Governor Rell and Banking Commissioner Pitkin Advise
On-Line Consumers to be Extra Diligent
December 4, 2008
With the holiday season upon us, Governor M. Jodi Rell and State Banking Commissioner Howard F. Pitkin want to remind consumers to protect their personal financial information when shopping on-line.
Making purchases from home has become more convenient than ever. Unfortunately, this is also the time of year that scammers take advantage of the higher volume of on-line shoppers. Their goal is to steal personal financial information from unsuspecting consumers and ultimately use this information to commit fraud.
“During these tough economic times, it is more important than ever to protect your financial information,” advised Governor Rell. “When shopping on-line, be sure the sites you visit are legitimate. More important, make sure they are secure. If you are uncertain that a website is secure, contact the retailer directly to make your purchases.”
Some steps consumers can take to protect themselves when shopping on-line are:
- Do business only with merchants you know and trust. High-tech scammers use graphics or logos that appear to be legitimate, so be certain that the Web sites you visit are genuine.
- Keep records of your online transactions.
- Be suspicious of Web sites that don't allow you to easily verify a company's legitimacy by clearly providing a physical address, telephone number and e-mail addresses.
- Before completing a purchase or financial transaction, be sure that the Web site you're visiting supports secure transactions. Your browser should clearly indicate when you link to a secure location. Look for a URL that begins with https:// and a browser icon displaying either an unbroken key or a closed padlock.
- Review your monthly credit card and bank statements for any errors or unauthorized purchases.
Commissioner Pitkin warns consumers not to be tricked by an e-mail that appears to have been sent by your bank or credit card company. “A financial institution will never contact you by e-mail requesting account information. If you receive such an e-mail do not respond to it. Delete it immediately, and call your bank to report it,” said Commissioner Pitkin.
For more information please contact the Department of Banking’s Consumer Affairs Division, at (860) 240-8299, Toll-free, at 1-800-731-8225, or on-line, at www.ct.gov/dob.