Cadence Bank warns of Christmas scams
MADISON COUNTY – With the Christmas shopping season at full speed, criminals and shysters want to cash in on unsuspecting victims. National Retail Federation states that Americans will conduct about 50 percent of holiday shopping online.
Cadence Bank at 4004 Lawson’s Ridge Road NW is sharing tips to help protect against identity theft when shopping online.
“Whether you’re shopping online using your desktop computer or mobile device, it’s important to protect yourself from ‘fraudsters,’ especially during the often frenzied holiday season,” Crystal Green said. She works as branch manager at Cadence Bank.
“Ensure a clean machine,” Green said. Any device used to shop online, including SmartPhones and tablets, should have the most up-to-date operating system, firewall solution and security software with anti-virus and anti-spam protection.
“If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is,” Green said. Criminals lure shoppers with websites and email messages that look legitimate and offer unbelievably low prices.
“Beware what you share,” she said. Only complete required fields for an online order or survey. Guard your personal information.
Individuals should be “WiFi savvy” and avoid sharing personal or financial details over an unsecured, wireless network. “Direct web access via your mobile device is safer than an unsecured network,” Green said.
“Maintain a paper trail. Keep thorough records of your online transactions, including online receipt, product description, price, terms of sale and all email correspondence with the seller,” Green said.
“Keep a close eye on your debit and credit card activity. With higher transaction volume this time of year, it’s possible to overlook fraudulent charges,” Green said. “Sign up for text alerts for your debit and credit cards to receive notifications on your account activity.”
Cadence Bank’s hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit cadencebank.com.