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Banks remind shoppers to watch for identity thieves this season

Posted at 4:14 PM, Dec 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-05 19:14:07-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — As more and more Americans turn to their favorite online retailers this holiday season, banks are reminding shoppers to remain vigilant for thieves on the web.

According to Adobe Analytics, shoppers spent about $9 billion online this Black Friday, and another $10.8 billion on Cyber Monday the following week — making it the largest shopping day online in history.

While online thieves have always been a threat to shoppers, there are even more shoppers at risk today.

"It's more important than ever to be hyper-vigilant and protect yourself from fraud," Sarah Bilyeu with San Diego County Credit Union told 10News reporter Vanessa Paz. "We're seeing a lot more people shopping online because of stay-at-home orders and during holidays, it'll increase and it's something vital to your overall financial wellness."

Bilyeu recommends shopping with websites and companies that you're familiar with or that you've already been a customer of in the past.

And while it may seem simple to some, customers are also reminded to avoid clicking on unfamiliar links or opening emails they don't expect. In 2019 alone, Experian reported identity theft had resulted in $16.9 billion in losses.

If shoppers aren't careful, a hard year on finances can be stressed with identity theft.

"If you are unsure, call the institution that's sending the message to check if it's a valid message," says Bilyeu. "When shopping online or engaging where you give credit card numbers, make sure you're on a secure and not public WiFi."

SDCCU has more tips to keep in mind when shopping online.