Sunday, January 21, 2018
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Protect your identity and finances during holidays

Scammers and identity thieves are everywhere, especially during the holidays. It’s easy to get caught up in a scam during the midst of all the online orders, emails with tracking, promo codes or rewards, and many other devices used. We’ve all done it. I’m sure you’ve seen a meme out there about “hoping my husband isn’t home when all my online orders arrive.”

This time of year, we are swamped with extra emails from the online orders, or the merchants trying to get us to order during their sales event.

How can you protect yourself?

Check before you click. When you receive that email with the mega savings, verify information first. Rather than clicking the link in the email, go directly to that merchant’s website to verify any deals that are being offered. If the email contains a promo code, use it but enter it directly into the website. Clicking on links in emails is one of the fastest ways to hand over your personal information to a hacker.

Keep an eye on your sensitive information. Most financial institutions have an app or online capabilities. Watch your accounts. Write down your transactions as you spend (so you don’t overspend), but look at your accounts regularly to verify those transactions. If you see something that appears unusual, talk to your financial institution.

Invest in Identity Theft products. There are many identity theft products available. Some offer protection to recover money from fraudulent transactions, and others offer recovery services to help keep your credit intact. If you’re already invested, check to see what your product covers. If your identity is ever stolen, it’s good to be prepared and know what steps you need to take.

Remember, never give your information to someone with whom you didn’t initiate the conversation. Your credit cards and financial institutions will never call or email you and ask you to send your information.

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment during this busy holiday season, but take those extra steps to provide an additional safeguard.

From our family to yours,
Enjoy this holiday season!

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