Practical advice for an enjoyable holiday shopping experience
Roseville, Calif.- Yes, that wonderful time of year is rapidly approaching and we’re sure many of you can’t wait to get clicking online, or don your virtual elbow pads to get hunting for bargains at the mall.
While we all wish for an enjoyable holiday shopping experience, we know there are criminals out there who have a clear desire to spoil your fun. Just as we find more advanced ways to catch criminals, they create new ways to steal your hard earned money. But…there are precautions you can take that will help from becoming a victim.
While shopping online:
- Create strong passwords that are difficult to guess. Include numbers, capital letters and special characters like !?&a. Don’t use the same password for all your logins and if you have to write them down to remember, keep the list locked away somewhere at home.
- Only shop and pay at reputable sites that have a URL starting with https://.
- Never use a debit card to shop online. Credit cards have more added protections.
- Validate who emails are really coming from. If you click on the sender’s name, you’ll often see that the email is actually not from Target, Walmart or Amazon.
- Avoid opening emails that suggest you’ve won a prize. You haven’t. Never click to open a file from someone you don’t know. It could contain a virus that takes control of your computer and sends all your private data to a criminal.
Protect those packages:
- Once you’ve ordered items, make sure they’re not stolen before they make it inside your house.
- Track your packages and encourage delivers are placed in a hidden area.
- If you’re going to be out of town, don’t order items to sit on your front steps, have it delivered to a trusted neighbor or use a service like Amazon locker.
- If you’re away from home for an extended amount of time, ask USPS to hold your mail.
If you believe you’re a victim of package or mail theft, file a report on the Roseville Police Department website: www.roseville.ca.us
Whether you shop in stores or online, it’s really important to frequently check your bank and credit card accounts. If something appears in your account that you don’t recognize, immediately call your bank or card issuer.
If you are diligent in following the above advice, the worst that will happen this holiday season is that you’ll receive two pairs of the same socks. Happy holidays!