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We’ve all done it. It’s been a long day and you’re tired. Your “to-do” list is in jeopardy of not getting done on time. You haven’t had a bad experience so you assume the odds are in your favor.

 

The truth is, internet commerce is growing every day – and so is internet fraud. So let’s be honest. You’re not going to give up shopping online, so you need to be proactive about protecting yourself. Here’s how:

 

     1. Check the URL of your seller’s website!

We’re all familiar with the precursor http://www format, which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. When you see the “s” added https://www you know the website you’re using to make a purchase from has create a secure channel over an insecure network. This is especially important if you are ordering those new shoes while you’re at lunch with friends in a coffee shop with free public wi-fi, access points which is not secure.

 

And while you’re looking, make sure the store’s website displays a small padlock at the bottom of the screen, or next to the URL, indicating it’s an encrypted site.

 

     2. Puny passwords are passé.

Not so long ago, every password I had was a variations of my street address or my children’s birth dates. Then an IT friend told me how easy it is to get a hard-to-crack alternative. Simply think of a sentence that’s a truism for you. Mine was: I like to eat chocolate cake for breakfast at 8 am. Translated, my new password became:

                                    [email protected]

It’s easy to remember and scores as an A+!

 

     3. If your card reader seems “different” ask before you swipe.

From the gas pump to the checkout counter, there are lots of ways fraudsters try to get your card information. So if something looks different to you, like this … (See ref C – need a designer to make these hand-drawn examples) check it out. Because it might just be new equipment. Or not.

 

     4. Make sure we have your current contact information!

We’ve Enhanced our Fraud Alert System at Community Bank

If we suspect fraudulent activity on your account, we’ll send you a text message alert. If there is no response, we’ll call you to confirm or deny fraud before authorizing the charge.

 

If You Suspect Fraudulent Activity

Contact us! Call one of our Fraud Analysts at 304-485-7991 immediately to report the incident.

 

Remember! Shopping today is easier than ever, from online retailers to just swiping a card, the world of retail is at our fingertips. But enhanced convenience comes with risks that may compromise your financial safety.

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