FINANCIAL FOCUS: 5 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Scammers
Because last week was National Tax Security Awareness Week and many people are gearing up for the biggest shopping season of the year, bear in mind that scammers are gearing up too. Through phishing emails and other malware, fraudsters seek to gain easy access to your information. That’s why we’re delivering 5 tips for avoiding data scammers and keeping your personal financial information safe.
Don’t shop with unfamiliar online retailers. Look for the lock icon in your browser’s URL bar.
Don’t use unprotected Wi-Fi. The temptation may be great to connect with the first connection available to you, but you better think twice. Doing so can mean allowing thieves to view your transactions and help them gain access to account information.
Keep your eyes peeled for phishing emails. Be vigilant and skeptical of everything in your inbox, including items that look like shopping receipt confirmations or any emails urging you to open a link or attachment.
Use strong passwords and encrypt important documents. Making passwords long, strong, and unique, (think phrases instead of words) can help keep financial records or tax returns kept on a computer safe. Be sure to delete said documents before retiring or trashing a computer or mobile device.
The IRS does not initiate contact with tax payers via email – so know that receipt of an email claiming to be the IRS is not legitimate.