Charleston, S.C. (WCBD) – Banks say credit card fraud, scams, and counterfeit bills annually increase during the holiday season.
While shopping at home will protect you from COVID-19 exposure it will put you more at risk for online hackers.
“People are more susceptible to credit card fraud or identity theft by shopping online,” said Licensed Credit Counselor with Origin SC Kristen Bastian.
Bastian says to be on the lookout for red flags when shopping holiday sales.
“Instead of just clicking the ‘shop now’ or ‘check this out’ link in the email, go pull up a new browser and to Target’s website or Walmart’s or what have you,” Bastian mentioned.
Fraudulent bills also increase during the holiday season so using a card payment in person can be safer.
“Credit cards have more fraud protection built into them and they’re not linked to a bank account like if someone gets a debit card they can drain a bank account,” Bastian added.
Experts recommend keeping up with your bank statements and if you see fraudulent activity to notify your bank or credit card company immediately.
“This is a time where fraud and scams are prevalent,” stated Bastian.
Experts also warn of fake charities this time of year and advise you always double check emails and websites to ensure you are sending your money to a trusted source.