Don’t Get Tangled In These Online Holiday Scams

People are beginning there holiday shopping, but their information may not be as secure as they think. Shoppers at an Apple Store in San Francisco. (Photo: Christopher Wiggins)
People are beginning there holiday shopping, but their information may not be as secure as they think. Shoppers at an Apple Store in San Francisco.
(Photo: Christopher Wiggins)

Increasingly, Americans are going online to prepare for the holidays, whether it’s shopping, shipping or sending out cards. But don’t let convenience get in the way of safety.

Here are some tips to keep you, your money and your information, safe from cyber criminals.

Beware package notices. Online shopping means lots of shipping. Most sites will update you with package shipping and delivery information. But they reach out to ask for your credentials to check on your package. An email with a link to click that goes straight to the UPS or FedEx websites is fine. Careful of links that go to some other site. And you’re always better off going to the shipping site yourself and typing in the tracking number.

Phone facts. Your bank will never call and ask you to give them your account information. But scammers do. They call pretending to be a “security agent” and say that your account’s been compromised. To fix it, they ask you to provide them with personal information, often including the account password. Don’t give it to them. Call your bank back (not on a number they give you) and ask them to confirm.

Wherefore your Wi-Fi. It’s tempting to make use of free Wi-Fi when you’re out and about, but be cautious. Sometimes it’s the store but sometimes it’s cybercriminals providing the service. When in doubt, check and make sure the Wi-Fi really is set up by the business you’re in.

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Source: USA Today | Elizabeth Weise

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