As we enter the festive season, everyone will be looking for unbeatable deals and exclusive discounts to find the perfect gifts for their friends and family. However, amongst the shopping frenzy, it’s important to remain vigilant and protect yourself from potential financial fraud. Read our tips below on how to take advantage of the best deals in the coming weeks, whilst keeping yourself safe online.
1. Be Skeptical of Unrealistic Deals
While the festive season is synonymous with great bargains, be cautious of deals that seem too good to be true. Fraudsters often exploit people by luring individuals with unbelievable discounts. Before making a purchase, research the legitimacy of the retailer, check customer reviews, and ensure the website’s URL begins with “https” for a secure connection, and if you’ve received any links through your email make sure they are from a trusted sender. Check for special characters in emails such as “å” and random names in email addresses claiming they are from a trusted company.
2. Use Secure Payment Methods
Opt for secure payment methods such as credit cards or reputable online payment services. These methods often offer additional layers of protection against fraudulent transactions. Avoid using public Wi-Fi for financial transactions, as unsecured networks can expose your personal information to potential hackers.
3. Double-Check Emails and Messages
Phishing scams are very common during high-shopping periods and have become more advanced due to fraudsters using Artificial Intelligence (AI). Be wary of emails or messages claiming to be from your bank or a retailer, especially if they request personal information or contain suspicious links. Always verify the legitimacy of such communications by contacting the institution directly through official channels.
4. Monitor Your Accounts Regularly
Stay vigilant by monitoring your bank and credit card accounts regularly. Set up account alerts to receive notifications for any unusual activity. Report any unauthorised transactions promptly to your financial institution to minimise potential losses.
5. Strengthen Your Passwords
Ensure that your online accounts, especially those linked to your financial information, have strong, unique passwords. Consider using a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using the same password across multiple accounts, as this can increase the risk of unauthorised access. 2-factor authentication can also give your accounts extra security.
6. Educate Yourself on Current Scams
Stay informed about the latest scams circulating during the festive season.
Awareness is a powerful tool in preventing fraud. Familiarise yourself with common tactics used by cybercriminals and share this knowledge with friends and family to create a network of informed consumers.
As you gear up for the festive season, remember that your financial well-being is our top priority. By staying informed and implementing these precautionary measures, you can shop with confidence, knowing that you’re protecting yourself from potential fraud. If you have any concerns or questions, our expert advisers are here to guide you.
To discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please contact us.
Personal circumstances differ and not all of this information is applicable to every client and/or their business, this information is general in nature and should not be relied upon without seeking specific professional financial advice.
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