Stay Safe Online While Holiday Shopping

(playful upbeat music) – [Matt] It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the most popular time to open up your wallet and take advantage of all those enticing holiday sales. – [Ryan] But before you start shopping this holiday season, we want to provide you with some important tips to keep yourself safe and well equipped to tackle the season of increased spending. Hi, I’m Ryan Leblond, Manager of Fraud Prevention and Investigation at ESL. – And I’m Matt Davis, Manager of Information Security at ESL. Holiday shopping can often be a hectic and stressful time. Many of us want to get our shopping done as quickly as possible while also taking full advantage of all the alluring deals that only come around once a year. But be careful of those special holiday deal websites. These can be phony and often contain malicious content. It is best to stick to the actual retailer websites rather than navigating to consolidated sale websites. – That’s a great point, Matt. As our spending increases, we often get caught up in the thrill of it all. But it’s important that you know the merchant you are purchasing from. Online transactions or in-store transactions can appear as a different name on your statement. So make sure you trust the merchant you are purchasing from and save your receipts. The Fraud Department at ESL is here to support you. When we see unusual or increased activity we strive to be proactive in protecting your accounts. If you review your transactions and suspect any unusual activity don’t hesitate to call us and let us know. – Just as our Fraud Department closely monitors unusual activity on your accounts, you should also be taking the same approach when it comes to your personal accounts. This is a popular time for phony social media scams or emails to circulate and make their way into your inbox. They often contain tempting, fake sales to lure you in. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you are unsure of the legitimacy, you can navigate to the retailer’s website or give them a call. The same principles should be held to online advertisements. These can be especially risky during holidays. Consumers should stick to reputable, well-known websites for shopping and coupons. – Although this is the season of giving, don’t be so generous as to share your debit or credit card information with family or friends. Only you should control your card purchases. Never leave your wallet or a purse in your vehicle, and keep your PIN separate from your card. Do not write it on the back of your card or share this with anyone. If needed, it is simple to change a PIN to something you can remember. Simply call the number on the back of your card. – By practicing these safe holiday shopping habits, we hope you can enjoy this festive season with a little less stress and a little more cheer.

Stephen Childs

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