Department of Banking logo

Governor Rell: Online Holiday Shoppers Must Guard Against Identity Theft

December 13, 2009

Governor M. Jodi Rell today issued a reminder to holiday shoppers to guard against online scams when purchasing gifts online and take steps to protect their confidential information.

“Browsing the Internet to find the perfect gift is convenient and a way to avoid crowds but let the shopper beware – there are scam artists lurking in cyberspace,” Governor Rell said. “These frauds are poised to spoil your holiday cheer and make off with your identity if you let your guard down,” Governor Rell said.

The Governor said the state Department of Banking recommends shoppers deal with retailers they know and trust because high-tech scammers use graphics or logos that appear legitimate. Be certain the Web sites you visit are genuine. Other basic rules to follow are:

  • 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 website 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.

Banking Commissioner Howard Pitkin warns consumers not to be fooled 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