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According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), 2019 holiday sales are expected to reach new heights of $730.7 billion, an increase of 3.7% over the last five years.
With so much money on the line, retailers aren’t the only ones competing for your dollars. Unfortunately, consumers must be even more wary of scams this time of year. Identity thieves, cyber thieves, and other criminals are lurking in the shadows of the internet waiting to prey on unsuspecting shoppers.
We’ve compiled a list of suspicious activities you should avoid when shopping this holiday season and how to protect yourself from fraud.
Thieves can easily take advantage of unsuspecting consumers on public Wi-Fi networks. If you have no choice but to shop on a shared network, check that the website URL begins with https:// as this indicates the site is secure for payment processing.
Domain name scams
The URL of an online retailer can clue you into whether or not it is a scam. Fraudsters often create look-a-like URLs to common retail websites in an attempt to fool shoppers into entering their payment information. You’ll likely see this type of fraudulent activity on social media disguised as advertisements. To be certain you’re shopping with your intended retailer, type the website URL manually into your browser or search engine.
Text message scams
Text message scams touting free gift cards and risky links are common this time of year. If you receive a text from an unknown number, don’t click any links! Refrain from engaging with the message or the sender and delete the message. You can also place your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry and report the text to your carrier by copying the message and forwarding it to 7726 (SPAM). The Federal Trade Commission suggests targets of text scams review their phone bills for unauthorized charges.
Have you ever received an email from a retailer, subscription service, or even a friend or coworker asking you to verify personal information? That message was likely a scam. First, do not click on anything within the email. Also, ignore any request made in the message. If you are not sure if the email is legitimate, search the name of the sender or any company names visible in the message. If there is a phone number, give them a call to inquire about the email.
To have more control over what emails you want or do not want to receive, register at the Direct Marketing Association’s website.
Here’s a Tip…
Myth or fact: Credit cards can protect you from identity theft. Fact! Unlike debit cards, credit cards use money borrowed from a lender which can lead to debt. However, the protection that comes with using a credit card can benefit you more than the protection offered by a debit card. In the case of credit card fraud, credit card lenders only hold the authorized user liable for up to $50 of unauthorized purchases. After that, the credit lender bears the remaining loss.
Did you know Givelify has an entire team of staff dedicated to preventing fraud before it happens? It’s true! During the sign-up process, each organization is carefully reviewed by a member of the team before they can receive next-day deposits. We take verification seriously. Your givers can be confident that their generosity will make it to your organization the very next-business-day. Want to learn more about our safety and security measures? Visit our website.
Ready to get started with Givelify? The sign-up process is easy! Give us a shout below. We can’t wait to help you get started.