Scrooge-like precautions a good idea

  • Dec. 20, 2010 6:00 p.m.

Masset RCMP Sgt. Grant MacDonald is urging shoppers to be Scrooge-like with their personal information this holiday season in order to avoid scams and frauds. Whether you are shopping in person or online, Sgt. MacDonald offers these precautions:. Shop only from your home computer if you are shopping online. It’s much safer than shopping at a terminal in an internet cafe or library.. Verfity secure connections. When shopping online, do not enter any financial information if you see a broken key or open padlock symbol on your internet browser. This means the transaction is not secure and could be intercepted. When the key is complete or the padlock is locked, the browser is indicated a secure transaction.. Email messages are not necessarily private. Do not send confidential personal or financial information by email.. Avoid spam by being careful about disclosing your email address both on and offline.. Monitor your bank and credit card statements online. Electronic statements allow you to review your purchases and payments as they happen. Immeidately report any discrepancies.. If you are shopping in person, never lose sight of your credit or debit card. Whenever possible, swipe your card yourself rather than giving it to the cashier.. Never leave receipts in the bank machine, bank wicket or trash can. Shred all paperwork that you no longer need.. Do not keep a written record of your bank PIN or your social insurance number in your wallet or handbag.. If you think you’ve been victimized by a scam or fraud, you should report it immediately to the RCMP.