Black Friday is coming up this week on November 26 followed by Cyber Monday on November 29. Prior to these two prominent online shopping events, RCMP are Albertans to practice cyber safety while shopping online.
Last year, there were 49 reports of unauthorized use of credit card data in the province.
The statistics are worrisome as 1,172 reports of fraud greater than $5000 were received in 2020.
While 5,533 reports of fraud under $5000 were reported in the same year.
It bears repeating the following tips to protect yourself while online shopping:
- Use strong passwords with letters, numbers, and special characters and change them often.
- Many websites are now offering multi-factor authentication, which is a good thing since it makes it more difficult for criminals to access your accounts.
- Be aware of your privacy settings and check regularly to ensure that your personal information is kept safe.
- Buy only from reputable sources and sites do not be swayed by or have your judgment clouded by too good to be true deals.
- Always avoid conducting financial transactions on public Wi-Fi.
- Be diligent in updating your devices as updates usually have security issue fixes
- To avoid phishing tactics, ALWAYS THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK on links. For example, an email that that may threaten you with legal action. Always verify a source directly.
Finally, RCMP encourages you to report any criminal or suspicious activity to the police.
It will help them to know where to look and who to look for and where to look in the future.