During the holiday season, identity theft can be a serious risk. Scammers and cybercriminals with malicious intent may use the season to take advantage of unsuspecting customers. That’s why it can be so important to stay informed and protect your identity, especially during the holidays.

Let’s explore exactly what the risks of identity theft are as well as some tips for layering up your protection this winter. At Bank of the Rockies, our ID TheftSmart Program is designed to help—offering several tiers of protection to keep you safe.

Tips for Safe Holiday Shopping

Be wary of online shopping, where this can be a significant risk. Remember these tips to avoid being scammed:

  • Be careful around and consider avoiding online marketplaces, as these can present the risk of scammers. Be aware of return and refund policies on such marketplaces.
  • Use traceable payment methods whenever possible, and never online shop over public Wi-Fi.
  • Be cautious around deals that seem too good to be true—they just may be.
  • Use unique passwords across different sites, and be sure to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) whenever possible.
  • Never share access codes from your phone or email when you receive them.
  • When in stores, check for card-skimming devices.
  • Remember that get-rich-from-home offers are often scams.
  • Double-check requests for donations, as these may be scammers.

Secure Online Shopping Practices

While holiday shopping, it’s important to protect yourself. Here are some additional tips to stay safe:

  • Use a virtual card number to protect your credit card information.
  • Check any emails you get to see what the sender’s address is. Email is a common route for phishing attempts.
  • Stick to websites with a lock icon next to the URL, and whose URLs start with “HTTPS://” (Look for the “S,” which isn’t always there.)
  • Keep all your devices (cell phones, tablets, and anything else) updated, and make sure that all of your apps are up to date as well to ensure you have the latest security changes.
  • Use strong passwords and make sure that you don’t use the same password across sites.

Additional Measures for Enhanced Identity Theft Protection

At Bank of the Rockies, we offer our ID TheftSmart Program to help you add an extra layer of enhanced identity theft protection. We offer three distinct options to meet your unique needs:

  • Option 1, Consultation and restoration services: work with a Kroll licensed private investigator for only $3/month.
  • Option 2, Consultation and restoration + Credit bureau monitoring: Option 1, plus credit monitoring service, including monthly ‘No Activity’ alerts if nothing is found, for $8/month.
  • Option 3, Consultation and restoration + credit bureau monitoring + idINTEGRITY Scan: everything included in options one and two, plus idINTEGRITY Scan, which scans the dark web for your family’s information, for 10$/month.

Get Enhanced Identity Theft Protection with Bank of the Rockies

While the holiday season can be a wonderful time, it’s also a time of year during which it’s important to safeguard your information. Practicing safe holiday shopping can help keep you protected from fraud, scamming, and identity theft. It’s important to carefully guard your personal information and sometimes to take safety measures whether shopping online or in person. For an added layer of security, we’re proud to offer our ID TheftSmart Program at the Bank of the Rockies. Contact us online or stop by one of our local offices to get enrolled today.