Are you Protected from Credit Card Fraud this Holiday Season?
Here at ICU Investigations, we not only help our clients fight fraudulent claims every day, but we want our clients to protect themselves from fraud and scams this Holiday Season (and beyond). Consumers should be extra vigilant this time of year, especially with an increase in online shopping during a global pandemic, as fraud attempts typically increase approximately 30% during a “normal” holiday season. Will there perhaps be an even bigger increase in 2020? Only time will tell, but we want you to avoid being a victim during the season of giving, so we are bringing you these tips on behalf of FICO as reported by CNBC:
1. Monitor your credit card and bank accounts closely.
Be vigilant in checking your statements DAILY, especially during this time of year. Set up email/text alerts with your credit card company, and if you discover any purchases that you did not make or authorize, contact your company immediately to freeze the account, dispute the transaction, and issue a refund if the transaction was in fact approved.
2. Be cautious of advertisements online.
Regardless if you are browsing with you phone or laptop, verify the website/source of the advertisement prior to clicking on it. Just because you see an ad on Facebook or Instagram, does not mean it’s a reputable site. Furthermore, avoid clicking on links that have been sent to you via email/text. Hackers easily “spoof” websites and send emails that appear to be from reputable sources such as Amazon, Walmart, even banking institutions. If you want to purchase something, go directly to their website by typing it in your browser.
3. Keep personal information secure, in and out of your home.
If you are making a purchase in public, cover up your credit card information to avoid people around you getting ahold of it, and use cellular data instead of public Wi-Fi access.
We also suggest being careful with who you trust your login information to, even if it is a close friend or relative.
4. Never give out your financial or personal information over the phone.
Spam phone calls also increase this time of year. This one is simple. NEVER give your information out over the phone when receiving a call; that includes name, date of birth, address, social security number, credit card information, etc. If your “bank” calls and it just doesn’t seem right, hang up and call them back directly.
Here’s the good news. According to Alexandria White of CNBC, “While there’s the potential for fraud, using a credit card for holiday shopping is still your best bet. Card issuers provide zero liability protection, which means you won’t be charged for fraudulent charges.”
Stay Healthy, Happy Holidays, and Happy Shopping!