Cyber Monday is here and holiday shoppers are out in full force. Halifax Regional Police is sharing some simple tips to help you reduce your chances of becoming a victim of crime this holiday shopping season.
- Shop from your home computer if possible; it's much safer than shopping at a public terminal.
- Use different user ID and passwords for different accounts.
- Go directly to a store's website by manually typing its address into your web browser.
- Be wary of clicking on links in an email message even if you know who sent it.
- Verify secure connections. When shopping online, don’t enter any financial information if you see a broken key or open padlock symbol on your Internet browser; this means the transaction is not secure and could be intercepted by a third party. When the key is complete or the padlock is locked, your browser is indicating a secure transaction.
- Consider using a reliable online escrow service that holds your payment in trust until you inspect and approve your purchase, a credit card with a low credit limit or a single-use payment card.
- Unlike secure order forms on a website, email messages aren’t private. Don’t send confidential personal or financial information by email.
- Remember the golden rule of fraud prevention; if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Always lock your vehicle and park in well-lit, well-travelled areas.
- Keep your purse zipped closed and in sight. If you’re carrying a wallet, keep in a zipped pocket.
- Keep valuables out of sight. Thieves will look for people storing valuables in their vehicles. If you’re going to drop off your purchases and return to the store or the mall, you should lock your packages in the trunk and move your vehicle to another location in the parking lot.
- Don’t leave high-end purchases in your vehicle. Thieves will watch shoppers exiting a store, especially if they’re carrying a high-end item. Shop strategically; wait until the end of your shopping trip to make high-end purchases, or make a special trip to take high-end items home and then return to continue shopping.
- Protect your PIN when using bank and debit machines. Cover the keypad to prevent someone from observing your key strokes or from recording your PIN. It’s a good idea to change your PIN frequently.
- Monitor your bank and credit card and statements online. Electronic statements allow you to review your purchases and payments as they happen rather than waiting until the end of the month to review your paper statement. Immediately report any discrepancies to your bank or to the company that issued the credit card.