IBC Bank Shares Tips On How To Navigate Cyber Monday Safely
As Cyber Monday approaches on Nov. 29, IBC Bank wants to ensure that its customers and the community stay safe while making purchases with their debit or credit cards during the holiday season. While scams from online shopping produce the most reports to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), it's in November that the number of scams skyrocket. Reports to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of undelivered orders, or "no-shows", quadrupled from 2015 to 2019, and reached record highs in the spring of 2020 as the spread of COVID-19 fueled a spike in online shopping.
"A November 2020 AARP survey on holiday shopping found that while 72 percent of U.S. consumers are concerned about the security of their personal and financial information when buying something online, only 15 percent could correctly answer at least seven of ten true/false questions about safe shopping practices," explained Gabriel Castillo, Senior Vice President for Marketing at IBC Bank. "As our customers participate in shopping online throughout the holiday season, IBC Bank has the opportunity to "Do More" for our customers by equipping them with the tools and resources needed to stay financially safe while making purchases online."
IBC believes in empowering customers and community members through education and offers five tips on preventing debit or credit card scams and staying financially safe online during the holiday season:
1. Check the URL: Scammers have gotten exceptionally good at making websites seem safe and legitimate. Before you make a purchase, confirm that the URL begins with HTTPS and not HTTP. You might have to click on the URL to see the HTTPS. Secure sites use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption to keep data in transit hidden from hackers. To avoid using an illegitimate online store, only shop with reputable retailers that you've had positive experiences with in the past.
2. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is: It's easy to indulge in the great deals Cyber Monday has to offer, but beware of scammers that set up fake websites and advertisements with "deals" too good to ignore to trick people into submitting their debit or credit card information. Be wary of illegitimate offers used to reel you in! If in doubt, stay away!
3. Read the reviews: Scammers can produce forged reviews on fake online stores to make them seem popular and legitimate. If you're unsure whether a site's reviews are real, try typing in words like "scam" or "complaint" in a search bar next to the website's name to see if other people have been victims of a scam associated with that company or URL. If you find that other people have complained about the site, run - don't walk - away from that website.
4. Avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi: Although it's tempting to take advantage of holiday deals on the go, public Wi-Fi connections are often unencrypted and unsecured, leaving you vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack that could allow a scammer to grab your name, address, credit card number and other personal information. If you must shop on public Wi-Fi, use a virtual private network (VPN), creating a "tunnel" that allows you to transmit your encrypted data securely.
5. Check for fraud after online shopping: The easiest way to spot debit or credit card fraud is by signing up for online banking and monitoring your account for suspicious activity. If you discover you're a victim of debit or credit card fraud, call your bank immediately. Look for a bank like IBC that has implemented an anonymous Fraud and Code of Ethics and Business Conduct Hotline. The hotline is for employees, customers and others to report possible instances of bank fraud or violations of IBC's Code of Ethics and Business Conduct. IBC Bank recommends the following resources if you feel that you have been a victim of identity theft:
• Get more information on fighting identity theft from the FDIC at www.idtheft.gov and the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of the Controller of the Currency.
• Visit the FTC's consumer website at www.consumer.gov/idtheft
• Call the FTC toll-free at 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338)
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about financial best practices and other resources offered by IBC Bank. For information on opening an account, speaking with a financial consultant, and our other products and services, visit www.ibc.com.
About IBC Bank
IBC Bank and Commerce Bank are divisions of International Bancshares Corporation (NASDAQ: IBOC), a $15.3 billion multi-bank financial holding company headquartered in Laredo, Texas, with 186 facilities and 281 ATMs serving 87 communities in Texas and Oklahoma. IBC Bank's slogan "We Do More" reflects the bank's dedication to the growth and success of the customers and the communities it has been serving since 1966. IBC Bank recently made the Forbes list of top eight banks in Texas and was among the World's Best Banks 2021 list. MEMBER FDIC / INTERNATIONAL BANCSHARES CORPORATION. Follow our Facebook and Instagram page, @IBCBankWeDoMore. More information is available at ibc.com.