OKLAHOMA CITY — Attorney General Scott Pruitt Tuesday reminded online shoppers to beware of criminals targeting Black Friday consumers for identity theft.
“Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year along with Cyber Monday when many customers choose to shop online,” Pruitt said. “Oklahomans need to be alert when giving out personal information and make sure the websites are secure.”
The Attorney General’s Public Protection Unit provided the following tips to avoid identity theft:
• Use a credit card instead of a debit card;
• Avoid shopping by clicking on a link in an e-mail – type the main address into your browser;
• Regularly check bank statements to make sure all transactions are correct;
• Keep passwords hidden and private;
• Check the security of websites before you give personal information;
• Check credit reports;
• Seniors can request a “credit freeze” on credit reports. It’s free for seniors in Oklahoma – click here for more.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, common types of identity theft include:
• Dumpster Diving – Thieves rummage through trash looking for bills or other documents with your personal information on them;
• Skimming – Stealing credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card;
• Phishing – Pretending to be financial institutions or companies and sending spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information;
• Changing Your Address – Diverting your billing statements to another location by completing a change of address form;
• Old-Fashioned Stealing – Stealing wallets, purses and mail, including bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, new checks and tax information;
• Pretexting – Using false pretenses to obtain personal information from financial institutions, telephone companies and other sources.
To report suspected identity theft or scams, contact the AG’s Public Protection Unit at (405) 521-2029, (918) 581-2885 or PublicProtection@oag.ok.gov, and contact local law enforcement.
For more information and resources, check online by clicking here.