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Advice

Avoid Shopping Scams with These Tips

Couple on couch holiday shopping

During the holidays, shopping safely online and in stores is more important than ever. And as you spend on gifts, decorations, and more to celebrate the holidays, protecting your finances is crucial. Unfortunately, the holiday season is also when countless shopping scams appear.

Shopping Safety: How to Protect Yourself From Scams

Here are some tips to help consumers like you keep information safe, whether shopping in stores or online:

  • Monitor your account. Use online and mobile banking to monitor your transactions, especially during the holidays. Regularly monitoring your account can help you spot fraudulent charges sooner. Notify Horizon right away if there’s any fraudulent activity. You can also enroll in our fraud protection program, EnFact.
  • Beware of phishing scams. Criminals create fake emails to send you deals that are too good to be true, called phishing. If you click on those email links, you may download malware onto your computer or be asked for payment information that leads to fraud.
  • Avoid carrying large sums of cash. Do not carry large sums of cash when shopping. If there’s fraud against your banking account, Horizon can put a hold on the account and reimburse you. But if cash is stolen, your money is gone. 
  • Secure your internet connection. When shopping online, use a password-protected Wi-Fi network. This could be your home network or a virtual private network for mobile devices. Never access online banking from public Wi-Fi. Hackers can easily log onto those networks to view and steal your banking information. 
  • Shop safely. Before making an online purchase, make sure the website uses secure technology. One way to do this is to verify the web address begins with https. Additionally, look for a tiny locked padlock symbol in the address bar. These features tell you the website is secure.
  • Read website privacy policies. Privacy policies tell you how websites protect the personal information they collect from you. Consider doing business elsewhere if you don’t see or understand a site’s privacy policy.

 

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