Dec 2, 2021
After a successful Thanksgiving dinner comes a weekend full of holiday deals. With an increase in holiday shopping, especially online, there can also be an increase in scammers. Whether you shop on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or throughout December, be sure to stay alert and safe while online holiday shopping.
Scott Shaffer, Blade Technology Chief Security Officer, recently sat down with Fox 2 News to give some tips on how to stay safe while online holiday shopping.
Learn some tips below and read part 1 of our holiday shopping safety tips to keep yourself safe and merry this season!
Prevent Holiday Season Identity Theft
Identity theft is a threat all year, but especially during the holiday season. During the holidays, our identity becomes more exposed by using our debit and credit cards more often.
If you’re shopping in stores, be cautious of strangers watching for your pin number while paying with your debit or credit card. Protect your personal information, such as your pin or credit card numbers, by making sure to shield the full view of the keypad.
If you're online shopping, review your debit and credit transactions to ensure that all purchases were made by you.
Beware of Fake Vendors
Fake vendors can be difficult to spot, but there are a few things to look for. If the price on an item seems too good to be true, there’s a large chance that it is. If you purchase an item and never receive it or don’t hear back from the store about a refund, it was likely a scam.
To prevent this, research brands online before purchasing. If the vendor has an unfamiliar name and does not list where it’s located, chances are you should shop somewhere else.
If you think you did purchase something from a fake online store, reach out to your bank to see if there is a policy for these situations that could help you.
Avoid Sellers Demanding Payment via Gift Card
Gift cards are perfect for scammers to use, as they are untraceable once purchased. If the website you’re shopping from says they don’t want credit card information, but rather gift cards mailed to them, make the decision to shop somewhere else. There’s a good chance it's a fake vendor.
Fake Charities & Secure Online Donating
While it is the season of giving, some people take advantage by sending out fake solicitations this time of year. If you start receiving emails asking you to donate to a charity that you're unfamiliar with, be sure to look up the organization first.
Sites like Charity Navigator or Give.org provide the credentials and accreditation information for thousands of organizations.
Avoid Porch Pirates
After shopping safely online, you're still at risk for porch pirates. Porch pirates are people who wait for your packages to be delivered to your doorstep. Once delivered, they work to steal the package before you get to it.
Some services, such as Amazon, allow you to give specific instructions to the delivery driver on how to get into your garage using the code. That service has its own risks, so tread safely.
The best way to deter porch pirates from stealing your packages is to install a video doorbell or surveillance system. If your packages still get stolen, you at least have a video record to show law enforcement.
More Tech Talk from Fox2Now
Blade Technologies in St. Louis is honored to be a regular contributor to Fox2Now's Tech Talk series. For the latest information on what's new in tech and how to keep you and your devices safe, check out more of the Tech Talk series.
You can also learn more about Blade’s cybersecurity services in St. Louis or get in touch with our team.
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