HOW TO DO YOUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING SAFELY
■ KEEP your plastic safe. Out of sight of pickpockets. Do not let shop assistants, bartenders or staff in restaurants take it out of sight. You should be the only person who needs to handle it. ■ BE wary of those around you and ensure you hide your PIN when tapping it in. Don’t be distracted when making payments or taking cash at an ATM. Crooks use diversion tactics to swipe cards, purses and handbags.
■ ALWAYS check cashpoints for signs of tampering. Try to only use those inside banks where there is CCTV. ■ BE careful which websites you shop at. Use trusted retailers, and make payments by credit card where possible. Look for the padlock symbol. Type in the web address, rather than using links. ■ ENSURE your devices are protected with latest security software. Avoid unsecured wifi networks on trains and in cafes.
■ GIVE your bank your mobile number. Many banks will ask you to verify by SMS if they look more likely to be fraudulent.
■ FOUND out if your bank offers card controls – Lloyds Bank app users, for example, can freeze their card instantly to stop it being used.
■ BE cautious about any unexpected calls or messages you receive – don’t click on links or give out personal details, and if in doubt, call your bank using the number on the back of your card. Remember a bank or the police would never ask you to move funds from your account because of fraud.
■ CHECK your bank statements regularly. If you spot anything suspicious, then report it immediately. ■ IF a price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Goods could be poor quality, fake or non-existent.
■ DON’T pay for goods or services by bank transfer unless you know and trust the person. Payments this way are not protected if you are conned.
■ USE a strong, separate password and two factor authentication to protect your email account. Criminals can use your email to access other accounts, such as those you use for shopping.
■ EVERY report matters – if you have been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud immediately by calling 0300 123 2040.