Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great times where you can score big on a new TV, massage chair, or a massage chair with a TV!

Perhaps that last option will be difficult to find. When it comes to scammers, what won’t be challenging to locate is personal account information should we forget to exercise vigilance.

Living in an online world now more than ever, it’s imperative that when we visit the internet we remain on our toes and shield ourselves from fraudulent activity. Cybercriminals are readily shopping, only it’s not the kind of e-commerce we’re accustomed to, and it’s crucial we understand what to be on the lookout for.

Here are four common attempts to entrap online shoppers:

1. Phony Websites

Cyberthieves will be busy doing their best to direct you to a bogus link (or URL) that may appear as if it’s a website belonging to prominent outlets like Amazon®, eBay®, etc.

What can we do to safeguard against this?

  • Type the website out in the search bar, opposed to copying/pasting/clicking on a link.
  • Avoid saving card information for future usage.

2. Fake Orders

Scammers are evolving, and they’re now infiltrating your phone, email, etc., to inform you of a purchase you supposedly made when you didn’t.

What can we do to safeguard against this?

  • If a phony message is received, do not click on the link associated with it.
  • Create login passwords that’ll be tough to figure out by using numbers and special characters.

3. Gift Card Only Checkouts

Using a gift card as your only option come checkout? Don’t fall for it! Fraudsters have constructed this lone method of payment during checkout to as the easiest form of thievery seize your gift card and use it for their own personal gain. Be cautious should a gift card be the only payment method available at checkout.

What can we do to safeguard against this?

  • Use a credit card opposed to gift cards online whenever possible.
  • If you go the gift card route and it’s specific to a store, use it at the retailer it was purchased from. If it’s a universal gift card –VISA®, MasterCard®, etc. –be sure to verify it’s an official website before purchasing.

4. Fake Deliveries

Much like fake orders, criminals are relaying fraudulent messages via email and text mentioning a package you ordered has hit a roadblock, when you don’t ever recall expecting a delivery.

What can we do to safeguard against this?

  • Do not click any links that are sent from an unknown source suggesting you have a delivery – make sure to verify the sender.
  • In the event a phone number is provided to call, do not dial it!

If you believe your Firstmark account has been compromised and are needing immediate assistance, please contact 210.442.0100, or toll-free at 800.683.1211. Our call center hours of operation are Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.