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Safe Holiday Shopping Tips


“Every day all across the US and even overseas, millions of credit and debit card transactions are safely conducted.  It is important from a safeguarding perspective, however, to make consumers aware of the potential for holiday scams,” said Kevin Goffe, President and CEO at Dean Bank. 

Dean Bank offers the following tips to help consumers keep their information safe whether shopping in the store or online: 

· Monitor bank accounts regularly. Use online and mobile banking to keep a close eye on transactions, especially during the holidays. If you don’t use these electronic products, at a minimum diligently review your bank statement. No matter how you stay connected, it’s important to notify the bank right away if you detect or suspect any fraudulent activity.

 · Beware of phishing scams. During the holidays, criminals will create fraudulent emails for deals that seem 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. 

· Limit large sums of cash whenever possible. Even though financial crimes have migrated somewhat from physical theft to cyber fraud, customers should be careful not to carry around large sums of cash when shopping. Credit & debit card issuers will generally make customers whole when there is fraud against an account. If cash is stolen, the money is gone with little to no recourse. 

· If shopping online, always use a secure internet connection.  Make sure that the input of personal and financial information is done 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 at the checkout screen, verify that the web address begins with https. Also, check to see if the address bar is highlighted in green and that a tiny locked padlock symbol appears on the page. 

·Be skeptical.  So you think you’ve finally found that hard to come by gift that no one else has in stock.  Be sure the online merchant is reputable.  Before you enter any credit or debit card information check references from independent sources.  Chances are if the manufacturer doesn’t have the item in stock no one has it. 

· Read the site’s privacy policies. Though often long and complex, privacy policies describe how the site handles and protects the personal and financial information it collects. If the sites privacy policy is difficult to find and understand, consider doing business elsewhere.