Fraud Prevention & Shopping Tips

Fraud Prevention & Shopping Tips

Consumers should be mindful of criminals attempting to steal or use stolen credit cards, credit card numbers or store gift cards. Consumers should carefully scrutinize card transactions and card statements to ensure their cards are not compromised.

To help avoid becoming a victim of identity fraud, the best advice is to never provide personal information over the phone or the Internet to anyone that contacts you via phishing scams. No credit card company or bank will ever contact you to verify your information.

  1. Secure your mobile device and computer
Be sure to keep the operating system and application software updated/patched on all of your computers and mobile devices. Be sure to check that your anti-virus/anti-spyware software is running and receiving automatic updates. Confirm that your firewall is enabled.
  1. Use passwords
It's one of the simplest and most important steps to take in securing your devices, computers and accounts. If you need to create an account with the merchant, be sure to use a strong password. Always use more than ten characters, with numbers, special characters, and upper and lower case letters. Use a unique password for every unique site.
  1. Do not use public computers or public wireless for your online shopping
Public computers may contain malicious software that steals your credit card information when you place your order. Additionally, criminals may be intercepting traffic on public wireless networks to steal credit card numbers and other confidential information.
  1. Pay by credit card, not debit card
A safer way to shop on the Internet is to pay with a credit card rather than debit card. Debit cards do not have the same consumer protections as credit cards. Credit cards are protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act and may limit your liability if your information was used improperly. Check your statements regularly.
  1. Know your online shopping merchants
Limit your online shopping to merchants you know and trust. If you have questions about a merchant, check with the Better Business Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission. Confirm the online seller's physical address, where available, and phone number in case you have questions or problems.
  1. Look for "https" when making an online purchase
The "s" in "https" stands for "secure" and indicates that communication with the webpage is encrypted.
  1. Do not respond to pop-ups
When a window pops up promising you cash or gift cards for answering a question or taking a survey, close it by pressing Control + F4 for Windows and Command + W for Macs.
  1. Do not auto-save your personal information
When purchasing online, you may be given the option to save your personal information online for future use. Consider if the convenience is really worth the risk. The convenience of not having to reenter the information is insignificant compared to the significant amount of time you’ll spend trying to repair the loss of your stolen personal information.
  1. Use common sense to avoid scams
Don't ever give your financial information or personal information via email or text. Information on many current scams can be found here.
  1. Review privacy policies

Review the privacy policy for the website/merchant you are visiting. Know what information the merchant is collecting about you, how it will be stored, how it will be used, and if it will be shared with others.

This information was received from WesPay

Helpful Links
MoneyFactory.gov contains valuable information on how to detect counterfeit notes by identifying the security features that are embedded within U.S. currency. In addition, FTC.gov contains information on how to protect your identity as well as how to obtain victim assistance.