HOW TO SHOP SAFE ONLINE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Last year, ERIE Customer Don O. of Pennsylvania received a text from Amazon letting him know that his package had been delivered.
The only problem? He hadn’t ordered anything—an identity thief had.

Last year, ERIE Customer Don O. of Pennsylvania received a text from Amazon letting him know that his package had been delivered.

The only problem? He hadn’t ordered anything—an identity thief had. Don later discovered that the thief had also opened up a fake credit card in his name and used it to purchase an Amazon Prime membership in addition to products from the popular e-commerce site. Just like that, Don became one of the 13.1 million people affected by identity theft in 2015.

Online shopping is growing increasingly popular—last year, the National Retail Federation’s Thanksgiving weekend survey revealed that more people shopped on the Web than in stores during the Black Friday weekend.

Yet e-commerce also gives identity thieves new ways to commit their crimes. If you’re shopping from the comfort of your couch this holiday season, the following tips from a variety of experts can help you lower your chances of getting trapped like Don. (Fortunately, his story had a happy ending—check it out below.)

  • Only shop on secure sites.
  • Avoid making purchases via a public Wi-Fi connection and computer.
  • Choose strong passwords.
  • Activate your device’s built-in firewalls.
  • Update your browser — older versions could have security gaps that leave you vulnerable to identity theft.
  • Check your card’s purchase activity frequently.

Coverage for identity theft (happing ending for Don)

Sometimes even the most careful cyber shoppers fall prey to identity theft. That’s why it’s worth adding ERIE’s Identity Recovery Coverage to your homeowner’s insurance policy. It can help you undo identity theft damage and reimburse you for covered expenses like lost wages, administrative expenses and even some legal fees.

And it protects every relative in your household, even your children. Identity Recovery Coverage from ERIE was there to help Don, the Customer mentioned at the beginning of this post, get a handle on a bad situation. An identity fraud case worker helped him make contact with Amazon, order credit reports and put a security freeze on his credit.

“I was really happy with the help I received from ERIE,” says Don. “They did everything except drive to Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle.” The fraudulent charges were eventually erased, and Don’s credit was not affected.

Identity Recovery Coverage can be added to your homeowner’s policy for just $20 a year. Call The Agent Insurance Services today and we will tell you more about it (330) 758-3339

ERIESENSE by Amanda Prischak on November 9, 2016

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