Consumer Payment Card News

Bad Santa

When the going gets tough, the fraudsters get going. There is a consensus building that current economic conditions will breed increased
online fraud activity this holiday season. A recent survey from 41st Parameter found that 84% of respondents indicated they anticipate a slight or substantial increase in fraudulent activity. Since the October to December timeframe will be a key money-making season for todays financially motivated cyber criminals Webroot is recommending that consumers follow these five steps:

1. Install Security Software: A layered approach to security is best. At a minimum, your PC should have antispyware, antivirus and firewall software installed and up-to-date.

2. Know the Retailer: Do business with companies you already know and trust. If you are unfamiliar with the retailer you want to purchase from, it is best to look for more information about the company. You can do this by contacting the Better Business Bureau or the Office of the State Attorney General (in the state where the retailer is located), which can be accessed through the National Association of Attorneys General.

3. Monitor Your Credit: Many victims do not realize they are victims until they have lost money. It is important to monitor your credit report and/or credit status on a regular basis to quickly spot anything unusual. Credit reporting agencies such as Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are good resources to utilize.

4. Use a Credit Card not a Debit Card: If you are a victim of fraud or cyber crime, most credit card agreements limit your liability for the charges. Additionally, U.S. Federal law limits your liability for unauthorized charges to $50 if a credit card is used.

5. Ask About a Single Use Credit Card: Many credit card companies are using a new technology that allows them to issue single use credit card numbers for online purchases you can avoid using your real credit card number online.

For more tips on safe online shopping, download “A Handbook to Safe Online Holiday Shopping” from Webroot. It includes tips for safer online shopping and information about how to identify secure shopping Web sites.

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