Monday, October 8, 2018

Six Ways to Avoid Holiday Shopping Scams

holiday shopping

In the wake of recent data breaches, shoppers should be on high alert while purchasing their presents this upcoming holiday season.

“While millions of credit and debit card transactions are conducted safely every day, it is important that consumers are aware of the potential for holiday scams,” said Jim Zak, Vice President of Retail and Small Business banking.

McHenry Savings Bank (“MSB”) offers the following tips to help consumer keep their information safe whether shopping in the store or online:

Monitor your account. 

Use online and mobile banking to keep an eye on your transactions, especially during the holidays. Notify the bank right away if there’s any fraudulent activity. If you use an MSB debit card for purchases, consider downloading the FREE SecurLOCK app. With this app you can set controls, spending limits, alerts, and turn off or on your card. Based on your customized alert setting, you receive instant notification every time a charge is placed against your debit card.

Beware of phishing scams. 

During the holidays, criminals will create a fake email for a deal that’s too good to be true. If you click on any links within the email, you may be downloading malware onto your computer or you may be asked for payment information that could lead to fraud.

Holiday shopping scams

Limit large sums of cash. 

Even though we’ve seen financial crime migrate from physical to cyber, customers should be careful not to carry around large sums of cash when shopping.

Secure your internet connection. 

If shopping online, make sure you do so from a password protected Wi-Fi network. Never access online banking from a public Wi-Fi network.

Shop safely. 

Before making an online purchase, make sure the website uses secure technology. When you are at the checkout screen, verify that the web address begins with https. Also, check to see if a tiny locked padlock symbol appears on the page.

Read the site’s privacy policies. 

Though long and complex, privacy policies tell you how the site protects the personal information it collects. If you don’t see or understand a site’s privacy policy, consider doing business elsewhere.

MSB is committed to providing tools and services that educate and protect consumers.  To learn more on what MSB can do for you, contact a Personal Banker today at 815-385-3000 or Visit us at our McHenry, Richmond or Johnsburg Branch or via the website at