The holiday season is just around the corner, which means more and more people will be shopping for presents. Online shopping has become an increasingly popular and convenient way to find deals and cross things off our lists. With both Black Friday and Cyber Monday taking place this month, many Albertans will be handing out their credit card details in exchange for deals this month.
In the Alberta RCMP’s jurisdiction in 2022 there were a total of:
• 34 reports of unauthorized use of credit card data (4 in November and 2 in December);
• 726 reports of Theft, Forgery, Misuse of Credit Card (53 in November and 47 in December);
• 1,796 reports of Fraud (money/property/security) greater than $5,000 (183 in November and 150 in December); and
• 5,653 reports of Fraud (money/property/security) less than or equal to $5,000 (445 in November and 401 in December).
• Coaldale-Picture Butte Detachment advised that: “Cybercriminals are always looking for opportunities to exploit the holiday rush in big saving promotions. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of big savings being offered, but remember it is essential to recognize the signs of illegitimate online stores and only purchase from secured websites “says S/Sgt. Mike Numan.
The Coaldale-Picture Butte RCMP reminds all online shoppers to protect their personal and financial information when purchasing online.
• “Online shopping has become more popular than ever, but so have cybercrimes, especially during the holiday season. Cyber criminals are working overtime to defraud unsuspecting shoppers”.
“Don’t let cyber criminals steal your joy and be on the lookout for phishing emails and fake websites, if the deal seems to be too good to be true,” says S/Sgt. Mike Numan.
The Coaldale-Picture Butte Detachments remind all online shoppers to protect their personal and financial information when making online purchases.
Here are some tips to protect yourself while shopping online:
• Don’t reuse passwords; change them often, and be sure to use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters to create a strong one!
• Many websites, especially social media platforms, offer the option of multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication makes it more difficult for criminals to access your accounts by needing more than one piece of identifying information.
• Review privacy settings regularly in order to control who can see what personal information is posted to your profile.
• Don’t purchase anything using public Wi-Fi; shop using your own data connection or a trusted network.
• Buy from reputable sources and don’t let unbeatable prices cloud your judgement. Research retailers before purchasing.
• Install updates on your devices as soon as you’re prompted. Updates fix security issues.
• Phishing is a commonly used tactic for cyber crime. Phishing messages ask you to validate information by clicking links and may threaten you with legal action. Verify legitimacy by calling the company directly.
Follow our social media accounts on Twitter @RCMPAlberta and Facebook @RCMPinAlberta, and check out #CyberSafety online for more tips.
RCMP encourage the public to report any criminal or suspicious activity to police. Reports tell us where to look, who to look for, and where to patrol in the future. If you see a crime in progress, dial 911. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at http://www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.