LibertyID wants to wish you, your family, and all loved ones out there a happy holiday season! We’ve had another great year building new relationships with clients and customers and although we often deal with issues that aren’t always merry and bright, we take great satisfaction in the support and guidance that we provide during the identity theft restoration process.
Whether you are an existing customer or just learning about LibertyID for the first time, know that we are always here to help, and you have assistance readily available when experiencing identity fraud in any of its many forms. We’ve been fortunate to help many people deal with the aftermath of identity theft and are always proud to report a 100% success rate for identity restoration.
As the year comes to an end, we hope you are in good company and enjoying some much-deserved time away from work or everyday obligations and you get the chance to enjoy the holidays in whatever way you wish. But cybercrime doesn’t observe a slowdown this time of year, and fraud can occur even when you least expect it. Let’s focus on a seasonal scam spotlight here to provide you with some stocking stuffers in the form of tips, tricks, and general education to help reduce the many potential risks that can occur anytime.
Santa and Scammers
While the holiday season is always a reason to celebrate the good things in life, it’s also critical to realize that scammers often prey on people’s good nature. There are many scams that pop up this time of year in an attempt to trick you into a false sense of security. These can appear in many forms – from a phishing email to a phone call and many other avenues. You don’t need to raise an unnecessary alarm this season, but just realize that the risk of identity fraud is just as high during the holidays as it is any time of year. All the usual caution and awareness with cybercrime and identity fraud should be in the forefront. It can be easy to let your guard down, but always remain alert. Take a look at our Expert Insight archives if you want to explore a certain aspect of cybercrime or identity fraud in more depth.
Holiday Shopping Tips
The bulk of the holiday shopping season is coming to a close, but if you haven’t yet purchased all of your intended gifts, you still have a few days left before Christmas. Scammers and identity thieves know that consumers are eager to spend this time of year, and they often focus their efforts with shopping-related scams and fraud tactics. Follow the tips below for some safer shopping online this week or at any other time of year.
- Shop smart – holiday shopping scams often pop up in the form of deals that seem too good to be true or spoofed websites advertising deep discounts to lure you into clicking on links. Always shop safely by knowing how to spot questionable links or websites and never make a purchase or give your personal information to a site that is not secure or that seems suspect.
- Stay secure – Keeping yourself safer online requires a multi-faceted approach. But using a secure Wi-Fi network is a good place to start. Try not to make purchases while surfing the internet while using a public network as these can be insecure. And as always, use complex passwords and multi-factor authentication for all your account logins.
- Focus on financials – If you have recently made any online purchases, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your bank accounts to check for unauthorized activity. If you see any charges that you didn’t make, contact your bank or financial institution promptly. You can also sign up for fraud alerts to assist you with monitoring your accounts.
Charities and Donations
If you are able to donate financially this season, that’s a great way to spread some holiday cheer to those less fortunate and to help in-need individuals. But there are also a number of charity and donation scams, so always ensure that you are donating to an authentic cause or organization.
- Research and double-check – Before making any type of charitable donation, ensure that the organization or cause is real. If it’s a well-known and already established entity, ensure that you are donating via the legitimate website and not a spoofed lookalike scam site. Scammers often create bogus charitable causes or fake well-known sites to trick you into donating. You can also see how charities actually use their donations by visiting sites such as Charity Navigator and GiveWell.
- Don’t fall for phony requests – Another scam tactic related to charities involve calls or emails attempting to convince you to donate. If you receive any unsolicited requests to make donations, there is a good chance that it could be a scam. Always call the organization directly or donate via its official website rather than provide personal information over the phone to persons unknown.
Tips for Holiday Travel
If you are traveling for the holidays, or at any other time of year, you always need to proceed with caution whenever you use a personal or shared device to go online. Identity fraud can occur anywhere, and it can be more difficult to spot when you are on the move.
- Use secured networks – you will likely be using various Wi-Fi networks as you travel, but always ensure that whatever you connect to that it is secured. Free and public Wi-Fi networks can be unsecure, so using a VPN or mobile hot spot is often a better idea, especially if you need to make purchases.
- Keep tabs on your devices – If you are in public places such as hotels or cafes during your travels, you always want to keep a close eye on all your devices. Physical theft is possible, but so is someone looking over your shoulder to try to steal your personal information. Don’t leave your computer or phone unattended, and limit what types of information you access in public settings.
- Be cautions with shared computers – if you need to use a public or shared computer, always be cautions. Never log into your personal or financial accounts or make purchases from them. Shared computers can have security issues, and it’s best to use them for basic information only.
LibertyID provides expert, full-service, fully managed identity theft restoration to individuals, couples, extended families* and businesses. LibertyID has a 100% success rate in resolving all forms of identity fraud on behalf of our subscribers.
*LibertyID defines an extended family as: you, your spouse/partner, your parents and parents-in-law, and your children under the age of 25.