been stopped or your bank account information needs updated. They attempt to lure you in to providing personal bank information. If you happen to get an email like this, always contact your bank or credit card provider first and do not respond to texts.
Be Aware of Gift Card Scams
There are several different types of gift card scams out there which give headaches to retailers and customers alike. Gift card scams happen most frequently via online auction sites or classified ad sites. If you’re buying gift cards, it’s best to get them directly from the retailer.
While shopping this Cyber Monday and throughout the holiday season, keep in mind that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. For more information on privacy, identity, and online security, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website at www.consumer.ftc.gov.