Column: Alberta RCMP gives fraud tips for online holiday shopping

It’s time to start thinking about holiday shopping, and during the pandemic, people have been doing more and more shopping online. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up this month, we would like to remind people to protect their personal and financial information when purchasing things online.

Last year, there were over 1,200 reports of fraud greater than $5,000; almost 6,000 reports of fraud less than or equal to $5,000; and over 70 reports of unauthorized use of credit card data in Alberta RCMP jurisdiction.

Here are some tips for protecting yourself online:

  • Don’t purchase anything while using public Wi-Fi; shop using your own data connection or a trusted network.
  • Research retailers before purchasing from them. Check for reviews and their return policy.
  • Only purchase from sites using HTTPS rather than HTTP.
  • If you’ve done some shopping already, watch your financial statements for any unauthorized purchases.
  • Be sure to use strong passwords.
  • If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is.

For the month of November, the Alberta RCMP social media accounts will be using #CyberSecurity. For more crime prevention and safety tips, follow @RCMPAlberta (Twitter) and @RCMPinAlberta (Facebook).

If you see something suspicious, report it to your local police service. If you see a crime in progress, call 911. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.

 

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