Identity Theft and Fraud Money Basics Tips

Black Friday shopping safety

November 24, 2020

Black Friday will definitely look different this year.  Instead of long lines, doorbuster sales, and tons of people, stores will push online sales this year. Even if you do decide to shop in person, make sure you call ahead to check store hours. Be prepared for COVID safety measures at most stores including masks and a limited number of people allowed in the store.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t still score big at home while shopping in your pajamas!

Because online shopping is expected to be bigger this year than in the past for Black Friday, be vigilant about staying safe online.

Shop at reputable sites

Make sure you’re shopping at a secure site by looking for “https://” at the beginning of the web address. The “s” means the site is secure and your information is encrypted. These sites are safer to enter your personal information and credit or debit card number.

Change your passwords frequently

Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts and try to change your passwords frequently – every 30 days is the recommendation from the Better Business Bureau. If that sounds like a lot to remember, you can use a password manager or try using pass phrases instead. They’re harder for cyber criminals to hack but can still be memorized.

Shop on secure networks

The public wi-fi at your favorite coffee shop might be great for checking the news, but when it comes to shopping, make sure you use a secure network. Anyone could be watching your activity on a public wi-fi network, making your data vulnerable to hackers.

Be aware of scams

Be smart about the types of ads you’re clicking – whether they’re pop-up ads or sent to your email. Unless you’re sure about the retailer, avoid clicking as it’s an easy way for hackers to capture your information. Phishing emails often contain typos or grammatical errors. Check the sender’s email address before you reply or click.

Pay with a credit card

Credit cards usually offer the best liability protection. Federal regulations state credit card users are not responsible for fraudulent charges. Be sure to report any suspicious activity immediately, no matter the amount. Some scammers will test access to accounts by making small charges, then follow-up with much larger charges.

This information is presented for educational purposes only. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

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