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Holiday Shopping Safety Tips: Online and Offline Precautions

The holiday season is a time of joy, giving, and togetherness. However, it also presents a prime opportunity for scammers and criminals to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals. As we navigate the hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping season, it's crucial to stay vigilant and take necessary precautions to protect ourselves and our belongings.

Online Safety

  1. Secure Your Shopping: When shopping online, ensure you're using reputable websites with secure payment gateways. Look for the "https" prefix and a padlock icon in the address bar. Avoid using public Wi-Fi for online purchases, as these networks can be less secure.
  2. Beware of Phishing Scams: Phishing emails are common during the holidays, often disguised as greetings from legitimate companies or offering enticing deals. Be wary of unsolicited emails with links or attachments. Never provide personal or financial information through email.
  3. Protect Your Passwords: Use strong and unique passwords for all your online accounts, avoid using easily guessable information like birthdays or pet names. Consider using a password manager to generate and store complex passwords securely.

In-Store Safety

  1. Safeguard Your Valuables: Keep your purse or wallet close to your body and avoid carrying large amounts of cash. If shopping with children, keep them close and be aware of their surroundings.
  2. Secure Your Car: Park in well-lit areas and avoid leaving valuables visible inside. Lock your car doors and roll up the windows whenever you leave it unattended.
  3. Beware of Bank Jugging: Bank jugging is a tactic where criminals follow individuals to their banks and rob them after they make withdrawals. Be cautious when leaving the bank and consider using different routes home, or utilizing tools like the UCHU Mobile App or Online Banking for access to your money 24/7.
  4. Shop with a Friend or Family Member: Shopping with a companion can deter potential criminals and provide an extra layer of security.
  5. Be Mindful of Your Surroundings: Stay alert and aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas. If you notice anything suspicious, don't hesitate to report it to store personnel or security.

Additional Tips

  1. Review Your Statements Regularly: Check your credit card and bank statements regularly for any unauthorized transactions. Report any discrepancies immediately.
  2. Shred Confidential Documents: Properly dispose of personal and financial documents, such as old bills or bank statements, to prevent identity theft. Check out UHCU's next free shred day here.
  3. Trust Your Instincts: If something feels off or too good to be true, it probably is. Don't hesitate to walk away from suspicious transactions or situations.

By following these simple precautions and staying vigilant, you can enjoy the holiday season with peace of mind, knowing that you're taking steps to protect yourself and your belongings. Remember, staying safe during the holidays is not about being paranoid; it's about being proactive and taking sensible measures to safeguard your well-being and financial security. Happy holidays from UHCU!

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips: Online and Offline Precautions