Secure Your Data When Shopping This Season

Traditionally, the holiday shopping season generates the highest number of transactions in the timeframe between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Consumers hit the stores, seeking the perfects gifts for families and friends. As you’re shopping, take a few easy precautions to protect yourself from theft and fraud.

  • If you stop at the ATM before hitting the mall, protect your transaction
    • Before inserting your card, pull firmly on the card reader to make sure there aren’t any overlays. Fraudsters install overlay devices on top of the ATM equipment to capture your card’s magnetic stripe data.
    • To help keep your PIN secure, shield your PIN entry with your hand. Fraudsters install mini cameras to spy on your PIN entry.
    • Follow these same steps when shopping at the store and using the point-of-sale device. Don’t assume the clerk is watching the point-of-sale device. They’re busy doing their job, and fraudsters know this. Those same overlay devices can be installed on a point-of-sale terminal in a matter of seconds.
  • To ensure the safest shopping experience online, be sure that the link starts with https. The “s” stands for secure. Also look for a padlock which is usually found in the bar at the top of the screen, next to the web address.
  • Turn off the autocomplete settings on your browser settings so that your card data and personal information are not being stored.
  • Finally, be sure to monitor your transactions and report any discrepancies. If you find an unknown transaction, contact the service provider by calling the number on the back of the card. They’ll help you resolve the issue.

As the use of card and mobile payments increase, protecting personal information becomes increasingly important. Keep your card in a safe place and lock your account when it isn’t being used.

At WKFCU, we recommend our members use the Shazam BOLT$ app. You can download it for free. You can set it to alert you every time your debit card is used, temporarily turn your card on and off, send travel notices and more. It is a great tool to keep up with your debit card transactions.

Have a merrier, safer holiday season!

(Reprinted in part from the Shazam Blog)

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