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Financial Tips

Shop Safely & Securely
This Holiday Season

family christmas shopping

The holiday season should be about family, friends, celebrations and more. You don’t want it to be focused around having to deal with fraud, or even worse, identity theft. With so many visiting stores and logging online to make purchases for the holiday season, it’s important to understand how to protect yourself from the potential risks.

Keep a Close Eye on Your Transactions & Credit History

Keeping a steady eye on your credit history can seem like a lot of work. But thanks to ID Protect, you can put your worries at ease. If you’re not already taking advantage of ID Protect on your LOC account, now is the time! For just $3 a month, you’ll have instant access to daily credit monitoring and automated alerts of key changes to your credit report. This is a great tool to have all year-round, but especially during the busy holiday season. In addition to your credit history, you should make sure to pay close attention to your transaction history to ensure you’re not a victim of fraud. A great way to monitor fraud is to sign up for Visa Purchase Alerts. This allows you to receive real-time alerts via text or e-mail whenever a purchase is made with your Visa debit or credit card that meets the criteria chosen during enrollment. 

Pay for Online Shopping with Credit Card versus Debit Card

Both debit and credit cards can provide protection against fraudulent activity, however, getting the money back with your debit card could be a little trickier. You may find yourself having to wait for an extended period of time to be reimbursed. If you’re using your LOC Debit Card and come across any suspicious activity, go in to the LOC Mobile App and use the card control feature to turn off access to your card. Once you’ve done that, reach out to our Contact Center as soon as possible.

Safety & Security First

While there are a number of different measures you can take to ensure you’re protecting yourself while shopping, these items are some of the most important.

  • Don’t Shop on a Public Wi-Fi Network or Public Computer- This is an easy way for hackers and scammers to acquire your information.
  • Ensure You’re Shopping on Legitimate Sites- Look for sites with https: in their web address – the “s” stands for secured. Some browsers even display a lock in the toolbar indicating the site is secure. Double check the URL to make sure it is legitimate as well. Pay careful attention to “look alike” sites that can trick the eye with a slight change in the URL.
  • Make Sure You Have the Most Up-To-Date Software & Browsers- Having the most up-to-date software and operating system ensures you have the latest security features.
  • Password Protection- Avoid using easy to guess passwords and the same password across multiple sites. Passwords with special characters, upper- and lower-case letters and numbers are more difficult for hackers to crack.
  • Protect Your PIN- It’s best to shield the keypad when entering your PIN at any terminal. You should also keep your eyes open for ATM Skimming devices that can steal your card information with a simple swipe/insertion.
Phishing for Information

Phishing is when you receive an email from someone pretending to be a legitimate business concern/entity. More than likely, it’s an attempt to steal your identity and commit fraud. The subject line of these emails can vary, but the email will usually contain a link directing you to a website where you are asked to enter personal information (Social Security numbers, card numbers, PIN numbers, passwords, etc. It’s always best to play it safe if you’re thinking it’s suspicious.

Worry Free Shopping

It’s not all bad out there when it comes to online shopping and technology. Using your Digital Wallets as your preferred method of payment in-store or online, can provide an additional layer of security. If you haven’t already, you can now add your LOC debit and credit cards to your Digital Wallets. You will be required to use either FaceID, TouchID or your device passcode to complete any transaction. The best part is, no actual card information is shared when making your purchase.

Beware of Fake Coupons & Scams

If it seems too good to be true, it likely is, especially around the holiday season. Beware of current scams going around on social media and other websites. You may have come across the Costco coupon for $75 off your purchase or a Black Friday coupon for Target for $50 off your purchase. These coupons are in fact fake and often require you to enter in personal information before you can “obtain the coupon".

Remember, any suspicious activity should be reported to us immediately. Scams may come in all shapes and sizes and can be disguised as a telephone call, an e-mail or even a text message. Please keep in mind that LOC will never initiate contact with you and ask for personal information. If you receive a call or text asking for any type of this information do not respond. By implementing these security tips and features, you can shop this holiday season knowing your information is safe and secure!

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