There is no better way to burn off those Thanksgiving Day calories than by strolling around the local mall for Black Friday deals. While you’re scanning the stores for the best holiday sales, or Cyber Monday deals online, scammers and cyber criminals are too. However, they’re not interested in sales, they’re interested in YOU. That is why we’re sharing our best fraud prevention tips to protect against holiday shopping scams.
Follow our Fraud Prevention Tips for Holiday Shopping
1. Steer Clear of Credit Card Skimmers
A skimmer is a device used by scammers and thieves to collect credit card information and data from the magnetic strip on the back of the card. These small devices can be placed at ATM machines, gas pumps and POS machines at retailers. They are difficult to detect for fraud prevention because they’re basically just a strip of plastic that goes over the normal card slot, except they have a very small computer inside.
You can mitigate these covert security threats by using a smartcard with a chip. Some merchants, like gas stations, don’t have chip readers and still require you to swipe your card. In this case, compare the card reading device on other pumps and look for obvious differences.
2. Ditch the Debit Card & Lighten Your Wallet
Most credit card companies will not hold you responsible for fraudulent charges, so leave your debit card behind. A smart fraud prevention strategy is to empty your wallet of personal identification cards and only take what is necessary. In the event your wallet is lost or stolen on this Black Friday, you don’t want to become a victim of identity theft.
Holiday shopping should never require you pulling out your social security card or providing personal information beyond a check of your driver license to ensure the name and photograph matches with the credit card.
3. Be Aware of Bad Actors
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – but not if you’re trying to avoid theft this holiday. Practicing awareness will ensure the fraudsters stay out of your way. Be mindful of where you are when making ATM transactions and always cover your PIN. Also, do not provide sensitive information to unknown callers over the phone.
4. Monitor Your Holiday Shopping Transactions and Bank Accounts
The last thing on your mind while sitting around the Thanksgiving dinner table is to monitor your bank accounts. However, this is prime time for malicious criminals to make fraudulent transactions on your credit card. An easy fraud prevention tip is to check your transactions daily and report fraudulent activity immediately.
Thieves will make a small purchase first to test the waters and then move to a larger purchase. Make sure you can account for every transaction, regardless how big or small!
5. Protect Your Credit Card Information
Scammers aren’t limited to shopping malls or retailers. One can be sitting next to you right at the bar! An act as simple as turning your credit card upside down while paying a tab at the bar can prevent you from becoming victim to credit card theft. Thieves are hoping you’re too distracted to notice them quickly snapping a picture of your card at the bar. The front of your card provides important information such as your name, the credit card number and expiration dates. Turning it over makes it much harder for them to capture your credit card information.
Preventing Fraud on Black Friday is Thanksgiving Gravy, Baby!
Gurucul wishes you a happy, healthy and SECURE Thanksgiving holiday. Be sure to follow and share our fraud prevention tips for a secure and stress free Black Friday and holiday shopping season.