November 20, 2018
Department of Banking Reminds Online Shoppers to Safeguard Their Personal Financial Information
HARTFORD — Black Friday and Cyber Monday are right around the corner. The ease of making purchases online - especially through mobile devices - has increased dramatically in recent years. While shopping online has become more secure than ever, it is still important to take steps to protect our personal financial information. During this holiday season, Banking Commissioner Jorge Perez advises shoppers to take precautions when shopping for gifts online.
“This is the season of giving, but unfortunately scammers only want to take – take your financial information and use it for a shopping spree of their own,” said Commissioner Perez. “Shopping online has become more secure than ever, but that does not mean we should let our guard down. There are some basic tips that holiday shoppers should keep in mind when making purchases online.”
The following tips will help online shoppers protect their personal financial information:
- Always make sure your computer, tablet or smart phone is secure and that your virus protection, anti-malware and firewall software are all up to date.
- Be sure your network is secure and be leery of using public networks or Wi-Fi hotspots for online shopping.
- Do business with financial institutions and merchants you know and trust. Look for a URL that begins with https:// and a lock symbol toward the bottom of the page.
- Be suspicious of websites that don't allow you to easily verify a company's identity and legitimacy by clearly providing a physical address, telephone number and email address.
- Use a credit card for online purchases. Under federal law, you may dispute unauthorized charges to your credit card in writing. The law also limits your responsibility for unauthorized charges to $50.
- Carefully check your monthly account statement as soon as it arrives. If you discover any charges you did not make, contact your financial institution immediately.
“Always keep records of your online transactions and check your credit card statements for any errors or unauthorized purchases,” advised Commissioner Perez. “You should feel comfortable that your credit card information will remain private when making an online transaction. If you have any doubts or concerns about a website, contact the store directly by telephone.”
For more information or to report a suspected scam, please contact the Department of Banking’s Consumer Affairs Division, at 860.-240.8170 or visit ct.gov/dob.
Matt Smith, 860.240.8105