Check if the website it secure.
A simple way to check is to look for the lock symbol in the left corner of the search browser. Any website where you are putting in your credit card information or personal information should have this.
If shopping online, are you using websites you are familiar with?
While Googling something like “Best DSLR camera” is fine, when it comes to making a purchase, it should be from a reputable company. Watch out for paid advertisements from unknown sellers. If you’re unfamiliar with the company, you could even Google the company to see what comes up. You may learn they have poor reviews. This could save you a headache. It could also be the opposite where it’s a new company & have helped hundreds of people. Regardless, buy from a reputable company or do your research first. Shopping local is always a good bet.
Never click on links in your email from an unknown person
Many times your email will sift through the “junk mail” and place it directly in your junk folder. Other times, scammers will try to be tricky by sending email from familiar names of either a person you know or a known institution. Always look at the email address from the sender. Most likely it’s a fake email address. If a link is included in the email, never click on it.
Check your bank statements every month
Your bank can do a great job monitoring and may even catch fraudulent charges before they happen. However, it’s important to check your bank statements every month to ensure every charge is correct.
Reach out to your insurance agent
While your banking institutions and credit card issuers do offer some protection against fraudulent charges to your accounts, did you know that your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance plan may offer additional protection if your identity is stolen? In addition to your own diligence, your homeowners, condo or renters insurance policies can offer some extra protection. For a small yearly fee (typically less than $40 per year) your insurance policy may cover expenses related to court fees, loan reapplication fees (if denied due to identity theft), notary fees and more. Some insurance plans may also include access to an identity theft counselor, someone to assist with reporting fraudulent activity and to act as a liaison to the major credit report bureaus on your behalf. Identity theft plans will vary by carrier and state, so be sure to ask your agent about plans available.
If you have questions about your home, condo or renters insurance, contact George A. Bell & Son. Our agents can review your current coverage or provide a quote on a new insurance policy. Contact us today!