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Dec 19, 2022 Brittani Johnson

You Better Watch Out for Identity Thieves

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

You better watch out
You better be safe
You better be smart 
I’m telling you how
Identity thieves are coming to town

They’re making a list
And using it twice
They’re stealing info ‘cus they’re not nice
Identity thieves are coming to town

They see you when you’re shopping
They know when you’re online
They know if you are safe or not 
So be safe for safety’s sake!

According to our 6th Annual Holiday Identity Theft Survey, 52% of consumers plan to spend more than $500 on holiday gifts this season. With holiday shopping now in full swing, it’s more important than ever to be mindful when shopping in-store and online!

They see you when (and where!) you’re shopping…

This year, online shopping will account for 85% of consumer buying, remaining consistent with reports from 2021’s Holiday Shopping ID Theft survey. Additionally, 55% of respondents reported that they also plan to shop at brick-and-mortar stores, and in-person shopping numbers rival that of reports from 2017’s survey.

When shopping in stores, you better watch out for people looking over your shoulder when you enter your pin and/or personal information!

They know when you’re online...

Our Holiday Survey also showed that,

  • Nine in 10 Gen Zers (89%), Millennials (91%), and Gen Xers (89%) plan to shop online compared to 79% of Baby Boomers.

  • Two-thirds of Millennials (68%) and six in 10 Gen Zers/Gen Xers (61%) plan to use a cell phone to shop online, compared with just 31% of Baby Boomers.

When shopping online, you better watch out for fake websites that don’t start with the “https://” designation and follow cybersecurity best practices!

They know if you are safe or not...

While each method of shopping brings its own risks, one in three Americans (33%) trust e-retailers the most with their personal data this holiday shopping season. Nearly as many (29%) consider big box stores the most trustworthy.

  • Local small businesses (18%) rank third in trustworthiness, followed by department stores (11%).

  • Only 5% of American consumers trust social media platforms the most with their personal data this holiday shopping season.

When shopping, remember that for identity thieves, it doesn’t end at the point of purchase. You better watch out for data breach announcements, fraud alerts, and phishing emails next year!

...So be safe for safety’s sake!

No matter where you shop this holiday season, here are a couple of ways to stay on the safe list:

  • Don’t shop when using public networks.

  • Keep your security software up to date.

  • Use unique passwords and change them regularly.

  • Trust your instinct if a website or offer looks “phishy.”

  • Track your purchases and check your statements regularly.

  • Pay attention to fraud alerts if you receive them from your financial institution, and beware of scams impersonating these institutions. Instead of clicking on links, go directly to the source when contacted, and be cautious of what personal information you share online and over the phone.

  • Report any suspicious activity immediately to the retailer and to the Federal Trade Commission.
Give yourself the gift of identity theft and cyber protection this year! Proactive protection, such as credit and identity monitoring and alerts, reduces your risk. If you do happen to become a victim of identity theft or fraud, experts can help you regain the holiday spirit with protection that includes 24/7/365 access to certified fraud resolution specialists.
Published by Brittani Johnson December 19, 2022